[Fix] Music, Pictures, Videos or Downloads Folders Merged Accidentally and Point to the Same Location

This post talks about a problem where two special folders such as Music, Pictures, Videos, or Documents get merged or combined and point to the same folder. Because the special or shell folders are merged, they show up with the same name but different icons.

Additionally, restoring the default location via the Location tab for one of the folders would show 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?

Or, the following error may occur:

Can’t move the folder because there is a folder in the same location that can’t be redirected

special folders merged in windows 10

Since the special folders have merged, using the Restore Default or Move option does not help.

This post tells you how to fix the user shell folder paths in the registry, if you’ve accidentally merged them.

[Fix] Music, Pictures, Videos or Downloads Folders Merged Accidentally

To fix the accidental merge of two special folders (e.g., like Music or Videos), use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Resetting the shell folder paths using a Registry fix

To reset the user shell folder registry values automatically to the factory default paths:

  1. Download w10_usf_clear_override_hkcu.zip.
  2. Unzip and run the enclosed registry file.
  3. Logoff and log back in for the change to take effect.

Method 2: Resetting the shell folder paths manually

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

  1. First, create a System Restore point.
  2. Then, right-click Start, click Run.
  3. Type Regedit.exe and click OK.
  4. Go to the following (User Shell Folders) registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  5. From the File menu, click Export and save the branch to a .reg file for backup.
  6. Delete the appropriate registry values (depending upon which two folders are merged) mentioned in the table below:
    The following is the list of GUIDs that are don’t exist by default in the User Shell Folders key in a clean Windows 10 installation.
    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
  7. Next, inspect and fix the data for the following values, after making sure that the registry value type is REG_EXPAND_SZ for each value listed below:
    Value Data
    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

    Accidentally Merged Music, Pictures, Videos or Downloads Folders
    The default values for User Shell Folders in Windows 10.
  8. Logoff and log back in. That should unmerge the two or more special folders in your user account.

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

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

34 thoughts on “[Fix] Music, Pictures, Videos or Downloads Folders Merged Accidentally and Point to the Same Location”

  1. This drove me nuts. After searching through several threads one poster pointed me to this site. Your zipfile worked. Thank you Ramesh!

  2. THANK YOU! This has been a problem on my computer for literally years… and your file just fixed it in four minutes. You rock.

  3. Thank you very much – perfect fix. I’m not someone who likes to fiddle with registry files but I had got into a mess setting up my wife’s Christmas present laptop & your fix sorted it out perfectly! Thank you againn.

  4. I understand much of how W10 works but when in a reshuffle of HDD’s I accidentally ended up with Documents and Music sharing either the same name or the same avatar I found the inability of Windows to provide a solution to be (yet another typical) frustration.

    Your “patch” fixed the issue in – literally – a fraction of a second PC time.

    We should ALL thank those who commit their own time to providing solutions which Microsoft should trusts us with . . but then they hardly trust us to turn the PC on, don’t they?

  5. Hi Ramesh,

    I had another problem with my system folders. For some reason My Music folder directed me to the main Dropbox folder. I spent two days to resolve the problem but without results. Finally, I found your post and resolved my problem in minutes thanks to you.

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Method 1 luckily worked for me, BUT I had a to completely restart my computer by unplugging it for ~20 seconds, it would not boot UNTIL I did that, please update method 1 to provide such info because I thought I had lost all of my information due to a bad website.

  7. Would this work on a Remote desktop as too? I accidentally merged the two when working from home on my work Remote desktop

  8. I switched my pictures to the shown and the {0DDD015D-B06C-45D5-8C4C-F59713854639} to Local Pictures. It didnt work so i chanched them back and now my pictures doesnt show properties anymore. Please help me

    • @Tomas: The value {0DDD015D-B06C-45D5-8C4C-F59713854639} need not exist. Rename this key, logoff and log back in.

  9. I did it and now when i right click pictures and go to properties it only shows the general properties. And not Sharing, Security, Location, Previous versions and Customize. Now i cannot even try to move it from c to d. Please help

    • @Tomas: Can you upload the registry export of the User Shell Folders key, or post a screenshot of it.

      Also, what happens when you run the command shell:My Pictures from Run dialog?

  10. Thanks for this excellent guide.
    I managed to untangle my Documents and Downloads folders. (both were redirected to Downloads)
    But when i use the start menu in windows 10, the leftmost bar. If I click there on documents, it still takes me to the downloads folder.

    In windows explorer itself, all is sorted.
    Is there a location in the registry to change the part I’m missing out in the leftbox of the startmenu still?

  11. Great solution and guide once I had found it. OneDrive took over my “Documents” folder on a re-install of Windows 10 Professional which was very confusing and then refused to allow me to move “Documents” back into its default (old usual) place where all my files were restored to. I did the regedit manually to make sure I fully understood the patterns I had changed and exactly what I had changed. This works where other solutions on-line were to simplistic assuming the old methods Microsoft supplied to move “My Documents” would still work or showed the person giving the help had failed to understand the problem.

    Great blog

    Thank you

  12. I tried the 2nd method, but my laptop doesnt have a “loggoff an log back in”, so when I exit Regedit, MyVideo folder is still merged MyPicture folder
    I didnt delete {35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}, because the system said it will cause instability
    pls help..

    • my problem is solved already, more or less similar steps:
      1. Open File Explorer, navigated to D Drive, created a new folder named D:\Videos
      2. Open the Registry Editor
      3, Double clicked the folder My Video, set its Value Data to D:\Videos
      4, Double clicked {35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae7 etc}, set its Value Data to D:\Videos
      5. Closed the Registry Editor, then restart (not shut down) the laptop
      6. That has split my folder \Videos from \Pictures
      Thankyou for the wonderful website….

  13. Hi, Thank you so much for your guide, I fixed the problem but I have another one now. I had accidently moved my downloads folder into the d: folder and have now moved it back, but I can’t seem to pin the downloads folder to my quick access. Is there a way to fix this?


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