Windows 2000 My Documents Folder

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

The path to the My Documents folder is stored in the following registry key:

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
Name: Personal
Type: REG_SZ
Value: fully qualified path to storage location

You can move the document location:

  • Right-click My Documents on the Desktop
  • Click Properties
  • Select Target box
  • Do either:
    Type the new path to the My Documents folder
    --or--
    Browse to the desired folder and if needed, create a new My Documents folder
  • Do either:
    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. Selecting No does not delete the files in the old location, but means they are no longer visible from My Documents after the change
When you use this method to modify the location of My Documents, the change modifies the following registry key also:

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
Name: Personal
Type: REG_SZ
Value: fully qualified path to storage location

There may be a Group Policy which redirects My Documents. If so the above value will exist and the option to modify the location of the My Documents folder will not available when you view the properties of the My Documents folder.

You can change the location back to the default if the group policy redirection is not in effect. This is very useful should the My Documents folder not be visible due to an incorrect path in the registry or other problem. To set the path for the My Documents folder back to the original default location:

  • Right-click My Documents on the Desktop
  • Click Properties
  • Click Restore Default.
    This uses the following registry value to determine the default location based on the user's profile and appends "\My Documents" to form a complete path.

    Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Key: Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\user ID
    Name: ProfileImagePath
    Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
    Value: where user ID is the appropriate user ID

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