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I am trying move the location of my laptop's Desktop folder from one location to another.

I had forgotten how to do this, so instead of changing the location via the Location tab in Properties I moved the files to a new location, then deleted the Desktop directory and created a new one. Then I realized I had done it wrong.

There's no option to change my new "Desktop" folder into a proper special Desktop folder so that the files show up on the desktop and treated like the desktop folder is supposed to. I think what I need to do is find a way to restore the canonical Desktop folder in explorer?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

Try these options:

  1. Go to C:\Users\<username> and see if a Desktop folder exists. If it does, then move it to the new location via the right-click -> Properties -> Location method.
  2. If you can't find your Desktop folder there, try going to shell:Desktop (from Explorer address bar or Start menu search field). If it works, move it as above.
  3. Check the Recycle Bin to see if the Desktop folder you deleted is still there. If it is, then restore it.
  4. If all above options fail, try the following:
    • open regedit
    • navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    • in the right-hand pane find the entry called Desktop
    • go to the folder it points to and move that to your new location
    • (alternatively, edit the entry directly to point to your new location, then log out and back in for the setting to take effect)
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