Personal User Shell Folders - Move Location

ByLine
How to Change a Personal User Folder Location in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to redirect Personal user folders to another partition, hard drive, or folder location to be stored in instead. The folder will still be in the (your username) location in the Start Menu, except it will redirect everything to the location you selected like a shortcut.
How to Change a Personal User Folder Location in Vista



information   Information
The personal user folders can be redirected to, and all files inside them, another partition, hard drive, or folder location to be stored in instead. The folder will still be in the (user name) location in the Start Menu as usual, but it will act like a shortcut to the new location instead.
Note   Note
This can be handy if you would like to save space on the drive or partition with Vista on it, or you prefer to just store the files in the use folders at another location.
Tip   Tip
If a personal user folder has been deleted, is missing, or does not work propely, then see: How to Restore a Missing Personal User Folder in Vista
warning   Warning

  • If you have a program that places a folder in one these user folders, like the Documents folder, then you do not want to change it's location until you change the setting in the program to use another folder or the new personal folder location. Deleting the program's folder usually does not do any good. It will just be added back by the program. If you do not, then you will have two undeletable copies of the user folder. Example: Windows Live Messenger puts and uses a folder in the Documents folder.
  • If you change the Favorites folder location, it will no longer show work from within IE7 unless you change the permission level of the new Favorites folder to give Authenticated User full control. For how, see: How to Change Folder Permissions
  • If you use Windows Mail or any other email program that uses the Vista C:\Users\(user name)\Contacts folder for contacts, then do not change the Contacts folder default location to keep using Contacts in these programs.

EXAMPLE: Personal User Profile Folder Icons
NOTE:
Location is at C:\Users\(User Name)
User_Folders.jpg




METHOD ONE
Through the User Folder Properties

1. Right click on a personal user folder and click Properties.​
NOTE: Open the Start menu and click on the username button to see them.
2. Click on the Location tab. (See screenshot below)​
Properties.jpg

3. To Find the Personal User Folder Location
A) Click the Find Target button. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: This will open a window with the personal user folder location. You will see the full path of the location above the three buttons.

4. To Change the Personal User Folder Location
A) Click the Move button. (See screenshot above)​
B) Navigate to the location you want to use to redirect the personal user folder to. (See screenshot below)​
C) Right click on a empty area in the Select a Destination window and click New and Folder.​
D) Rename the New Folder to the same name as the personal user folder and leave it highlighted, then click on the Select Folder button.​
WARNING: Do not select another personal user folder to redirect this personal user folder to. You will not be able to use the Restore Default location option. Only use a New Folder.​
Move.jpg

E) Click OK. (See screenshot below step 2)​
NOTE: You should see the new full path location above the three buttons.
F) Click Yes. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This will move all the files inside the personal user folder to the new location.
WARNING: If you do not click Yes, then you will have two copies of the personal user folder in the (your username) folder.​
Move_Folder.jpg


5. To Restore the Default Personal User Folder Location
A) For how, see OPTION TWO here: How to Restore a Missing Personal User Folder in Vista






METHOD TWO
Through the Registry Editor
Note   Note
This method will show you how to change only the Downloads (long number), Desktop, Documents (Personal), Favorites, Music (My Music), Pictures (My Pictures), or Video (My Videos) user folder default locations.

1. Go to the location in Windows Explorer for where you want to move the user folder location to.​
NOTE: For example, in C:\Program Files.​
WARNING: Do not select another personal user folder to redirect this personal user folder to. You will not be able to use the Restore Default location option.​
A) Right click on a empty area in the window and click on New and Folder. (See screenshot below)​
B) Leave the folder named New Folder.​
NOTE: This new folder example location of C:\Program Files\New Folder will be used and replaced by the user folder.​
C) Leave this window open.​
New_Location.jpg


2. Open the Start menu.​
3. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below 5)​
NOTE: You can see the default paths for the user folders under the Data column.​
Code:
[/INDENT]
[INDENT]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders[/INDENT]
[INDENT]

5. In the right pane, right click on the personal user folder you want to change the location for and click on Modify.​
User_Folders_Reg.jpg

6. To Change the Personal User Folder Location
A) Type in the full path of the new location with the New Folder, and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For example, C:\Program Files\New Folder.​
Modify.jpg

B) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
C) Close regedit.​
Reg_After.jpg

D) Go back to the new location in step 1 above.​
E) Right click on New Folder and click Rename. (See screenshot below step 1C)​
F) Type in the name (EX: Music) of the user folder you want to change the location of, and press Enter.​
NOTE: The folder will now change to the special green color with the name of the user folder.
G) Open the Start menu, and click on your username folder button.​
NOTE: You will see two of these user folders (EX: Music) with the same name now.​
H) Right click on each one separately and click Properties.​
I) Delete the one that does not have the Locations tab in the Properties window. (See screenshots below)​
Delete_Folder.jpgKeep_Folder.jpg


7. To Restore the Default Personal User Folder Location -
A) For how, see OPTION TWO here: How to Restore a Missing Personal User Folder in Vista

That's it,
Shawn



 

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elangomatt

New Member
Shawn,

Thanks a lot for trying. I was hoping that there was something I missed. I assume that IE7 would pull the favorites location from the favorites user shell folder, but obviously that is not the case. It works flawlessly with IE7 and XPsp2.

