How to Move the Desktop Folder in Windows 10

In Windows, the Desktop is the location which occupies the whole screen area that you see after you sign in to your user account. It can store shortcuts to anything as well as files and folders. You can arrange items on the Desktop in any way you want. Files you see on the desktop are stored in a special folder in your user profile. Today, we'll see how to move the Desktop folder and change its location to any folder.

In modern Windows versions, including Windows 10, the Desktop folder contents are stored in two locations. One is the "Common Desktop", located in the folder C:\Users\Public\Desktop. The other one is a special folder in the current user profile, %userprofile%\Desktop. Windows shows the contents of both folders in a single view.

It is possible to change where the files in your personal Desktop folder are stored. You can change its location to another folder. Let's see how it can be done.

To move the Desktop Folder in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Type or copy-paste the following in the address bar: %userprofile%
  3. Press the Enter key on the keyboard. You user profile folder will be opened.

    See the Desktop folder.
  4. Right click the Desktop folder and select Properties.
  5. In Properties, go to the Location tab, and click on the Move button.
  6. In the folder browse dialog, select the new folder that you want to store your Desktop files.
  7. Click on the OK button to make the change.
  8. Click on Yes to move all your files from the old location to the new folder when prompted.

This way, you can change the location of your Desktop folder to another folder, to another folder on a different disk drive or even to a mapped network drive. This will allow you to save space on the system drive, which can be particularly useful for users who keep large files right on the desktop.

Here is the full set of articles on how to move your user folders:

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4 thoughts on “How to Move the Desktop Folder in Windows 10”

  1. Is there any way to move the Public Desktop folder? I’ve already successfully moved all the other Public folders (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, etc.), but I’m denied access to move or delete Public Desktop, even in an Admin Command Window in Safe Mode. My hope is to move it to another partition, then create a directory junction for the new location in the original location.

  2. Anyone encountered a situation where the 3 boxes are missing from the Location Tab for Restore, Move and Find??

  3. how do I change the location of my folders which i have files stored on my desk top. moving the file from the left side to the right side. not the contents of the file only the location

  4. I installed win10x64pro (20H2) right now. I moved my Desktop as on older Win10 releases. Every time I double click I got a error message “The directory name is invalid” for files which are directly stored on the desktop. Creating a new text file on the desktop will result in the same error message.

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