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Windows XP - Move or Change My Documents Location

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change the location of My Documents. You may want to do this to create more space on your C drive

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Change My Documents Location

Contect menu for My Documents showing available options

To change the location of the My Documents files you can do the following. With the desktop showing, you should see a My Documents icon which is normally situated in the top left hand corner.

If you do not see the My Documents icon then you may need to 'Add the icon to your desktop'.

If you do see the My Documents icon, right click it with the mouse and from the menu that appears left click 'Properties'.

Properties box in Windows XP for My Documents

A properties window appears showing the box pictured. You can see the current location which is always under 'C:\documents and settings\username\My Documents'.

You have three options:

Restore Default' will set the my documents back to what it is now if you change your mind later.

'Find Target' will take you to the current location of the documents.

The third option 'Move' is what you want to click. This will open another box as below, asking you where you want to move the documents to.

Properties box showing select a destination window in Windows XP for My Documents

You can use the browser box to click another place for the my documents to go.

Double click the 'My Computer' option which will expand and show you all the available drives on the computer.

You can see our list of drives below.

Properties box showing select a destination window in Windows XP for My Documents

We have a 'D:' drive available and we can click this. You may or may not have a 'D:' drive. You can see the folders already created on our 'D:' drive.

If you don't want to use any of the folders listed you can click the 'Make New Folder' button at the bottom of the box.

Properties box prompting for location of choice in Windows XP

When you click the 'Make New Folder' button Windows creates a new folder with text highlighted blue ready for you to type your preferred folder name.

In our example we have decided to call the folder 'docs'. Type the name you want where the text is highlighted and press the enter/return key.

You will now see that folder you created in the list of folders under the drive you specified.

Click the 'ok' button.

Create a new folder in Windows XP properties window

You will return to the properties window and you will notice that your newly specified location is already entered in the 'Target' box.

At the bottom of the window click the 'OK' button.

Properties box showing target location as per selection

You should now see a box asking you if you want to move all your exising documents to the newly specified location.

In most cases you will want to do this as the main reason for changing the My Documents location is to create hard drive space on the 'C: drive'.

Click the 'Yes' option.

Moving files from old My documents location to new location in Windows XP

You will see the files begin to move from the old location to the new My Documents location.

By moving your My Documents this way, Windows XP can still use the 'My Document' icons and shortcuts placed around Windows XP.

Once the files have moved over the window will close and you will return to the desktop. If you clicked 'Apply' and not 'Ok' then you will need to click 'Ok' once the files have been moved.

Next tutorial - Change Windows XP Desktop Icons

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