Error “The folder can’t be moved here” for Documents and Pictures Folders, Caused by OneDrive

If you’ve OneDrive options set to save documents and pictures in OneDrive, instead of This PC, the shell folders Documents, Pictures, and its three sub-folders Saved Pictures, Camera Roll, Screenshots, are redirected to the OneDrive folder.

With this setting on, the user can’t use the Location tab in the special folder properties to move them or restore the default location. In doing so, Access is deniedThe folder can’t be moved here error would appear.

(This article was last reviewed in Sep 2020 and the steps are verified to work in Windows 10 v 2004.)

Also, any file save operations for documents and pictures are redirected to OneDrive’s Documents and Pictures folders respectively. And, the screenshots taken using WinKey + PrintScr are now saved to the OneDrive\Pictures\Screenshots folder.



The Quick access links for Documents and Music now point to OneDrive’s Documents and Music. To revert to the default location, change your settings in OneDrive.

How to Restore the Default Paths for Special Folders

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the Notification area and click Settings.
  2. Select the Backup tab, and click Manage Backup.
    onedrive folder direction stop backup
  3. In the Manage folder backup dialog, click on the Stop backup link under the special folder (Desktop, Documents, or Pictures)
    onedrive folder direction stop backup
  4. Click Stop backup in the confirmation dialog that appears.
    onedrive folder direction stop backup
    onedrive folder direction stop backup
  5. Repeat the same for the other shell folders if required.

Important: When you stop backing up a folder, the files that were already backed up by OneDrive stay in OneDrive. If you no longer want those files in OneDrive, you’ll need to move them manually to a local folder on your computer. Any new files you add to that folder on your PC won’t be backed up by OneDrive.

This resets the default shell folder paths for Documents, Desktop, and Pictures.

Still Doesn’t work?

If the above method doesn’t help, you may need to edit the registry to reset the folder paths. Visit page default special folder paths, and download the registry fix #3 and run it, or to fix it manually, refer table #3 in the same article.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

10 thoughts on “Error “The folder can’t be moved here” for Documents and Pictures Folders, Caused by OneDrive”

  1. What about Music files? And oh by the way, the screens you showed must now be obsolete, because that’s NOT what’s coming up on my Windows 10 when I went to one drive and clicked on ‘settings”!

    Reply
    • @Marilyn: You can now go to settings and click on Backup > Manage Backup and Stop backing up the Desktop, Pictures, and Documents.

  2. There is no option for me to stop backup for photos. It shows the same screen but without the link under “Pictures” and it does not say “Files backed up”. However my pictures folder is still located at my onedrive and I’m not sure what to do from here

    Reply
    • I´m not sure if you still need it, but I found a way to solve this issue. I had the same problem you did and managed to fix it by first creating said backup for the photos, and then the option to stop backup will show.
      Hope it helps!

  3. Fantastic — this was EXACTLY the guidance I needed, solving the issue without needing to do anything drastic, such as uninstalling OneDrive (which I need for work) or hacking the Registry! Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Yipee ! This finally fixed it! Thanks so much. The evil empire had to work pretty hard to make it so complicated. I guess they really, really want all my information on their servers.

    Reply
  5. I have been fighting with One Drive since I got my computer a few months ago. They have finally taken every picture and document I have. Idon’t have any pictures or documents left.

    I rely on my photos for my income and I have searched One Drive and they have put them somewhere else, I think, I found a storage place that they are using, but I don’t have anyway to get through to them or get them back.

    I am so disgusted with Microsoft and One Drive. I am finally glad to know what has happened with my photos and documents.

    I will seek further help.

    Thanks to my fellow consumers for your input into these issues.

    Reply

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