Change The Default Location Of Your Documents Folder In Windows 8

You can change the default location of your data folders in Windows 8. So rather than your Documents being saved by default in the C:\Users\Username\Documents locations, you can instead save it to a separate partition or hard drive. You can do the same for your Music folder, the Pictures folder and the Videos folder.

Why is this important? While not necessary, it is not a bad ideal to separate your data from your Operating System. What happens if your Operating System becomes corrupt? You’ll likely need to reinstall Windows and that could erase your data from the partition. Or what if you have a Solid State Hard Drive installed? SSDs generally have a smaller capacity of 128 or 256 GBs. This minimal amount of space can quickly become filled with your documents, music and videos.

Fortunately, Windows makes it easy to point to another partition or–preferably–another hard drive within your system.

Moving Your Documents Folder To Another Location

Windows 8 will move the data to the location of your choice. In preparation, you should create a new folder in the new location. In this example, I created the same directory structure on a data drive within the same computer. So I navigated to the D drive and created a folder called Users. I then opened that folder and created a folder with my username, and the proceeded to create a folder called Documents within that username folder.

change default location of  documents folder in windows 8

Once done, navigate to your current Documents folder and then right-click it. Select properties.

change documents default  location

Click the Location tab and then put in the new location. In the above example, you can see I kept the same directory structure that is default in Windows. The only exception is I am now pointing to the D drive instead of the C drive. Click Move and then Windows will move the Documents folder and its contents over to the new location.

Do the same for your other important folders, such as Music, Videos and Pictures.

After Moving Your Documents Folder To A Different Location

Now that your data lives in a new location, you can safely reinstall Windows without fear of deleting your data. If you have a SSD installed in your computer, you want that drive to stay as lean as possible. So we recommend installing Windows 8 on an SSD so it boots quickly, and then setting the default location of your Documents folder to a spinning drive with higher capacity within your computer.

About the Author: Dave

David is a tech professional with over fifteen years of experience in the IT fields of hardware, software and system administration.

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