Move Users Folder Location in Windows 11

tops

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Hello everyone, all right?

Has anyone tried to install Windows 11 by moving the "users" folder out of place, like in this @Kari tutorial?

Another question: I was in the leaked build, I signed up for Windows Insider and with that, via Windows Update, I downloaded the new build and updated. Is it possible to generate an ISO with these files already downloaded or should I download again using UUP DUMP, for example? What do you recommend?

Are any of you using Windows 11 "productively" already, although we know it's not recommended? I ask this because my Windows 10 installation is unstable (I use it since the first RTM build just updating) and if I were to reinstall, I would do it with Windows 11.

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Kari

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I use that method to relocate the Users folder and all user profiles to drive E:, as I have always done since early Vista days. Works like a charm in W11, absolutely no issues.

1625234082789.png

Kari
 

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johnlgalt

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Additionally, I updated my Win10 install that I had \Users moved to a separate physical drive to WIn11 with no issues - other than being slow as #$%@#$%@#$% when upgrading via WU.
 

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unifex

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I am not sure I understand why people bother with this. I keep my personal files (i.e., any files that are not the OS or installed programs) on a separate drive. They are not in the /Users folders and I never noticed any problem. Any reason you need to put your files in the /Users folders?
 

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Kari

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Any reason you need to put your files in the /Users folders?
It's not about where to store personal files, it's about where to store ALL user profile related files. One simple and fast procedure while installing Windows, and all future user accounts created will store their user profile folders on another drive than Windows system drive.

It does automatically the same to all users profiles, than you do manually separately for each user, just better. I mean, you change the storage location for your docs, pics, music and whatever, but the method discussed in this thread moves all of those, plus anything related to user profiles. The more accounts you have, the more you gain.

A good example is AppData folders. Mine is currently over 20 GB. In addition, I have three other accounts, each around 10 GB AppData. Moving the whole Users folder to another disk, E: drive in my case, has already saved over 50 GB from C: drive, in addition to all personal data for all user accounts will be automatically saved to E:, no reason to change anything manually.

AppData.jpg

Kari
 

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JMedlock83

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I am not sure I understand why people bother with this. I keep my personal files (i.e., any files that are not the OS or installed programs) on a separate drive. They are not in the /Users folders and I never noticed any problem. Any reason you need to put your files in the /Users folders?
Same here! I have a 4TB extra HDD I used for extra stuff. I don't save anything in Documents or Downloads just in case i have a crash or something.
 

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swarfega

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The main advantage of storing your files away from C: is if Windows develops a problem, you can simply format and your files will be intact.
 

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johnlgalt

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The main advantage of storing your files away from C: is if Windows develops a problem, you can simply format and your files will be intact.
^^^^^^.

Even if my system drive crashes, All of the data is not on the system drive - thus saved.

And I don't mean just documents, photos, etc. I mean settings for app, everything in AppData, all profiles, etc.

Honestly, I don't see why people don't do this. I make regular backups of the drive that has \Users - which is all the important stuff. I don't bother with the system drive because I can easily install everything I need in short order.

But having that separate drive for all of \Users makes it a ton easier to get back to where you were before.

Perfect example: When I clean install Windows, I have my backup of the D: drive (which is where \Users resides). But I then also copy my profile to E:. It includes things like all my browser profiles (addons, content, saved sites, customizations, etc.) - I then format the 2 NVMe drives, install to NVMe01 (C) and then use Kar's tutorial to move \Users to NVMe02 (D), then I can install my apps. But after I copy back things from AppData, like the Google folder, the Microsoft folder (selectively, there are things you don't want to copy back, like crypto stuff - not cryptocurrency, cryptology (?) used by Microsoft apps) and Mozilla, each and every Browser I was using before is back exactly the same as before I formatted. Same exact addons, same exact settings, same exact websites last opened - because it is the same exact profile.

Same applies to ~65% of my apps. The rest are either saving files and settings in the cloud (like games) or I don't actually care for.

And this way, I can have 700 GB of games installed but not have to tailor my backup to exclude folders and such, because C:, where programs get installed, doesn't get imaged - really no need to. My data is what is important, not my apps.

It makes getting a system back up and running after a chosen clean install much, much faster.

And if you another of Kari's tutorial on how ot build a system image of your system including the apps, it becomes even that much faster - load image, copy fodlers from \AppData and poof - you're right back where you were in no time.
 

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swarfega

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I completely agree.
 

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geneo

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I am not sure I understand why people bother with this. I keep my personal files (i.e., any files that are not the OS or installed programs) on a separate drive. They are not in the /Users folders and I never noticed any problem. Any reason you need to put your files in the /Users folders?
Some user data you have no control over the location - it goes into appdata for instance. I have a separate partition on the same nvme drive as windows that I keep my user data on. I use the built in Windows settings for relocation of User Photos, documents, pictures etc. folders to that partition, and I create junctions in appdata for Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, and Edge profiles to that partition. I do this for backup purposes. - I don't care about any other user data in appdata I backup the Windows partition with Macrium Reflect, and sync the User data to external drives with robocopy. I can update windows, and back it up, without having to worry about my user data, including Mozilla profiles. I have the user data sync with robocopy automated with powershell scripts. This works well for me.

I don't just relocate the whole user folder since appdata contains lots of windows stuff that I think belongs with the Windows backup.

Screenshot 2021-07-05 013341.png


Screenshot 2021-07-05 013821.png
 
Last edited:

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abactuon

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IMHO it's easier to create a browser profile on another disk and not worry about backup, for example
Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" -Name "UserDataDir" -Type String -Value "D:\Documents\Edge"
Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" -Name "DiskCacheDir" -Type String -Value "E:\Temp\Edge"
 

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geneo

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That may work for Edge. Mozilla? And you wouldn't worry about backup???
 

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abactuon

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That may work for Edge. Mozilla? And you wouldn't worry about backup???
Firefox does not have such a policy (yet).
Profile management only through command line parameters:
firefox -P "profile_name"

A clean installation of Windows will erase only the c drive.
 

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unifex

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Firefox profiles can be easily moved to - or better yet, created in - any folder you want. Mine are certainly not in the /Users folder structure.

But, I guess I understand the reasoning now. It does come down to your usage pattern. My AppData folder is about 4.5 GB and I don't think there is anything I actually care about. Hence, I don't care about backing it up. On the other hand, if you do find those files useful, then it definitely makes sense to move them to another drive.
 

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geneo

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IMHO it's easier to create a browser profile on another disk and not worry about backup, for example
Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" -Name "UserDataDir" -Type String -Value "D:\Documents\Edge"
Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge" -Name "DiskCacheDir" -Type String -Value "E:\Temp\Edge"

Firefox profiles can be easily moved to - or better yet, created in - any folder you want. Mine are certainly not in the /Users folder structure.

But, I guess I understand the reasoning now. It does come down to your usage pattern. My AppData folder is about 4.5 GB and I don't think there is anything I actually care about. Hence, I don't care about backing it up. On the other hand, if you do find those files useful, then it definitely makes sense to move them to another drive.

Exactly. I have removed anything I care about that I can from Appdata. I do care about backing up the system image as I have many applications, like photoshop, etc. that would be inconvenient to install from scratch because of the licensing etc., but that is no big deal to catch up on even with an older windows image backup.
 

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poles

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I use that method to relocate the Users folder and all user profiles to drive E:, as I have always done since early Vista days. Works like a charm in W11, absolutely no issues.

View attachment 1629

Kari
I tried applying this procedure installing Windows 11 on VMWare player and have not been successful after a few attempts. Attached is the screenshot of the error after Step 3 of Method One (after sysprep).... I tried same procedure with Windows 10 and it does work like a charm. I am keen to find out what went wrong
 

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  • Win11 VM reloc user err.jpg
    Win11 VM reloc user err.jpg
    35.9 KB · Views: 6

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poles

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I tried applying this procedure installing Windows 11 on VMWare player and have not been successful after a few attempts. Attached is the screenshot of the error after Step 3 of Method One (after sysprep).... I tried same procedure with Windows 10 and it does work like a charm. I am keen to find out what went wrong
Has anyone faced similar issue? Any suggestions? I read that Kari managed to successfully apply the procedure and I would like to know if I am doing anything wrong after being successful for exactly the same steps with Win10... Thanks in advance
 

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johnlgalt

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The error message says something is not correct in the answer file you provided.

Double check all the entries in it.
 

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poles

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Thanks for the reply.
The same answer file was used for installing Win10 and works fine whereas Win11 installation gives this error. I also checked if the word wrap caused the issue based on a reply in another forum... strange. But I am really keen to know what is causing it to fail with Win11. Attached are 2 copies of the answer files that I tried (saved with extension renamed to txt)
 

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  • relocate.txt
    522 bytes · Views: 3
  • relocate1.txt
    522 bytes · Views: 3

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johnlgalt

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I checked both visually as well as with WinMerge and the files are indeed identical. Additionally, I double checked to make sure that the items were all in place as they should be.

Just to recap - Windows 10 and Windows 11, both in VMWare Player, and both instances did, indeed, have 2 virt HDs set up for use?

Which version of VMWare player are you using?

@Kari - any other ideas? This is your bread and butter tutorial, but I don't see anything wrong in the file itself.

Recap of pole's posts so it's all in one place:

I tried applying this procedure installing Windows 11 on VMWare player and have not been successful after a few attempts. Attached is the screenshot of the error after Step 3 of Method One (after sysprep).... I tried same procedure with Windows 10 and it does work like a charm. I am keen to find out what went wrong

Has anyone faced similar issue? Any suggestions? I read that Kari managed to successfully apply the procedure and I would like to know if I am doing anything wrong after being successful for exactly the same steps with Win10... Thanks in advance

Thanks for the reply.
The same answer file was used for installing Win10 and works fine whereas Win11 installation gives this error. I also checked if the word wrap caused the issue based on a reply in another forum... strange. But I am really keen to know what is causing it to fail with Win11. Attached are 2 copies of the answer files that I tried (saved with extension renamed to txt)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * Corsair Vengeance 32 GB 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    eVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0 (04G-P4-3979-KB)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 * Lenovo LT2323pwA Widescreeen
    Screen Resolution
    2* 1920*1080
    Hard Drives
    3x Sabrent Rocket PCIe Gen4 NVMe M.2 1 TB SSD (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB)
    SanDisk Ultra SDSSDHII-960G-G25 960 GB SATA III SSD
    Crucial MX100 CT256MX100SSD1 256GB SATA III SSD
    2 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM --> RAID1
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 x64 Pro build 21H1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryvill 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
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    Dell
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    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master (shared) | Dell TouchPad
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    Dell
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    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex
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    Edge Chromium | Chrome | Firefox Nightly | Brave
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