Thanks for the help,
Aaron
 

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Brink

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mvp
Your welcome Aaron, and welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Shawn
 

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scat

New Member
I have set my desktop to another drive path: F:\from 98 machine\F_drive\All Data Saved here\My Desktop

and when I install a application and tell the new installed app to put a shortcut on the desktop it puts it on the original desktop and not the with the path of:
F:\from 98 machine\F_drive\All Data Saved here\My Desktop
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hi Scat, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Usually it is not a good idea to move the Desktop folder for this reason. The program was pre programed to create the shortcut at the known default location instead. You may have two Desktop folders now to since the program recreated the original. If you do, then use Method Two to restore the default location in the registry for the one you moved.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

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    Lumia 1520 phone
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    17.3" UHD IPS touch
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    3480 x 2160
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    512 GB M.2 SSD

Rangeboy

New Member
Hi Shawn!
I´ve read two of your tutorials now. Great work!
I changed the location for my music and documents to a diffrent partion before I read your tutorial. It worked ok, but with one thing I hope you could help me fix...
I can´t change the image for the musicfolder found in my user folder back to the traditional image with a folder and a note and cd inside. It only shows the icon of a hdd. Would appricate much if you could help!
I hope the screenshot shows what I mean, even if the text is in swedish...

Folderimages.jpg
 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
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    Windows 10 Pro
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    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
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    16 GB DDR4-2133
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    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
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    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
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    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

Rangeboy

New Member
Hello!
Now I´ve found more tutorials for things I didn´t know how to be done in vista! Wonderful!
Aah! I think I found the problem... As I told you, I did this before knowing about your tutorials... I right-click chosed "places" (or what it says in english) and moved to the root of another partition. So, I didn´t have a folder in the root called for example Music. So now I tried moving the Video folder, to a folder named video, and the special folder icon is still there!
I´m starting to realy like vista...
 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp
That's great news Rangeboy. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted out.

Shawn
 

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System One System Two

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    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
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    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
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    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
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    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
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    16 GB DDR4-2133
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    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
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    Conexant ISST Audio
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    17.3" UHD IPS touch
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    512 GB M.2 SSD

Rangeboy

New Member
Hello shawn

Ok, so now everything seems to be in order... But now I was starting to change settings for my wifes login... And of course I found out that I want her shell music folder to be the same as my music folder... As I could guess it wasn´t as easy as just moving the location. But I´m not that worried. Probably you would have an answer! You seems to always have!
Thanks!
Rangeboy
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Rangeboy,

You can move it like you did yours from the instructions in the tutorial, but you cannot use the exact same folder from yours for hers. You can place a shortcut of your folder inside her folder and vice versa.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

Rangeboy

New Member
Hi Shawn!

I have tried once again to move my wifes shell folder for music, to the exact smae folder as my own. Off course, like the last time, it told me that there already was a file named desktop.ini in the destinationfolder. But I tried the last alternative, to keep the old one, and call the new one desktop.ini(2). And it looks as if it works alright! Now I´m going to log in my own account and see if anything changed...
I´m glad it worked!

Rangeboy
 

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Brink

Staff member
mvp
Rangeboy,

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

Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

Theojt

New Member
Hi Shawn,

What about the AppData folder? Don't most "behaved" applications write their data into this structure? I tried, but I can't seem to be able to move it. Do we just leave it in its original location?

Thanks for these tutorials - they're great.

Jeff
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hi Jeff, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Yes, the C:\Users\(user name)\AppData folder should remain in it's original location. It is where all of the programs and Vista wite their data to that is specific for that user account only. For example, user specific program settings.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

4MUL8R

New Member
I like many have searched high and low for a way to relocate.

I like the Method 1. But, when I open the properties of my user folder documents, there is no tab called location. No matter how I go to that folder, when I check its properties, there is no way to change its location.

1. How do I find the location tab?
2. Do I have to create a "documents" folder on D: before relocating?

My goal is simple. I would like everything on my D: drive that is a document to be in what Vista expects my location for documents to be.

And, apparently there is some form of mirroring going on within my business network where document contents are automagically duplicated to a secure and safe server. So, getting my documents into such a system would provide me a great backup.
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello 4MU8R, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Usually you would not have a Location tab if that user folder is not the true user folder, but only a shortcut of it instead. Check the registry in Option Two below to make sure that the Documents (Personal in registry) is set with the default location of %USERPROFILE%\Documents. Afterwards, see if the Documents folder has the Location tab.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/148461-personal-user-folder-restore-missing-folder.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

augustspies03

New Member
Hey there,

My question is i have already changed the target locations for all my personal folders to a different partition on my hard drive. When i go to reboot will i loose all that data? Also is it possible to change the contacts target location as well?
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hi AugustSpies, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I would leave the Contacts folder with the default location to avoid any problems using contacts in Windows Mail.

Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

saterob

Member
Hey Brink,

I went to move my contacts folder to my E drive and followed the tutorial and for some reason I now have 2 contact folders and whenever i delete the clone that doesnt have the location tab in its properties, its keeps coming back.

Please help,
Joronamo.
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hi Joronamo,

If you are using Windows Mail, then it is best to not move the Contacts folder (see Warning box at top of tutorial). You will just need to restore the default location back to fix this problem. A workaround is to create a new folder on the E drive and place a shortcut of it in the Contacts folder at the default location. This way they can be stored on E and still be accessed by Windows Mail without a duplicate Contacts folder.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD
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