StepsHow to Change the Default Location of User Folders in Windows


Windows allows you to change the location of many folders found under "This PC" or "My Computer" like the Pictures folder, the Documents folder, the Desktop folder, the Screenshots folder, and many more.

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  • Windows 8/10 OS

Tools and commands used

  • %HomeDrive%\%UserProfile%
  • Windows Key
  • E button
  • Right-Click
  • Folder Properties
  • Location Tab

Step 1: Open User's Profile (%HomeDrive%\%UserProfile%)

In order to change the folders' locations, you will first need to open the current user profile folder. There are two different ways to do it. You can either open the file explorer then go to drive C: then open the Users folder and finally open your user folder.
Another way is to go directly to your user folder. To do this press:

Windows Key + E Buttons
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This will open the File Explorer window. Type the following in the address bar of File Explorer:


This will ensure that you open the actual location of your user folder instead of a "Quick access" location when using only %UserProfile% alone, where sometimes it shows duplicate folders.

Step 2: Open up the folder properties (right-click on folder name)

To change the location, choose one of the folders shown. Please note that you cannot change some of folders' location. Those folders include AppData and other folders created by other programs.

Let's pick one of the folders. For example lets start with the Desktop folder.
Right click on the folder and click on Properties as shown below:

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This will open the Desktop Properties.

Step 3: Click on the Location Tab

To change the location, click on the tab called "Location" as shown below:

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Step 4: Click on "Move" to change old location to the new one

From the location tab, click on Move to choose a new location or type the new location as shown below:

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Now click on Apply or OK to move the folder from old location to new one.
If the folder does not exist, windows will prompt you if you would like to accept creating it.
Windows will also prompt you if you want to move all of the files from old location to the new one. Choose Yes to continue. If you choose No, the new folder will be created and the location will be changed, but the old files will stay in the old location.

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