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GillM asked on

How can I move default location of Public folders to a new drive?

I am setting up a brand new machine with Windows 7 pre-installed and a large 500gb hard disk.  I have partitioned the disk into 2 logical drives C: and E:

As far as possible I want to store all user data on E: (I know it is not possible for all user settings to be moved - mores the pity).  I have not yet copied across any data from my old machine so I just have blank folders to play with at the moment.  I have moved all of the My Documents/Pictures/etc. folders to the E: drive by changing the location in the properties of the folder.

However, I cannot seem to do the same with the public folders.  If I right click on the folder, click on properties, then location, it looks as if I can change it from C:\Users\Public\...  but it does not allow me to edit it

Any idea why, or how I can get around this?
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samc1 replied on

This can be done through a Directory Junction which can redirect to a new location of Public folder.

First create a new folder on E:\ and perhaps you want to call it Public.

Go to Cmd prompt by running as Administrator.

Copy everything from existing public folder to the new folder created by using the command
robocopy /MIR %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public   E:\Public     (or whatever name you used for public folder on E:)

You need robocopy as it takes care of hidden files, etc, especially if you have Recorded TV folder within public folder.

Once the copy is transferred, you need to delete the existing public folder and create a junction in its place. For this, boot into Safe Mode as an administrator and delete the public contents and folder, and again by starting the Cmd prompt as an administrator. To remove the Public folder:

rmdir /s /q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public

Having created the new location folder, and deleting the existing public folder, now is time to create a Directory Junction for public folder with the following command:

mklink /J  %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public   E:\Public                         (or whatever name you named the opublic folder on E:\)

for example:  mklink /J  C:\Users\Public  E:\Public

Now, whatever is meant for the original Public folder gets directed to the new location.
I hope this helps.

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Wheat-1 replied on


Would this Method of Moving the ( Windows 7 ) ( Public Folders ) work with a ( UNC Network Location )?
I would like to move my ( Public Music ) folder to my ( Windows Home Server ).

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Siemn replied on


I have a similar problem (want to move My docs, My music and stuff from my 80 GB system drive)
When I try do do the CMD command it just says that I cant acess the file, because it is used by another prosess. Is there any way I can find this prosess and terminate it (at least for a while), so that I am able to make this direction thing?
Also, when I make the command; should I write in my system's language, or english.?

I would like to see a windows made tool to do this.

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Lead3 replied on


It would help if you would have started a new thread.

However, there is a Microsoft tool to do this for Documents ,etc. It is the location Tab under properties for the
Document, Music, etc.  folder.

Right click on the Documents folder

Select Properties

Select the Location Tab
Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) 2011
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Luviana replied on
If you boot in to Safe Mode, go to the properties of the folder you want to move, click on the "location" tab, it will allow you to change the location without having to run commands as suggested by samc1.
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Tieske replied on


One caveat when using the instructions by samc1, if you use the ROBOCOPY command, make sure that the target directory is empty! the command given makes a MIRROR of the source directory, meaning it will delete everything that is already in the target directory.

I had already placed my music/video/book library in a temporary directory in there, which were all being deleted. Still in the proces of recovering my files from my backup.... (glad I had one....)

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Nesko48 replied on


Will this this work for all user folders, like the main user or administrator.  I tried to do this but keep getting error messages saying files could not be accessed.
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MustardSeed replied on


This works great.  For me I was able to do this for all folders except Recorded TV.  If you wish to move that folder as well, samc1's suggestion is the way to go.
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Ambicadu replied on

This is an issue for me as well.  Primarily due to fragmentation on the system Drive due to Media Center Temp File defaulting to Public folder.  Changed the settings in Media Center for Recorded Filed, but that seems to not apply to temp recordings by media center.  I have a set top box, with no IR.  So it plays all the time through one channel and fragments the heck out of my drive.  Want to move the temp recordings to their own partition.  No way to do so.  This is not work.

In short.  I will not use Media Center (which I like) because of this.


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Chuck vdL replied on


Will this this work for all user folders, like the main user or administrator.  I tried to do this but keep getting error messages saying files could not be accessed.

Use the technique described in this answer for the 'public' data ONLY.  For any real user, there is a far better way, which is to


  1) login as that user, click the user's name on the upper left of the start menu to see their folder

  2) open a second explorer window, point it to your D: driver or whereever you want to move this stuff.  Create folders  e.g. d:\users\myusername\my documents   to hold the stuff you plan to move

  3) the stuff you can move will have a LOCATION tab when you right click and view the properties of the folder, this includes most of the "My xxx" folders, the desktop, and a few others.

  4) on the location tab, click the Move button, specify the new directory you created on the other drive, and answer Yes when asked if you want to move all the files.


   Doing things that way is working inside the system as it were (as opposed to going around it) and thus has the most chance of not running into any problems with software that looks to windows to tell it where to put documents, videos, etc.


(this answer is far to late to be of use to Nesko48, but may be of use to someone else reading this thread)

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