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Redirecting My Documents etc. Windows 8

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December 19, 2012 6:52:43 AM

So I've just installed a new SSD with Windows 8 and want to redirect My Documents, My Music, Downloads, etc. to a secondary hard disk.

The simple solution, right click the directory, properties, location works alright but there is a problem.

Some applications are either hard coded to C:\Users\username\My documents or have already been installed.

For example, with Chrome already installed after moving the Downloads location when I download something it just creates a new Downloads folder.

Is there a simple way to solve this? I was under the impression that the locations option would deal with things like this but apparently not.

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December 19, 2012 10:46:18 AM

tohrm said:
So I've just installed a new SSD with Windows 8 and want to redirect My Documents, My Music, Downloads, etc. to a secondary hard disk.

The simple solution, right click the directory, properties, location works alright but there is a problem.

Some applications are either hard coded to C:\Users\username\My documents or have already been installed.

For example, with Chrome already installed after moving the Downloads location when I download something it just creates a new Downloads folder.

Is there a simple way to solve this? I was under the impression that the locations option would deal with things like this but apparently not.


I know exactly how you feel. I, too, change the default storage locations for my documents, music, videos, pictures, etc. And you're correct about how many apps don't allow you to change where they store information. I found out about this the hard way while running Flight Simulator X (FSX); I thought that if I simply moved the FSX folders from where they were in my account, then the hundreds of missions, achievements, etc, would be backed up...but they weren't (because FSX stores that *** all over the place!).

So what I like to do is to use a tool from MS called SyncToy. It gives you lots of options to sync data between folders and all you have to do is set it up once and run it whenever you like. I'm sure you can use the Scheduler in Windows to make it run on its own, but I've never had to worry about that myself.

Good luck.
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January 5, 2013 8:24:16 PM

Best answer selected by tohrm.
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January 5, 2013 8:28:21 PM

NewbieTechGodII said:
I know exactly how you feel. I, too, change the default storage locations for my documents, music, videos, pictures, etc. And you're correct about how many apps don't allow you to change where they store information. I found out about this the hard way while running Flight Simulator X (FSX); I thought that if I simply moved the FSX folders from where they were in my account, then the hundreds of missions, achievements, etc, would be backed up...but they weren't (because FSX stores that *** all over the place!).

So what I like to do is to use a tool from MS called SyncToy. It gives you lots of options to sync data between folders and all you have to do is set it up once and run it whenever you like. I'm sure you can use the Scheduler in Windows to make it run on its own, but I've never had to worry about that myself.

Good luck.


While this isn't really the answer I'm looking for I've looked off and on since I posted the question and haven't really come up with a better solution.

I currently am manually moving stuff rather than using SyncToy but will likely write a script to copy files and delete and run it through the scheduler.

My only other possible solution is to use some form of symbolic links but from some of what I've read this can cause other problems and I've seen conflicting reports about how they work when the link is across drives. I'm much more familiar with these things on a linux system!
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January 5, 2013 8:42:27 PM

tohrm said:
While this isn't really the answer I'm looking for I've looked off and on since I posted the question and haven't really come up with a better solution.

I currently am manually moving stuff rather than using SyncToy but will likely write a script to copy files and delete and run it through the scheduler.

My only other possible solution is to use some form of symbolic links but from some of what I've read this can cause other problems and I've seen conflicting reports about how they work when the link is across drives. I'm much more familiar with these things on a linux system!


The biggest problem you're facing is that the apps will put what they want, where they want, regardless of what YOU want. I too wished things would work better/easier, but I just don't know how to make it happen.

For me, I have an OS drive (an SSD, C:\), and a HDD (E:\), for data. Now some people like to use one drive for the OS and one for everything else, but I don't, mainly because even if you ORDER the installer to install the app to E:\ (in my case), it will still install all sorts of crap on C:\, and in hidden folders to boot! FSX is just one such animal and it really irks me to no end.

So, after many bad experiences with doing it that way, I decided just to use one drive for OS and apps, and another for data that can't be replaced (like pictures, videos, documents, etc.). I create new folders on E:\ for documents, music, videos, movies, pictures, and then I manage the Libraries by deleting all of the default locations and then pointing them to the new folders I created.

When that is done, I use SyncToy to duplicate my User Profile folder to another folder on E:\. Most of the stuff that's in there I don't need (and mind you, doing this also copies all temp files as well), but it's nice to have all that data in another location in case something happens.

Keep up posted as to what you find out and good luck! :) 
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