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Safely moving Windows 10 user folders.

Rice Pudding Enthusiast
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I got myself a new computer recently and it's the first time i have an m.2 nvme drive, but it's just 1 GB and I would like to have things that benefit from loading quickly from that one while having more long term storage things like documents, music files and such things on a slower ssd that i bought in 2016... while stil being able to use the convenient windows standard folders at least for "documents" and "downloads" to keep things more organized, rather than putting various folders all over various drives "e:\fetched stuff" "g:\downloaded files", "g:\downloaded files new 2018" etc.. which is a mess.
 

So i'd like to move things like "downloads" "my documents" "pictures" these baked-in windows folders, and I realize there is something special about these folders since they are not even called the same thing depending on where you are looking at them and in localized windows they are called "c:\user\..\downloads" but downloads will still show up as the localized translation in explorer.. and even with an english version it will still not show up correctly if you just try moving them

I tried this several years ago on my previous computer, then from the current "slow ssd" to and old style hard drive, ... but the same idea..

Anyway that time it really messed a lot of things up in windows i got double and triple folders for these showing up in windows explorer, sometimes with and sometimes without the localized names. So this time I want to make sure not to mess up my windows install when i do it, which is why I'm asking.
What i did back then was simply to move the folders frome one drive to another and then change any mention of them i could find in the registry editor from c:\user\name\downloads to e:\user\name\downloads, but that was clearly not enough.
Has anyone of you managed to do this without messing up windows and could you share how you did that?

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You can redirect the system Folders to a different drive using the registry. (Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders). Not sure what you did previously but this would to my knowledge be the way to go about that.

 

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Have you tried changing the location of the folders to the ones you copied like this? Right click on any of the folders(Documents, Downloads, etc) and then in the Location tab.

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I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL! Please, quote or mention people so they get a notification, please. pls let me know if i did something stupid

If I started a new shop, and named it "Shop", what would be your reaction? That's my reaction when people title their post as "Windows 11" or something shitty instead of something that actually describes what the thread is about. Only cool kids (dark mode users) can read this.

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17 minutes ago, RockSolid1106 said:

Have you tried changing the location of the folders to the ones you copied like this? Right click on any of the folders(Documents, Downloads, etc) and then in the Location tab.

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image.png.b80cc87146a99df1471401002ad1eb71.png

 

Thank you I never even noticed this option before! I'm too old thinking i need to mess with the registry and stuff. I tried it and it worked great with dowloads.

But... I tried that with pictures too (i went with that one as a test sacrifice, because i don't really use the pictures folder much anyway), and sure it did move, but i end up with two Pictures now, or there is a main Pictures, that has to sub- Picture folders under it next to eachother, both with the same icon and both called "Bilder" (localized translation) one of them links to OneDrive and one to the folder on the ssd..)
I'm thinking of maybe disabling and uninstalling onedrive before i try this with documents, if i even dare to, as I don't really understand get how onedrive works (i mean the way it's magically baked in to explorer) and it seems to have magic links to folders in ways that i don't understand how they work.
But at least now the downloads is moved and that's where a lot of stuff tends to stay and pile up in my case. (I'm a downloads hoarder, I probably wouldn't actually miss most 80% of the stuff i keep there but i can't bear to delete that old game of thrones map world map i downloaded in 2016 in case i want to look at it again, and moving it... unthinkable, then i might not find it ever again)
 

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