By default, the My Documents folder is located in Windows XP and Windows Vista is in the same drive or partition as the operating system. This is fine for anyone who has a single drive or a single partition on their computers, such as drive C, but if you have more than one physical drive or logic on your computer, it is best to move your My Documents folder from the drive to the system.
In Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the situation is a bit different. In Windows 7, it has libraries, which are virtual folders that are basically linked to other folders that can be located anywhere. In addition, as of Windows 7, in addition to the My Documents folder, you also have the My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, and Downloads folders. In Windows 8, the names were simply changed to Documents, Images, Music, Videos, and Downloads.
That means that in Windows 7 / 8.1, you must manually change the location of each of these system folders if you want to move them. In Windows XP, all other folders were inside the My Documents folder. I prefer the configuration in Windows 7 / 8.1 because normally I do not need to move all the folders in the system, only one or two.
Then you could ask yourself why I would recommend this? These are the two main reasons why I moved the My Documents folder:
1. Free a precious space on the hard drive of the system partition: with all the monthly updates for Office and Windows, my C disk was getting close to filling up! In addition, other system files, such as the paging file, the system restore files, and the hibernation files, are stored in the system partition. Once I moved the data, I gave Windows the space that took up the most space to live and breathe.
2. Backup and recovery of easy data in case Windows crashes: the best reason to move the My Documents folder is to help protect your data better. For example, if Windows crashes one day and you have to perform a reinstall, all your data will be lost if you did not have a backup. However, if your data is in drive D, for example, and your Windows partition is deployed, you can reinstall a new copy of Windows in drive C and the rest of your data will remain intact.
Of course, this will not save your data if the hard drive fails physically and your My Documents folder is in the same drive, only in a different partition, but there have been many times in my time when Windows has become unusable due to Virus, spyware or another type of calamity.
Using Libraries in Windows 7/8.1
Before going into the real steps to move the different folders of the system in Windows, let’s talk about the libraries since they are a pretty good solution for most people. Instead of physically moving the system folders to another location, you can simply move your data where you want and then add that folder to one of the special libraries: Documents, Music, Images, Video.
To add a folder to a library, just go to the folder you want to add, right click on it, choose to Include in the library and then choose the library to which you want to add the folder.
This does not copy or move the contents of that folder to the library, it simply creates a shortcut to the folder, but it will not be seen as a shortcut. It seems that the folder is actually located in that folder, where in fact it could be on a totally different disk.
You can even include folders in network locations in a library, but you must first make it available offline. To do that, simply right click on the folder and choose Always available offline. Once you have synchronized the folder with your local computer, you can right-click again and you will see the option Include in the library.
In Windows 8.1, Microsoft suddenly hid the function of libraries for no apparent reason, although it still exists. Then, instead of viewing the Libraries in the menu on the left in the Explorer, you will see This PC with links to the system folders (Documents, Images, etc.).
To retrieve the libraries in Windows 8.1, click the View tab and then click on the Navigation Pane. Then click on the checkbox next to Show Libraries.
As I mentioned earlier, using libraries is a good alternative in case you do not want to move a lot of data from your current locations.
Move My Documents in Windows 7/8.1
The process for moving the system folders in Windows 7 / 8.1 is the same for both operating systems. In Windows 7, you must click on your user folder on the desktop or navigate to C: \ Users \ UserName to see the system folders. If you do not see the user’s folder on your desktop, right click on the desktop, choose to Personalize and then click Change desktop icons. There you can check the box of User Files.
As mentioned above, in Windows 8.1, simply click on This PC in the menu on the left and you will see the system folders. Then right click on the folder you want to move and choose Properties.
Click on the Location tab and then click on the Move button. Choose a destination for the folder and Windows will start moving everything to the new location.
Move My Documents Folder in Windows XP
In Windows XP, the process is very similar to the previous one, but you only have to do it for one folder instead of several folders. Right click on the My Documents folder on your desktop and choose Properties.
2. Click Move and choose the desired location for your My Documents folder. Remember, if possible, it would be better to move it to a different PHYSICAL unit. If not, move it to a different partition at least.
3. Click OK and then click Apply. You will be asked if you want to move all current documents to the new location or not. Choose Yes
And that is! Your documents will be moved to the new location and when you click on the My Documents icon on your desktop, it will open as before. If you have any questions, post a comment. Enjoy!