Right now the files on the desktop are located in C:\Users\Joseph\Desktop. So when I go to that folder in Windows Explorer and create a new text document, it would appear on my desktop.

What I need is something like this: I want the files on my desktop to be in another folder (let's say C:\Desktop).

Is this possible?

(Windows 32-Bit Vista Home Premium SP 2)


2 Answers 2


Yes, it's possible and actually very easy to do.

This feature is very useful if you want to separate user data from the OS and store the user data on a separate drive or partition thus having minimal need for backups when reinstalling Windows.

All you need to do is go to C:\Users\Joseph

From there just right click the Desktop Folder, go to Properties and then the Location Tab. You will see the path in a textbox, all you need to do is replace it with C:\Desktop

enter image description here

  • 1
    Heys I was wondering how do I do this from the Control Panel, or rather, how do I do this without having to scroll to the desktop folder and right click it?
    – Pacerier
    Oct 14, 2011 at 16:02
  • There's probably a registry location that sets this, which the property sheet above is changing. Apr 11, 2016 at 6:46

Using this trick one can easily change the target folder for many personal directories including the desktop:

  1. Don't forget to create a backup before changing anything.
  2. Open the Registry editor (Regedit.exe)
  3. Browse to the location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders.
  4. In the right window pane select the required value (i.e. Desktop).
  5. Insert the new location for the folder to be stored.
  6. Close the registry editor.
  7. Move the files in the old desktop folder to new location.
  8. Log off and sign in again.

I have only tested this on Windows 10 but should work on some older versions, too.

  • 3
    This answer saved me. I moved my desktop folder to another disc, and could not use the easy solution, because my desktop folder did not exist.
    – MarthyM
    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:50
  • 1
    Here is this guide on Microsoft support. Mar 24, 2021 at 8:31

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