Moving user library folders to different drive


NavyLCDR

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There has been some confusion and requests for more information about moving user library folders such as Documents from C:\Users to a different drive, such as D: . I am starting this thread to present how to do this using the Location tab of folder properties with results shown. This will be a new install of Windows 10 Home, with 2 users. My user was created at the time of the install and is my Microsoft Account, administrator, of course. SecondUser is a local account with only standard user privileges. For this example, I am going to move Documents libraries to individual user folders on D: drive, and those folders will have limited permissions so only those users can access their respective folders. I am going to move the Music libraries of both users to a common Music folder on D: drive so all users can access it.

Note: to begin with, One Drive is disabled and has never been enabled. I had issues moving One Drive library folders and I'm going to tackle that and add posts to this thread when I figure that out.

Note2: I know there are other ways of moving user data files to a different drive. I am not really interested in discussing those other methods. I picked the Location tab method because I wanted some files to have reserved access and some files to have all user access.
 
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NavyLCDR

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So here is the usual Users folder for my user that is from the email address I entered for my Microsoft account:

Capture1.jpg

This is the properties for the Documents library under This PC:

Capture2.jpg

I typed in the new location I wanted to move the library to in the box. If you click the "Move..." button, you get a file explorer view that will let you select a pre-existing folder. I had no folders yet, so I typed in where I wanted it, click Apply, and get the create folder window:

Capture3.jpg

When I click Apply, I get the move folder window, and click on Yes:

Capture4.jpg

Then I do the same for the Music library under This PC:

Capture5.jpg

After moving the libraries above, they are automatically removed from Users. Note I did nothing in the Users folder. For the next user, I will do the moves from the User folder. It does not matter where you do the move from - as long as the folder you want to move has a Location tab in Properties. I can move all of the folders below:

Capture6.jpg

Here are the permissions assigned to the new folders. Notice the moved libraries have library icons rather than standard folder icons:

Permissions.jpg
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
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    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
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NavyLCDR

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Here I am logged in as the SecondUser. This is just a standard, local user, not administrator:

Capture9.jpg

Notice, that I am now in the Users folder. I'm moving the folders within the Users folder the same way:

Capture10.jpg

Moving the Music folder from Users to the pre-existing Music folder on D: drive. Any music files in this folder would be added to those already in the D:\Music folder.

Capture11.jpg

Notice that the properties for the library folders under This PC has changed to reflect the new location of the folder that was moved from Users:

Capture12.jpgCapture13.jpg

And here are the new permissions set for SecondUser's folders on D: drive:

Permissions2.jpg
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
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NavyLCDR

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Next I'll work on moving library folders with One Drive enabled. Stay tuned!
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
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NavyLCDR

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If you have OneDrive enabled, you will need to turn off OneDrive backup before you can move your library folders. Right click on the OneDrive Icon on the task bar and select settings, click on the Backup tab, and then click on Manage Backup button.

Capture1.jpg

For each library folder that you want to move, click on Stop Backup and go through the screens to stop backup.

Capture2.jpg

Once you have backups stopped, just click the X in the upper right to close the window.

Capture3.jpg

Your library folder will now return to C:\Users\Username\Documents (Desktop, Pictures, Etc.) and you can now use the first steps of this tutorial to move them to a different location.
 

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Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!

DougR

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Windows 11
Glad to see this is an issue for a number of folks.

I have a new Lenovo desktop AIO with SDD and HDD. The system was configured to put everything on the small (256 GB) SDD, so I tried to change the location of my libraries from C: to D:.

I made a mess of it and now want to get back to the starting point. (For example, the Pictures library now contains the D: drive - so it really is a mess.) However, when I try to "restore defaults" I get "failed to build the list of regular subdirectories under "D:\System \Volume Information" as an error message. I am guessing something in the Registry went awry.

Any advice on how to get out of this mess of my own making?

Thanks,

Doug
 

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