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Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

  1. #1
    Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder
    How to Restore Missing or Default Location of User Folders in Vista
    Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    How to Restore a Missing or Default Location of User Folders in Vista

    information   Information
    This tutorial will show you how to restore a personal user folder if it has been deleted, in the wrong location, or is missing from your C:\Users\(user name) or Start menu location.
    Tip   Tip

    If you have duplicate user folders instead, then you will need to backup the contents of the duplicate user folders, do OPTION TWO below, delete the duplicate folders, then you may need to restart the computer a couple of times first before the default location is restored.

    EXAMPLE: Personal User Profile Folders
    -user_folders-jpg
    EXAMPLE: Personal User Profile Folders Start menu Location
    -start_menu_location-jpg




    OPTION ONE

    Restore User Folders Using Folder Properties

    NOTE: This can help restore the default location of a user folder. If it does not help, then use OPTION TWO below.
    1. Right click on the user folder that you want to restore the default location for and click on Properties.
    NOTE: Do this from the C:\Users\(user name) location for the best results and not from the Start menu user folders.

    2. Click on the Location tab. (See screenshot below step 3)
    NOTE: If you do not have a Location tab, then this is not the correct user folder and is only a normal folder that has the same name as the user folder. You will most likely need to use OPTION TWO below in this case instead.

    3. Click on the Restore Default button and click on OK. (See screenshot below)
    -properties-jpg
    4. If you get this, then click on Yes. (See screenshot below)
    -restore_default-jpg
    5. Click on Yes. (See screenshot below)
    WARNING: If you do not click on Yes, you will have two copies of the personal user folder in the main (user name) folder with one being as described in the NOTE under step 2.
    -restore_move_folder-jpg





    OPTION TWO

    Manually Restore User Folders with Reg File Download & Registry Editor

    Note   Note
    This is a more thorough method of restoring a user folder's default location, or restore missing user folders.

    The reg files in the downloads below will restore the default values at this registry location below.

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    -user_folders_reg-jpg

    warning   Warning
    If you have any duplicate user folders, or user folders that do not have a Location properties tab (Option One), then you will need to:
    • Backup only the folder's contents to another location to be safe.
    • Now proceed with the steps below


    1. Open your C:\Users\(user-name) folder. If the user folder is missing, then create a New Folder and rename it with the name below for that user folder.
    User Folder Rename with
    Contacts Contacts
    Desktop Desktop
    Documents Documents
    Downloads Downloads
    Favorites Favorites
    Links Links
    Music Music
    Pictures Pictures
    Saved Games Saved Games
    Searches Searches
    Videos Videos
    2. To Restore Default Contacts Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Default_Contacts_Location.reg
    download
    3. To Restore Default Desktop Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Desktop_Default_Location.reg
    download
    4. To Restore Default Documents Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Documents_Default_Location.reg
    download
    5. To Restore Default Downloads Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Downloads_Default_Location.reg
    download
    6. To Restore Default Favorites Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Favorites_Default_Location.reg
    download
    7. To Restore Default Links Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Default_Links_Location.reg
    download
    8. To Restore Default Music Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Music_Default_Location.reg
    download
    9. To Restore Default Pictures Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Pictures_Default_Location.reg
    download
    10. To Restore Default Saved Games Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Default_Saved_Games_Location.reg
    download
    11. To Restore Default Searches Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Default_Searches_Location.reg
    download
    12. To Restore Default Videos Folder Location
    A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
    Restore_Videos_Default_Location.reg
    download
    13. Save the .reg file to your Desktop.

    14. Right click on the downloaded .reg file, and click on Merge.

    15. Click on Run, Yes, Yes, and OK when prompted.

    16. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.

    17. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (administrator) or enter administrator's password (if standard user).

    18. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    -shell_folders-jpg
    19. In the right pane of Shell Folders, right click on the user folder in the Name column in the registry (see table below) that you want to restore, then click on Modify. (see screenshot above)
    NOTE: If the Name entry in the table below is not there, then right click on a empty space in the right pane, click on New and String Value, and give it the name in bold below for that user folder.
    User Folder Name in Registry
    Contacts {56784854-C6CB-462B-8169-88E350ACB882}
    Desktop Desktop
    Documents Personal
    Downloads {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}
    Favorites Favorites
    Links {BFB9D5E0-C6A9-404C-B2B2-AE6DB6AF4968}
    Music My Music
    Pictures My Pictures
    Saved Games {4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}
    Searches {7D1D3A04-DEBB-4115-95CF-2F29DA2920DA}
    Videos My Videos
    20. Type in the full default path (see table below) of the user folder, and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: Substitute User-Name in the full path with your user account name instead.

