Fix Shell Folders Like Music and Videos Merged and Pointing to Same Folder

This post talks about a problem where two shell folders such as Music, Pictures, Videos or Documents getting combined or pointing to the same folder, showing up with the same name but different icons in Windows 10. And restoring the default location via the Location tab for one of the folders shows a similar warning as below.

Do you want to redirect folder "Music" into another system folder "Videos" located at "c:\users\{username}\videos"? If you proceed with redirection you will not be able to separate them or restore default location. Do you still want to proceed with redirection?

It looks like the special folders are already in a tangle, and using the Restore Default option or Move option might further complicate by merging them both.

Automate using REG file

To reset the shell folder values for items in table 1 & 2 below, download w10_usf_clear_override_hkcu.zip, unzip and run the enclosed registry file. Logoff and login back for the change to take effect.

To fix the Shell Folder Paths Manually

This can be easily resolved by deleting the overriding shell folder values in the user shell folders registry key here:

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

To fix the paths, open Regedit.exe and go to the User Shell Folders key, export the branch, then delete the appropriate value in the right pane.

Here is the list of GUIDs that are not present by default in the User Shell Folders key, in a clean Windows 10 installation. Delete the following values:

Value Name (Overrides)Shell folder whose path is Overridden
{3B193882-D3AD-4EAB-965A-69829D1FB59F}Saved Pictures
{AB5FB87B-7CE2-4F83-915D-550846C9537B}Camera Roll
{B7BEDE81-DF94-4682-A7D8-57A52620B86F}Screenshots
{F42EE2D3-909F-4907-8871-4C22FC0BF756}Local Documents
{7D83EE9B-2244-4E70-B1F5-5393042AF1E4}Local Downloads
{A0C69A99-21C8-4671-8703-7934162FCF1D}Local Music
{0DDD015D-B06C-45D5-8C4C-F59713854639}Local Pictures
{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}Local Videos

And set the following values after making sure that the registry value type is REG_EXPAND_SZ.

ValueData
Desktop%USERPROFILE%\Desktop
My Music%USERPROFILE%\Music
My Pictures%USERPROFILE%\Pictures
My Video%USERPROFILE%\Videos
Personal%USERPROFILE%\Documents
{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}%USERPROFILE%\Downloads

Logoff and login back. That should do it.

For default values for all Shell folders in Windows 10, refer post Windows 10 Shell Folders Restore Default Paths.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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