By default, the My Documents folder is in Windows XP, and Windows Vista is on the same drive or partition as the operating system. This is fine for anyone who has only one drive or one partition on their computer, such as drive C, but if your computer has multiple physical or logical drives, it is best to move the My Documents folder from the system drive.
In Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, the situation is slightly different. In Windows 7, you have Libraries, which are kind of virtual folders that are mostly linked to other folders that can be located anywhere. In addition, starting with Windows 7, in addition to the My Documents folder, you also have My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, and Downloads folders. In Windows 8, the names have been changed to simply Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, and Downloads.
This means that in Windows 7 / 8.1 you will have to manually change the location of each of these system folders if you want to move them. In Windows XP, all other folders were inside the My Documents folder. I prefer installation on Windows 7 / 8.1 because I usually don’t need to move all system folders, just one or two.
Why do I recommend this, you may ask? There are two main reasons why I moved my Documents folder:
1. Free up precious hard drive space on the system partition – with all the monthly updates for Office and Windows, my C drive was getting close to filling! In addition, the system partition contains other system files such as the paging file, system restore files, and hibernation files. As soon as I deleted the data, I freed up the space-consuming Windows more space to live and breathe.
2. Easy backup and data recovery in case of Windows crash. The best reason to move your My Documents folder is to better protect your data. For example, if one day your Windows crashes and you have to reinstall, all your data will be lost if you didn’t have a backup. However, if your data is on drive D, say and your Windows partition is down, you can reinstall a fresh copy of Windows on drive C and the rest of the data will remain intact!
Of course, this will not save your data if the entire hard disk physically fails, and your My Documents folder is on the same disk, only in a different partition, but in my time there were many cases when Windows became unusable due to a virus , spyware or other disaster.
Using libraries in Windows 7 / 8.1
Before we get into the actual steps to move various system folders in Windows, let’s talk about libraries as they are a pretty good solution for most people. Instead of physically moving the system folders to another location, you can simply move your data anywhere, and then add that folder to one of the special libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos.
To add a folder to a library, simply navigate to the folder you want to add, right-click it, select “Include in Library,” and then select the library where you want to add the folder.
This does not copy or move the contents of that folder to the library, it just creates a shortcut to the folder, but it won’t look like a shortcut. It will appear that the folder is actually in this folder, when in fact it may be on a completely different drive.
You can even include folders from online locations in the library, but you must first make them available offline. To do this, simply right-click on the folder and select Always Available Offline. After syncing the folder with your local computer, you can right click again and you will see the “Include in Library” option.
In Windows 8.1, Microsoft suddenly hid the Libraries feature for no apparent reason, even though it still exists. So instead of seeing Libraries in the left explorer menu, you will see this computer with links to system folders (documents, images, etc.).
To return libraries to Windows 8.1, go to the View tab and click Navigation Bar. Then check the box next to Show Libraries.
As I mentioned earlier, using libraries is a good alternative if you don’t want to move a lot of data from its current location.
Transfer my documents in Windows 7 / 8.1
The process of moving system folders in Windows 7 / 8.1 is the same for both operating systems. On Windows 7, you need to click the user folder on the desktop or navigate to C: Users UserName to see the system folders. If you do not see the user’s folder on the desktop, right-click the desktop, select Personalize, and then click Change Desktop Icons. There you can check the box “User files”.
As mentioned above, in Windows 8.1, simply click on This PC in the menu on the left and you will see the system folders. Then right-click the folder you want to move and select Properties.
Click the Location tab, and then click the Move button. Choose a destination for the folder and Windows will start moving everything to a new location.
Move the Windows XP Documents folder
In Windows XP, the process is very similar to the one described above, but you only need to do this for one folder, not multiple folders. Right-click the My Documents folder on your desktop and select Properties.
2. Click Move and select the desired location for the My Documents folder. Remember, it’s best to move it to another PHYSICAL drive if possible. If not, move it to at least another section.
3. Click OK and then Apply. You will be asked if you want to move all current documents to a new location or not. Select “Yes”.
And it’s all! Your documents will be moved to a new location, and when you click on the My Documents icon on your desktop, it will open as before. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!