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Move My Documents to a Separate Partition

Posted on by Jason

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(XP only) – We’re going to be using TweakUI to move My Documents to a separate partition (similar to setting Linux’s /home on a separate partition). In this tutorial, we’re going to be moving our own important contents of My Documents to the new partition (we’re not setting up our new partition as My Documents as unwanted folders tend to build up there – but this tutorial can easily be adapted to set the partition as My Documents).

For what reasons? Easier backup of files, and an easy to access collection of your files, not the odd unwanted folders that tend to pop up (EA Games, Battlefield 2, My Stationary, My Google Gadgets, etc.). We’re going to assume you have a new NTFS partition setup already.

Move Folders to the Partition

For the rest of this tutorial, we’ll be referring to our partition as I:.

Cut Folder

Right click on a folder of your choice and hit Cut (drag and drop will copy the folder, which isn’t what you want).

Paste Folder

Now paste it into I:.

Setting New Special Locations

You’ll need TweakUI for this one. This will ensure your Start menu links head to the right place.

Change "My Music" Location

Expand the My Computer list, then hit Special Folders. Since My Music is now in a new location, I need to tell Windows that. Select the folder location you want to change, and hit Change Location.

New Special Location Warning

TweakUI will warn you. Essentially it tells you not to set the location of two special folders to the same thing, or to a system folder. Hit Yes once you’re done pondering the warning.

Set New Location for "My Music"

Direct your choice to the new folder. Hit OK. Rinse and repeat as necessary. If you want to set your new partition as the My Documents folder, just select My Documents and choose the drive as the new path.

Editing your Places Bar

This is entirely optional, and completely unnecessary if you set the new partition as My Documents. However, if you didn’t, and you want easy access to I:, we’ll show you how to add it to the Places Bar (the list of 5 folders that Windows has on the side of every Save dialog and Explorer window).

Places Bar Configuration

Expand Common Dialogs, and hit Places Bar. Select Custom Places Bar, and for the first (or whichever) one, type in the partition path (for us, it’s called I:\). We then chose some new folders that we thought were more useful than the default.

You’re now set, as we’ve changed the location of the several special folders inside My Documents to a new partition, and edited the Places Bar to be more relevant. You may also want to consider disabling the My Documents link in the Start Menu, unless you’ve set your new drive as My Documents.

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