Windows 10 User Shell Folders Restore Default Paths

This post provides you the list of User Shell Folders in Windows 10 and their default paths. If you’ve moved or relocated a shell folder, in most cases you can restore it to the default location via the folder properties Location tab. There are cases the Location tab option can’t be used, such as two special folders (for example, Music and Videos) pointing to the same location, or clicking Restore Default causes an error. In such cases, resetting the path in the registry is the possible solution.

Shell Folder Defaults REG file Download

  1. w10_usf_defaults_hkcu.zip  – Windows 10 Shell Folder Reset defaults for HKCU
  2. w10_usf_defaults_hklm.zip  – Windows 10 Shell Folder Reset defaults for HKLM
  3. w10_usf_clear_override_hkcu.zip – Windows 10 Clear Override Values for HKCU (See Table 2)

* HKCU is short for HKEY_CURRENT_USER | HKLM is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

Shell Folder and Default Locations Reference

Per-User: For the current user account, the special folder paths are stored in the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Shell Folder Name / ValueLocation
{374DE290-123F-4565-
9164-39C4925E467B}
%USERPROFILE%\Downloads
AppData%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming
Cache%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache
Cookies%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCookies
Desktop%USERPROFILE%\Desktop
Favorites%USERPROFILE%\Favorites
History%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History
Local AppData%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local
My Music%USERPROFILE%\Music
My Pictures%USERPROFILE%\Pictures
My Video%USERPROFILE%\Videos
NetHood%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
Personal%USERPROFILE%\Documents
PrintHood%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
Programs%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
Recent%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
SendTo%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
Start Menu%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Startup%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Templates%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates

Note: {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} value represents the Downloads folder.

The following items do not exist in a clean install of Windows 10, but they add up only if you move them. If the following values exist, the location defined in the following values take precedence. In case of any conflict, the following values can be deleted so that the defaults are used. To clear or reset to defaults all of these values below, download w10_usf_clear_override_hkcu.zip. Logoff and login back for the change to take effect.

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

Per-System: The common special folder paths are stored in the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Shell Folder Name / ValueLocation
{3D644C9B-1FB8-4f30-9B45-F670235F79C0}%PUBLIC%\Downloads
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
CommonMusic%PUBLIC%\Music
CommonPictures%PUBLIC%\Pictures
CommonVideo%PUBLIC%\Videos

Note:

  • {3D644C9B-1FB8-4f30-9B45-F670235F79C0} value represents the (Public) Downloads folder.
  • For CommonMusic, CommonPictures, CommonVideo are single words with no space in them.

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.

1 thought on “Windows 10 User Shell Folders Restore Default Paths

  1. Thanks, it was driving me crazy. Documents and Pictures were pointing to OneDrive even if OneDrive was configured to save to This PC.

    The guilty registry keys were the ones with GUID name for Local Documents and Local Pictures had a path %USERPROFILE%\OneDrive\Documents. I removed OneDrive from the path and I could see again my local folder.

    During all this, I could see my local folder only through Libraries or by browsing directly to C:\Users\xxx\Documents.

    Thanks again.

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