    -modify_shell_folders-jpg
    User Folder Default Path
    Contacts C:\Users\User-Name\Contacts
    Desktop C:\Users\User-Name\Desktop
    Documents C:\Users\User-Name\Documents
    Downloads C:\Users\User-Name\Downloads
    Favorites C:\Users\User-Name\Favorites
    Links C:\Users\User-Name\Links
    Music C:\Users\User-Name\Music
    Pictures C:\Users\User-Name\Pictures
    Saved Games C:\Users\User-Name\Saved Games
    Searches C:\Users\User-Name\Searches
    Videos C:\Users\User-Name\Videos
    21. Close Regedit.

    22. Open an elevated command prompt.

    23. In the elevated command prompt, Copy and Paste the command below for the user folder icon that you want to restore to default. (see table below)
    NOTE: This will set the user folder attributes back to default. You can Copy and Paste these to make it easier for you.
    User Folder Command
    Contacts attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Contacts /S /D
    Desktop attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Desktop /S /D
    Documents attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Documents /S /D
    Downloads attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Downloads /S /D
    Favorites attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Favorites /S /D
    Links attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Links /S /D
    Music attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Music /S /D
    Pictures attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Pictures /S /D
    Saved Games attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\"Saved Games" /S /D
    Searches attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Searches /S /D
    Videos attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Videos /S /D
    24. Close the elevated command prompt.

    25. Open the Start Menu, then Copy and Paste the Shell command (see table below) in the search box for the User folder that you want to restore, and press Enter.
    NOTE: If this opens the missing personal user folder(s), then you are done and can skip step 26 and go to step 27 instead.
    User Folder Shell Command
    Contacts shell:Contacts
    Desktop shell:desktop
    Documents shell:Personal
    Downloads shell:downloads
    Favorites shell:Favorites
    Links shell:Links
    Music shell:My Music
    Pictures shell:My Pictures
    Saved Games shell:SavedGames
    Searches shell:Searches
    Videos shell:My Video
    26. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to finish restoring the user folder location.
    NOTE: Sometimes you may need to restart more than once for the changes to be applied.

    27. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file(s) if you like.

    28. If you have any duplicate user folders left, or user folders that do not have a Location properties tab (Option One), then you will need to:

    • Delete all duplicate user folders without the correct default C:\Users\(user-name)\(user-folder) path (see step 20) and user folders without a Location properties tab.
    That's it,
    Shawn



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  2. #1


    Join Date : Apr 2008
    Posts : 2
    Vista Home Basic 32bit
    Local Time: 08:12 PM

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Thank you for your User Shell Folder tutorials, but I am still having a problem here. This started with the problem that Vista seems to have with the folder icons turning yellow, (I assume this is a glitch). This is with the desktop user shell folder. I have managed to change the colour back, but in the process somewhere, (I'm not sure how) there seems to have been a duplicate made of the Desktop folder. There also seems to be a problem with my Music folder too. Is there a way I can reset all the folders to the locations they used to be?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2
    Brink's Avatar

    Join Date : Apr 2007
    Texas, USA
    Posts : 31,362
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    Local Time: 02:12 PM
    usa us oklahoma

      Thread Starter

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hi Jessie,

    Welcome to Vista Forums.

    You can try deleting all if your desktop folders, then use this turial here to recreate it.

    It depends on what your problem is with your Music Folder, but you can try doing the Restore Default in step 5 of Methon One in this tutorial below to see if that can help it.

    Personal User Shell Folders - Move Location

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3
    kraeye's Avatar
    Join Date : May 2008
    Belgium
    Posts : 1
    Vista Home Premium 32bit SP1
    Local Time: 10:12 PM
    belgium

     

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hi, I'm having a problem with two shell folders, and tryed out this tutorial, but it didn't work. Maybe u know what I need to do to fix this?

