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I know that this question is replied thousand times but,
I change Desktop folder of my Windows XP by Regedit, from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders I change "Desktop" value to "C:\MynewDesktop"

Then I close regedit, go back to my desktop an I press F5. I take this error:

c:\Myfancydesktop is unknown location. It may be in hard disk or in network.

The error gives the folder name of my old desktop. But I deleted that folder.

I reopen regedit and check for Desktop key. I see that value is empty. So how can I change my desktop folder in XP?

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3 Answers

I change Desktop folder of my Windows XP by Regedit, from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders I change "Desktop" value to "C:\MynewDesktop"

That is the wrong key. You should not modify the values in Shell Folders, you should modify them in User Shell Folders. When you boot, Windows reads the values in User Shell Folders, expands any environment variables, then copies them to Shell Folders.

Then I close regedit, go back to my desktop an I press F5. I take this error:

c:\Myfancydesktop is unknown location. It may be in hard disk or in network.

The error gives the folder name of my old desktop. But I deleted that folder.

Because you need to reboot (or log out and back in) for the new value to take effect (assuming you modify the correct value of course).

I reopen regedit and check for Desktop key. I see that value is empty.

Because Explorer over-wrote it.

So how can I change my desktop folder in XP?

Edit the Desktop value under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders. You can use environment variables there, just make sure to leave it as a REG_EXPAND_SZ.

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You should change path to new folder here as well:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Read for more: How to redirect special folders in Windows XP?

And I strongly recommend you to install that TweakXP tool for doing such things using pretty UI, not manually)

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I have not experienced any trouble with this so far but what I did with my installation was to search the registry for the 'keyword', say, "Desktop", and then changed every occurrence of that key to the folder I want. You'll figure it out. Because some keys have redundant entries and changing one will not update the other if the other is not linked to the other.

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