Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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Change The Locations Of Personal Folders In Windows Vista And Windows 7

Every user account on your system has its own home folder, stored, by default, in C:\Users. In this folder are such special user folders as Desktop, Send To, Start Menu, Documents, and Application Data, among others.

Files placed in the Desktop folder appear as icons on the user’s desktop,shortcuts placed in the Start Menu folder appear as Start menu items, and so on. This arrangement lets each user have her own desktop, Start menu, etc.

There’s also an All Users folder, used, for example, to store icons that appear on all users’ desktops. Likewise, the Default User folder is a template of sorts, containing files and settings copied for each newly  created user. All in all, the use of these folders is pretty self-explanatory.

You can change the default locations for any user’s special folders, but the process is different for different folder types: Home folder To change the location of any user’s home folder, open the Local Users and Groups window ( lusrmgr.msc ). Open the Users category,  double-click a user, and choose the Profile tab. On more help, read How To Use Windows Start Menu.


Download TweakUI: Visit www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/downloads/powertoys.asp to download a copy of Tweak UI. You will find the link to download the install file on the right side of the page.
Documents, Send To, etc. 
To change the location of any system folder in a user’s home folder, such as the Documents folder or the Send To folder, you must be logged in as that user. Start TweakUI, open the My Computer category branch, select Special Folders, and choose the folder to relocate from the Folder list. Note that this only changes the place that Windows looks for the associated files; you’ll have to create the folder and place the appropriate files in it yourself.

Warning: It’s remarkably easy to damage Windows Registry, but very difficult to repair. And unless you go to the trouble of making your own backup copy. So, before you continue editing your windows registry. Try to backup your registry. Read more on how to  back-up-registry-in-windows

For folders not listed in TweakUI, you’ll need to edit the Registry. Most user folders are specified in these two Registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders 
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
One of the exceptions is the Application Data folder, which is defined by the DefaultDir value in:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProfileReconciliation\AppData

Note: You’ll need to log out and then log back in for any of these changes to take effect.

Program Files
The Program Files and Common Files folders (shared by all users) are both defined in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
For Program Files, you’ll need to change both the ProgramFilesDir and ProgramFilesPath values; for Common Files, just change the CommonFilesDir value. When relocating system folders, keep in mind that there can be hundreds of references to them throughout the Registry, especially Program Files and Common Files. You’ll probably need to use a program like Registry Search and Replace (available at http://www.annoyances.org) to easily get them all.

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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