How to Move the Special Folders in Windows Vista

This article describes how to move the special folders in Windows® Vista.

Moving the special folders

Windows Vista lets you easily relocate the shell folder paths for Documents, Music and Pictures folder via the Properties page. Cut and Paste (in the destination folder or drive) commands should actually relocate the folders automatically. But here are two other ways you can move the special folders.

Create the destination folder first. Click the Start button, right-click the special folder (Documents, Music, or Pictures) and choose Properties.

In the Location tab, click Move and select the target folder. Click Apply.

Click Yes when you’re prompted to move the files to new location, and click OK.

The shell folder is now moved to the new location.

Method 2: Using Registry Editor

To accomplish this using Registry editor, create the destination folder where you want to relocate the shell folder, and then follow these steps:

Click Start, Run and type Regedit.exe

For per-user special folders for your user account, navigate to the following location:

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

For per-system special folders, navigate to the following location:

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

Double-click the corresponding shell folder name

Change the Value data accordingly, mentioning the destination path

Close Regedit.exe

Default shell folder paths – Listing

Per-User special folders

Value name (Special folder)

Value data
Cache%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files
Local AppData%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local
My Pictures%USERPROFILE%\Pictures
My Video%USERPROFILE%\Videos
Nethood%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
PrintHood%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
Programs%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Start Menu%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Startup%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Per-System special folders

Value name (Special folder)

Value data
Common AppData%ProgramData%
Common Desktop%PUBLIC%\Desktop
Common Documents%PUBLIC%\Documents
Common Programs%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Common Start Menu%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Common Startup%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Common Templates%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

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