How To Move My Documents Folder To A Different Drive

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how-to-move-my-documents-to-a-different-drive Does “˜My Documents’ sound like a contradiction in terms? In Vista, we impersonally call it Documents but do we really pay attention to this folder which is one of the most important ones in our system? Of course, it is not the only folder we have. But it usually is the default one called by the system when it needs to save something. And here lies its value as a time saver or its Achilles Heel – it depends on the way we manage it.

My Documents is the common folder which by default stores all our personal data i.e. our document files, music, movies, downloads and photos. Within it has the My Music, My Videos and a My Pictures folder to stash a particular file type. So it pays to deal with it like an important filing cabinet and not as a junk drawer.

Over time this folder becomes the “˜Big Daddy’ of all folders. Our personal data storehouse thus needs to be handled well and safeguarded from a digital disaster. It can be done by simply moving it to a safer backup location. In this article we are going to show you how to move the My Documents to a different drive.

There are two serious reasons to do this with immediate effect.

  1. Imagine that all your precious documents, photos and sundry other files are organized beautifully in this folder on the system partition (commonly the C Drive). Imagine a system crash. Imagine the loss of never able to recover that data. And now imagine a simple step which could have saved the day.
  2. The usual good word is to partition your hard disk into multiples with a minimum size kept for the system drive. With time My Documents will fatten up as more data is stashed away in it. Moving the folder to a different drive saves space and more importantly safeguards it.

How To Move My Documents Folder in Windows XP

  1. Right click on the My Documents icon on the desktop.
  2. move my documents folder in windows xp

  3. Click on Move and choose your chosen location for the folder. Move it to a different partition. For instance, I have it on my D Drive.
  4. how to move my documents folder xp

  5. Click Apply and then Ok. A prompt will ask whether you want to move all of the current documents to the new location or not. Choose Yes. All your documents are switched to the new location and it’s all like before except now they are safer from a system crash.
  6. These are the elementary steps which will save you a ton of bother at a future date.

How To Move My Documents Folder in Vista

There is a slight change in Vista as the My Documents has given way to a Documents folder. The default location for this folder is C:Users[username]Documents where [username] is your Windows Vista username and C Drive is the default installation drive. Vista creates Documents folder for each User profile on the computer and stores it in the appropriate profile folder. The process to change the location is relatively same,

  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. Right-click on Document. For multiple users click your account name in the right-hand menu. Select Properties.
  3. In the Properties dialog select the Location tab.
  4. Next, click on Move. In the Destination dialog select the new location for your Documents folder. Click on Select Folder to return to the Properties dialog. The new location appears in the text box.
  5. how to move my documents folder

  6. Click on Ok. Vista prompts you to confirm again and with a Yes click your task is done as the documents get shifted over to the new location.
  7. how to move my documents folder in vista

The brief tutorial might be simplicity itself and experienced users might even scoff at it. But I have seen many neglect this fundamental step of data backup. And isn’t it true that the small things we take for granted are sometimes taken away from us. With few uncomplicated steps, at least it won’t be the documents in our My Documents folder.

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Have there been times when you have found movinf My Document folder to a different drive a lifesaver? Or have overlooked it to your loss?

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Comments (23)
  • Jeff

    Thanks for the Windows 7 link. Very helpful and I have implemented this. However, all the folders for My documents, My Pictures, and My Videos got duplicated in the My Music Folder as well as separately. I don’t think these are copies, but seem to be pointing to the same file. I started with My Music, and all the other ‘My’ folders I mentioned above are under My Music as well. Is there a way to fix this?

    • Saikat

      Finding it difficult to understand from here what exactly went wrong. All the ‘My’ Folders got duplicated in the ‘My Music Folder’?

      Right click the folders in question and check the ‘Set Save Location’ and ‘Include Folders’ options once again. Maybe, there’s an error there.

  • Jeff

    can you update this post for Windows 7?

  • Anonymouse


    “And what’s more: you can even move the desktop folder! This is really useful, since most of the people like to keep their stuff there instead of My Documents.”


    I prefer XP though since Vista disappointed me several times with no solutions available on Google or forums. In XP I moved the desktop to another partition by simply cut pasting it. Transferring all clutters to another partition sped up my XP like new.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    One option people might want to consider: where you can get 2 free GB’s of synchronized, online storage (can grow to 5 free GB’s based on referrals you sign up … there are paid plans after that. Comes with a dropbox application which seamlessly integrates into Windows Explorer, making that online dropbox just another drive, albeit remote, on your computer. You can also share folders you create with other invited users and collaborate on … whatever. So, it’s not a lot of space (at least free space), but then … you can also set up multiple accounts (With different email addresses) … and with some selective backups of important files, folders, etc., it’s a cheap way to get some remote protection of stuff you just would not want to lose.

  • Smapdi

    RE: andy
    “This information is considered pointless by authorities as when a hard drive crashes”

    Then move it to a different drive entirely or a network drive, which is the reason this ability is built into windows in the first place.

    I feel sorry for the author. A bunch of people screw up their documents path becasue they are clueless and blame him for it.

    Only if the authorities had been around to save us from this carnage.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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