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


  • Staff
Pictures_folder_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to move or restore the default location of the Pictures folder for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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.


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.zip 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 ZIP file to your desktop.

4 Unblock the ZIP file.

5 Extract the BAT file from the ZIP file.

6 Run the BAT file.

7 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.

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


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Restore_default_location_of_Pictures_folder.zip
    710 bytes · Views: 52
Last edited:
Hello,
I would like to move my Pictures folder from C: to D: but to change the name of the new folder. When I follow your instructions I see the old (original) file name in File Explorer but in the terminal it is the new name. How to change to the new name everywhere (when I try to rename the file it says that it cannot be renamed)? Thanks, John
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
    CPU
    Intel Core 5
Hello,
I would like to move my Pictures folder from C: to D: but to change the name of the new folder. When I follow your instructions I see the old (original) file name in File Explorer but in the terminal it is the new name. How to change to the new name everywhere (when I try to rename the file it says that it cannot be renamed)? Thanks, John
Hello John, and welcome. :alien:

You can check the two registry key locations below to check and change the "Pictures" folder name in the "My Pictures" string value (REG_SZ) to be the same name as the moved folder on "D" to see if it will stick afterwards.

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
Hello,
I would like to move my Pictures folder from C: to D: but to change the name of the new folder. When I follow your instructions I see the old (original) file name in File Explorer but in the terminal it is the new name. How to change to the new name everywhere (when I try to rename the file it says that it cannot be renamed)? Thanks, John
You can Right click on that folder and go to the Location tab and do the work from there.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    WIN 10 Pro
Back
Top Bottom