Change Personal Folders Location By Using Registry (Windows 8, 7 & Vista)

In Windows Vista and latest Operating Systems (Windows 7, 8 & 10) all user files are stored –by default- under several Personal folders (Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Music, Videos, Pictures, etc.), at the following location on the main disk (OS disk): C:\Users\<USERNAME>\.

In the case that your personal files exceeds main disk's limits and you have an additional drive or partition on your system with enough free space, then you can move your files from your main disk into the additional drive by using the "Move" feature, but If you have problems when using the "Move" feature, then you can use Windows Registry to set a different location for your personal folders.

The Personal Folders settings –per user- are stored at the following registry key:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Change Personal Folders Location in Registry


Below you can find the default path (location on your disk) for every User Shell folder:

{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
Desktop  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
Favorites  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
My Music   –>   %USERPROFILE%\Music
My Pictures  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Pictures
My Video  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Videos
Personal  –>   %USERPROFILE%\Documents
Programs  –>   %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Start Menu  –>   %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Startup  –>   %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Note: The %USERPROFILE% variable represents the path to the user's profile folder. (C:\Users\<User Name>\)

In this tutorial you can find detailed instruction on how to change the location of any personal folder (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, Videos) to a different location (drive) on your computer.

How to Change the Default location of any Personal Folder from Registry.

Notice: This procedure doesn't work on Windows 10.

In order to redirect the Save location of a personal folder, by using registry, then:

1. At the additional drive (or partition) create the folder(s) that you want to use as the new location.

2. Open Registry Editor: To do that:

  • Simultaneously press “Windows” + “R” keys to open the RUN window.
  • In “RUN” window “Open” box,  type: regedit
  • Press Enter.

open registry editor


3. Navigate to this key:

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

4. At the right pane right-click at the personal folder that you want to change it's default location and select Modify. *

* Note: If you cannot find the folder that you want to change its location on the list, then:

1. Right click on a empty space (at the right pane) and then select New –> Expandable String Value.


set folder location registry


2. Type the name of the folder* that you want to change it's default location.

* For example if you want to change the location of "Documents" folder then type "Personal" (without quotes).

move folder location registry


5. Now at the value data box, type exactly the new path (location) for the selected folder (e.g."E:\Backup\Documents") and click OK.

change default folder location in registry


6. Close Registry Editor.

redirect folder location


7. Restart your computer and you 're done!

Notice: You must manually move the contents (if you want) from the old location to the new location.


That’s all! Did it work for you?

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