I just bought a new computer with Windows 10 with a smaller SSD and a larger HDD. All the official folders, such as Documents, are on the SSD (inside a OneDrive folder, but I think that's just for looks?), but that drive isn't big enough. I'd like to move those folders "officially" to the HDD. I also want to start using OneDrive for the first time and have OneDrive backup those same folders, so I also need to change the settings in OneDrive to switch to these folders.

I've found instructions online to move one or the other (i.e., Documents or OneDrive), but for some reason, I can't find a single set of instructions that takes into both at once. I'm nervous that I could mess something up if I just follow each set of instructions separately, and I'm not 100% sure in which order to do what. Also, am I required to use a OneDrive folder to hold the individual folders (e.g., Documents)?

Instructions: Change the location of your OneDrive folder


Instructions: How to Move Your Documents Folder Location in Windows 10

These instructions almost seem like they incorporate OneDrive, as step 1 does mention turning off OneDrive. But, it's never mentioned again. And, I get the feeling there has to be an overall OneDrive folder, and these instructions don't do anything with that as they just create a Documents folder not inside a OneDrive folder.


UPDATE: Since there were no answers within a couple days from anyone who had done this successfully, I went ahead and tried my best guess. It was difficult as I was concerned and I am still trying to figure things out. The procedure I tried:

  1. Unlink OneDrive
  2. Move OneDrive folder to new location (which contains Desktop, Documents, Pictures)
  3. Move individual Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to reference the new location. This failed. I get "Can't move the folder because there is a folder in the same location that can't be redirected. Access is denied." Actually, Desktop worked, but Documents and Pictures failed.

I found this link which apparently means I have to update registry keys, which is exactly what I was hoping to avoid.

2 Answers 2


I was able to get this to work largely by following the two sets of instructions I linked above. However, those combined are missing a key first step:

  1. Go into OneDrive settings under Backup > Manage backup and click "Stop backup" for each of the three folders, Desktop, Documents, Pictures.

This step has to be done first. Once you unlink your OneDrive account, it's no longer possible to change this setting. And, at least for me, before I stopped the backups, I got the following error when I tried to move my individual Documents and Pictures folders:

Can't move the folder because there is a folder in the same location that can't be redirected. Access is denied.

As far as how I combined the steps, after unlinking my account, I went to the desired location and created a new OneDrive folder. Inside of that, I created Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. I then individually moved each of Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders (by right clicking the originals, going to Properties, and changing the Location). Then, I started OneDrive back up again and made sure to "Change location", as in the instructions above, to select the new OneDrive folder I had created. This was a little wonky, as it ended up creating a new OneDrive folder inside of the OneDrive folder I created, but I just deleted the inner one and it seems to be working.


In this particular case I would start with the “Documents” Folder and then do the OneDrive Folder. As you have to re-reference the OneDrive folder by setting it up anew completely there is no obvious reason why it shouldn’t work. I personally don’t use OneDrive but I have some other cloud service set up, and I also moved the “Downloads” folder to another drive, and it works perfectly.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .