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Change Default directory of Documents and Settings?

So I'm getting a little sick of the ridiculous home folder organization in Windows XP. I absolutely can't stand the name "My Documents" and I don't like putting my other main folders under that.

So this XP install around I put all my stuff in C:\Documents and Settings\Nathaniel and set the "My Documents" folder to Nathaniel\Documents, which of course messes with Explorer navigation with that folder (go to My Documents. Gah, I can't go up!).

Are there any ways in general to make the WinXP personal folder structure just less dumb? If only I were using *nix; the glories of /home!

(I know this is a little subjective, but... help!)

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marked as duplicate by quack quixote, Arjan, Ivo Flipse Feb 26 '10 at 8:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

+1! This is one of the biggest reasons I switched to Linux! – marcusw Feb 26 '10 at 1:26
I know this is much easier to change on Windows Vista and 7, but I'm not sure if there's a clean way to do it in XP. Good luck! – Sasha Chedygov Feb 26 '10 at 1:28
sounds like medication might be needed :-p – Antony Feb 26 '10 at 1:54
duplicate:… .. related:… .. i'm sure there are more – quack quixote Feb 26 '10 at 3:22
Close or CW, do you think? – Nathaniel Feb 26 '10 at 4:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

TweakUI lets you change which directories are for documents, music, video, and picures. I did this for a while: I moved the music, pictures, and videos folders into the root of my profile rather than within the documents folder, and removed the "My" prefix from all of them. It works pretty well, but occasionally you find software that doesn't deal with it properly because internally the programmer used hard-coded folder names.

You can also change just the "My Documents" folder without any software by right-clicking on it and choosing "Properties", then clicking "Move".

You can't rename "Documents and Settings", but you can create a junction point from C:\Users which maps to C:\Documents and Settings. That way you can use the short or long version.

To have a system that natively uses, e.g., C:\Users rather than C:\Documents and Settings requires a new unattended installation. The setting in the answer file (Winnt.sif) you're interested in is:

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Genius thinking with the junction point! – Nathaniel Feb 26 '10 at 4:07


Using Folder Redirector utility to redirect special folders in Windows XP

Folder Redirector can be used to relocate the special folders to a different path. This utility can relocate the following shell folders:

Desktop, Favorites, My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, Send To, Shared Documents, Shared Music, Shared Pictures, Shared Video, Start Menu, Startup, Temporary Internet Files, Common Startup, Common Desktop.

enter image description here

Folder Redirector is freeware and portable (no installation required).

... of course you can also change the path of 'special folders' in the registry.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders]
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Profile Relocator

is a step-based application that allows the re-locating of the Windows Users profile directory. Once re-located, any created profiles will appear in the new location in their entirety. The advantage to doing this allows profiles to be stored in a location that doesn't reside on the system drive, ensuring that profile data isn't compromised as a result of re-installation or system failure.

Profile Relocator has been designed to work with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

More info and discussion at Lifehacker- Profile Renamer.

Haven't tried it, but may do in a few days. I'd be interested to hear how well it works.

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