If you want to have your Users folder stored somewhere other than the default location, you generally need to do an unattended installation with a modified installation script. If want to move the folder on an existing installation, then you need to make a couple of changes to the registry and then move the folder yourself. This is what we’ll do here.
The Users folder is the default folder/directory name for the Windows ProfilesDirectory, and by default it is stored in
%SystemDrive%. Typically this is your C:\ drive (unless you installed Windows on a different drive), so it looks like
C:\User\. We’re going to move it to the
First, as always, backup your files and create a restore point just in case something goes wrong. Once you’ve done that go through the following:
- Create a temporary admin user temp-admin.
- Log out from your current user and log back in as the temp-admin user. (Don’t just switch users, actually log-out and then back in.). If you encounter any files in your original user account that are still in use, try restarting the computer.
- Create a
- Move every folder except
D:\User\. Make sure you include all the hidden folders too.
- Copy the
- Open the Registry Editor and go to
- Expand the ProfileList tree-node to show all the profiles, and go through these replacing
ProfileImagePaththat points to
C:\Users\.... There should be one of these for each user account.
- Restart your computer and log in as your normal Admin user.
- The Users folder is now in the desired location. You can delete the temp-admin user.
Update: If you encounter the
user profile service failed the logon error when you try to log in using an account created after moving the ProfilesDirectory, it is because you didn’t include the
Default folder when moving folders from C:\Users\ to D:\Users\. This folder is used as a template for creating profiles for new accounts. Make sure it exists in your new ProfilesDirectory.
Thanks to a blog entry at rob.brooks-bilson.com for this update.