General Move or Restore Default Location of Pictures Folder in Windows 11


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Pictures_folder_banner.png

The Pictures folder (shell:My Pictures) is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the Pictures folder is a shell folder in the user's profile (%UserProfile%) that is used as a default storage location for saved pictures, images, screenshots, and camera roll.

If you like, you can move the Pictures folder and its content to a location you want it at instead.

If the current Pictures folder path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path.

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Pictures folder for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Move Location of Pictures Folder in Properties
  • Option Two: Restore Default Location of Pictures Folder in Properties
  • Option Three: Restore Default Location of Pictures Folder using BAT file




Option One

Move Location of Pictures Folder in Properties


1 If you turned on back up Pictures folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Pictures folder to OneDrive until after you moved the Pictures folder.

2 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

3 Navigate to the location (ex: "D") you want to move your Pictures folder to, and create a new folder named Pictures at this location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Pictures_folder-1.png

4 Right click on the Pictures folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Pictures folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:My Pictures into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Pictures folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Pictures folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Pictures_folder-2.png

5 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Move button. (see screenshot below)

Move_Pictures_folder-3.png

6 Navigate to and select the new Pictures folder from step 3, and click/tap on Select Folder. (see screenshot below)

Move_Pictures_folder-4.png

7 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Move_Pictures_folder-5.png

8 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the new location. (see screenshot below)

Move_Pictures_folder-6.png




Option Two

Restore Default Location of Pictures Folder in Properties


1 If you turned on back up Pictures folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Pictures folder to OneDrive until after you restored the default location of the Documents folder.

2 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

3 Right click on the Pictures folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

If you don't see the Pictures folder in the navigation pane, then type shell:My Pictures into the address bar of File Explorer, and press Enter to open the Pictures folder no matter where it may be located.

You can then right click or press and hold on an empty area in the opened Pictures folder, and click/tap on Properties.


Move_Pictures_folder-2.png

4 Click/tap on the Location tab, and click/tap on the Restore Default button. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Pictures_folder-2.png

5 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Pictures_folder-3.png

6 If prompted to create a Pictures folder at the default location, click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Pictures_folder-4.png

7 Click/tap on Yes to move all the files from the old location to the default location. (see screenshot below)

Restore_Pictures_folder-5.png




Option Three

Restore Default Location of Pictures Folder using BAT file


This option can be very useful if Option Two is not available.

This option will not move the contents of the Pictures folder from the old location to the default location. You will need to manually move the contents after restoring the default location if wanted.


1 If you turned on back up Pictures folder to OneDrive, then you will need to temporarily turn off back up Pictures folder to OneDrive until after you restored the default location of the Pictures folder.

2 Click/tap on the download button below to download the Restore_default_location_of_Pictures_folder.bat file.


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

timeout /t 2 /nobreak>null

if not exist "%UserProfile%\Pictures" mkdir "%UserProfile%\Pictures"

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "My Pictures" /t REG_SZ /d "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Pictures" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "{0DDD015D-B06C-45D5-8C4C-F59713854639}" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Pictures" /f

reg add "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" /v "My Pictures" /t REG_EXPAND_SZ /d %%USERPROFILE%%"\Pictures" /f

attrib +r -s -h "%USERPROFILE%\Pictures" /S /D

timeout /t 1 /nobreak>null

start explorer.exe

3 Save the BAT file to your desktop.

4 Unblock and run the BAT file.

5 You will now see a command prompt open and close to kill the explorer process, run the commands to restore the default location and attributes of the Pictures folder, and restart the explorer process.

6 You can now delete the BAT file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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