Configuration of the My Documents folder

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Article ID: 310746 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

The My Documents folder is a component of the user profile that is used as a unified location for storing personal data. By default, the My Documents folder is a folder in the user's profile that is used as a default storage location for saved documents.

If you are an administrator, you can use folder redirection in a group policy to modify the location of My Documents to reside on a network share. When users save documents to the My Documents folder, the files are actually saved on an assigned network location and can be backed up by the administrator.

MORE INFORMATION

The path to the My Documents folder is stored in the following registry key, where complete path to storage location is the path to your storage location:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

Value Name: Personal
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: complete path to storage location
Any modification from the default is recorded in the following location and the preceding path is also updated:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Value Name: Personal
Value Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: complete path to storage location
If you redirect My Documents by using group policy folder redirection, the path is present in this value and the option to modify the location of the My Documents folder is not available when you view properties of the My Documents folder.

How to Change the My Documents Folder Storage Location

When the properties of the My Documents folder (the desktop icon) are displayed and a group policy has not been established to redirect the folder, you can change the path to the My Documents folder and you can move the contents from the old location to the new location:
  1. Right-click My Documents (on the desktop), and then click Properties.
  2. In the Target box, type the new path to the My Documents folder, or click Move to browse to the folder and if needed, create a new My Documents folder. If the path you type does not exist, you are prompted to confirm that you want to create a new folder.
  3. Click Yes to move files from the old My Documents location to the new location, or click No if you do not want to move these files. Note that if you click No, the files in the old location are not deleted, but they are no longer visible from My Documents after the change.

Restoring the Default My Documents Path

If the current My Documents path is incorrect or is no longer available, you can use the Restore Default option to restore the default path:

NOTE: This option is not displayed when group policy folder redirection is in effect for this folder.
  1. Right-click My Documents (on the desktop), and then click Properties.
  2. Click Restore Default.

    The following registry value is used to determine the default location based on the user's profile and appends "\My Documents" to form a complete path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\user ID

    Value Name: ProfileImagePath
    Value Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
    where user ID is the appropriate user ID.

Properties

Article ID: 310746 - Last Review: December 1, 2007 - Revision: 2.6
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbui KB310746

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