[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 getting 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 in Windows 10 File Explorer.

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?

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 after accidentally merging 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: Fix the merged Shell folders by Resetting their paths using REG file

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 login back for the change to take effect.

Method 2: Fix the merged Shell folders by Resetting their 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

  8. Logoff and login back. That should unmerge the two or more special folders in your user account.

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


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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.

7 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.

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