Background I have downloaded and installed the clients for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive on my laptop. I am running Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. I save a lot of documents to my desktop and to my documents folder, and would like for these folders to be automatically saved on one of these services. For this example, let's pick SkyDrive.

Question 1 What is the best way to do this? Should I simply point my desktop folder to a new folder within my SkyDrive folder?

Question 2 If so, what is the best way to do that? I found another question that addresses this problem for Windows Vista, but am unsure if this is the best solution here.

Question 3 How would I do this for my desktop? Would changing my desktop folder location cause problems elsewhere in the operating system?


Depending on the tool you use, it may be as simple as telling the tool to watch your desktop folder. Done. Not all of them do that, however.

Dropbox, for example, does not. What I would recommend is symlinking your Desktop folder into your Dropbox folder in this situation. Symlinking is a way to tell the filesystem that a specific file or folder is really another file or folder on your drive.

mklink /D "C:\Users\Your User\DropBox\Desktop\" "C:\Users\Your User\Desktop\"

This is the same as saying "My folder at DropBox\Desktop really is just my desktop folder." Windows takes care of all this, so if an application (like DropBox) tries to browse through the folder, it won't even know that windows is translating the paths for it.

Using this method allows you to more or less leave your desktop folder alone. Some programs don't like it if you move your desktop folder, and if you move your desktop into your DropBox and then decide to uninstall dropbox or use a different tool to back up / sync the contents, you have to move everything around again. With this method, you can simply just remove the symlink, or even have multiple sync services backing up your desktop at the same time (you can link multiple virtual folders to the same real folder at the same time).

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    Not recommended for people with just a free Dropbox account and lots of stuff on their desktop, such as downloaded installation files or videos :P Either way, +1. I was gonna suggest this – Canadian Luke Jun 18 '12 at 18:38
  • (+1) Thanks for the help! Do you know if this is possible with SkyDrive? If so, could you advise me on how to do it? I bought 100 gigs from SkyDrive (it's the cheapest of the three) so would prefer to use them. – Alexander Jun 18 '12 at 18:57
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    @Alexander : Exactly the same except change the DropBox to SkyDrive – Martheen Cahya Paulo Jun 18 '12 at 19:03
  • Ok, this might be a silly question, but where do I type the code given in the answer above? – Alexander Jun 18 '12 at 19:53
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    @Alexander You enter it into an elevated (Right Click -> Run as administrator) command prompt. mklink is a built-in which creates symlinks, /D tells it to create a directory instead of a file, The 2nd argument is the place to create the link, and the 3rd argument is where the link should point to. Details – Darth Android Jun 18 '12 at 21:55

Windows allows changing the location of user folders, including the Desktop and Documents folders.

  1. In File Explorer, Right-click the Desktop/Documents folder under Quick Access and click Properties.
  2. Switch to the Location tab, and click the Move button.
  3. Open up the folder you want to use, (in your case the Dropbox folder), click Select Folder, and Apply your changes.
  4. If you see a dialog asking “Do you want to move all of the files from the old location to the new location?”, click Yes to move all files to the new location.

If everything is done correctly, your desktop should display the contents of your Dropbox folder.

Source: Into Windows

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