We all are quite familiar with the “My documents” folder of our Windows XP and Vista computers. It serves as a document vault which sophistically keeps our data safe from other users. Even in the newer version of Windows, you will see the My Documents folder in it, maybe in some different names. The default location of this folder is in system drive. Everything runs fine and you don’t have to look at the technical details unless your system encounters some glitches like the system-crash, and if this happens all your data in My Documents folder will be lost. Then what can we do to prevent the loss? The only answer is to change the location of My Documents folder. Today, our discussable topic is how can we change the default location of My Documents in Windows 10 as well as other versions of Windows. Let’s start our conversation in the order of Windows evolution.
In Windows XP and Vista, My Documents folder is there in the name of My Documents but things are quite different in Windows 7 and Windows 8. In Windows 7 there is ‘library’ instead of “My Documents”. You will find My Picture, My Videos, Documents, My Music and Downloads folders under Library which are basically virtual folders, means these folders can reside anywhere. Consequently, in Windows 8 the name got changed to simply Documents, Picture, Videos, Music, and Downloads. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, the libraries got a changed name to This PC. Don’t worry, these all are basically the same things in different names.
Why Should We Redirect The Location of “My Documents”
Redirecting “My Documents” folder will serve us to overcome two flaws and they are as follows:
Easy Backup and Recovery of Data in the Case of Windows Crash
The most important reason behind this recommendation is data protection. Suppose one day your Windows crash and you need to reinstall Windows, then all your data in that system partition would be lost. However, if those data were in a different partition, the data will remain intact. You can easily install a fresh copy of Windows without losing any data.
Increase Free Space in System Partition
Updates of Windows and Office consumes our precious space of system partition in a continuous measure. The more this space is occupied the more the response time of the PC increases and we experience a lag. We can’t do anything with this update files. By redirecting “My Documents” location we can generate some space and help the system to live and breathe.
How To Change Default Location of “My Documents” folder
Windows XP and Vista
Click on Start menu. Then point to My Documents Folder and right click on it. Select ‘Properties’ and point to the target tab. You will find an address bar displaying its location. You can either enter the location manually and click on ‘apply’ button if the folder does not exist then you will be prompted to create it or click on the move button which will provide you a destination window. Select the location where you desire to move your My Documents folder and click on apply button. A confirmation window will appear and you must click on yes to complete the procedure.
The procedure for redirecting the location of system folders in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are the same. On Windows 7, click on the user folder on desktop or simply navigate to “c:\user\UserName” ( if c: is the system installation drive). If your computer doesn’t show user folder on the desktop, just right-click on the desktop and select personalize > change desktop icon. There you will notice ‘user files’ box. Give a click and save the settings. Your user files will be visible on the desktop.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
Open the file explorer and click on ‘This PC’ on the left-hand menu, the system folders will become visible. Right click on the folder of your choice to move and select properties. Select the ‘Location’ tab and click on the ‘Move’ button. Choose a destination for the folder and Windows will start to move the folder to that location.
Every document has a priority level nailed to it. If you think that your my documents or libraries fall under this group, then change the default location of my documents folder. Even if your system crashes afterward, it will not be a big deal. You can also map my documents folder as a drive.