    1. I moved the folders: "my images" and "my videos" to D:\Users\Username\My Images.. using the change location function.
    I did this to save space on my C:\ drive.

    2. A bit later I wanted to dual boot Ubuntu(linux) on my laptop and when I was making my D:\ partition extended to make more partitions for linux I accidentaly formatted my D:\ drive losing al the data in my images and videos folders.

    3. When I now try to open these folders nothing happens. The my images folder give a white paper icon and I even can't find the My video's folder anywhere.

    note: My vista is in dutch. my images = afbeeldingen
    my videos = video's
    I tried both the dutch words and English words.


    screens:







    Is there something else I should do?
    thx


    SOLVED:

    - After two reboots, the problem with the "my images folder" was solved. I had again a nice blue images folder, but still no sign of the video folder.

    - After three reboots, the problem with the "my videos folder" was solved. Also with a nice blue folder.

    I have no idea what, I did to solve the problem. Maybe the system needed some time to index the folder's location..??
    Anyway, it's solved!

    I guess rebooting 3 times can make miracles happen.

    thx for your tutorial

    Last edited by kraeye; 01 May 2008 at 04:41 AM.
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  5. #4
    Brink's Avatar

    Join Date : Apr 2007
    Texas, USA
    Posts : 31,362
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    Local Time: 02:12 PM
    usa us oklahoma

      Thread Starter

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Your welcome Kraeye, and welcome to Vista Forums.

    Vista can be good as restoring it's system files automatically sometimes. It just may take a few restarts. I'm glad to hear that you got it sorted.

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Join Date : Apr 2008
    Posts : 2
    Vista Home Basic 32bit
    Local Time: 08:12 PM


     

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hi Shawn,
    My music folder fixed itself, but the desktop folder is still not right. It's not actually affecting anything important, but it's still annoying knowing it's not right!!

    The problem is that there are 2 folders, but one is inside the other, and it won't let me delete either of them, error message: "The action can't be completed because the folder is open in another program. Close the folder and try again."

    How can I close the desktop!!?? Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Jessie

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6
    Brink's Avatar

    Join Date : Apr 2007
    Texas, USA
    Posts : 31,362
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    Local Time: 02:12 PM
    usa us oklahoma

      Thread Starter

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hi Jessie,

    Use Option Two in this tutorial to make sure that the default location %USERPROFILE%\Desktop is set for the Desktop folder in the registry and restart the computer after the change.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Join Date : Jul 2008
    Posts : 9
    Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Local Time: 10:12 PM


     

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hello again shawn!
    Yesterday I found out that the problem with my special folder was that I had pointed the folders to the root of a partition... But it wasnŽt that easy to change back... I couldŽnt delete it, and if I renamed it, it changed the name of the partition. But I found a way somehow.
    Now all works ok, but I just want to ask if you know if the key in the registry should be %USERPROFILE%\Music also when I have changed the locaton for that folder, or if i should say J:\Music (it says J:\Music now)?

    Thanks again for you awesome help! Your fantastic!

    Rangeboy

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  9. #8
    Brink's Avatar

    Join Date : Apr 2007
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    64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise (RTM)
    Local Time: 02:12 PM
    usa us oklahoma

      Thread Starter

    Re: Personal User Folder - Restore Missing Folder

    Hi Rangeboy,

    The %USERPROFILE%\Music location should be there if you had it set to the default location. J:\Music is correct for the changed location of the new Music folder on J:\ .

    I'm happy to hear that you got it all sorted out and working right now.

    Shawn

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #9


    Join Date : Jul 2008
    Posts : 4
    Vista Ultimate 32bit
    Local Time: 09:12 PM


     
    Hey,

    I moved, and I think probably deleted, the Music, Pictures, Videos and Downloads folders.

    I tried method 1, but when I type in any of the shell commands (e.g. shell:Music) nothing is found. I then tried method 2, but when I looked at the Registry information, all the information in the data column is exactly as it should be (e.g. for the pictures folder %USERPROFILE%\Pictures).

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks

    In the registy window I replaced all the data for the files in question with the exact same data that was there, not really thinking it would change anything, then restarted the computer 4 or 5 times. Now the Music and Video folders are back, and are in there default locations! The downloads and Pictures folders are still nowhere to be found, not even using the shell:Pictures and shell:downloads mentioned in method one :S

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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