How To: Move User Folders (Favorites, Documents…etc.) to a new location on Windows

Every Windows user has stumbled across the Windows user folders – Desktop, Downloads, Favorites, Pictures, Music and so on -, at least by accident. While you can always store content in these folders at their default locations, you can also move them wherever you see fit.

User folders are created by modern Windows editions for each user account, and the default location for them is “C:\Users\Username“. As a result, you can open them by navigating in Explorer to the system drive (usually “C”) and double click on the Users folder to open it. There, simply select the folder named by your user account and you’ll be able to see them.

File Explorer - This PC

Windows 8 and Windows 10 offer even easier access to user folders. If you open File Explorer and select “This PC” the most commonly accessed user folders will be displayed in the main window under the ‘Folders’ section, as well as on the tree-based sidebar navigation.

Note: These shortcuts are not available in Windows 7, but you can still access your user folders by navigating to “C:\Users\Username”.

How to change the location of User Folders

You can move any User Folder to a different location on your computer’s hard drive and the process is quite simple.

Folder Properties

Go to “C:\Users\Username” (where ‘username’ is the name of your Windows user account) or open ‘This PC’ in File Explorer to view the most frequently used user folders and right-click on the one you want to move. Select ‘Properties‘.

Folder Properties - Location

In the Properties window, click on the ‘Location‘ tab. You can see the current location of the user folder (I used the Downloads folder for the purpose of this  guide). Select Move.

Move User Folder - Select a destination

The ‘Select a Destination’ window will appear. There you can navigate to the new location where you want to move the User Folder then click on the ‘Select Folder‘ button. The new location should now appear in the ‘Location‘ tab. Hit the OK button to apply the change and close it.

You’ll also be prompted if you want to move all the files from the old location to the new one. The best way to handle this is to click ‘Yes‘. This ensures you won’t end up with only some of the files moved and the others still in the old location.

Note: You can move a User Folder to almost any other folder or location on your computer, except another User Folder. This can cause problems such as the operating system not being able to distinguish the two folders and view them as the same one.