29 thoughts on “Move the Users folder in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7

  1. Leigh

    Can this method also be used to move the huge winsxs folder from the SSD on C: to the slower Hard Drive on D: ?

    The WinSxS folder is needed occasionally when Windows recovers core files. But it isn’t used all the time and the folder doesn’t need to have quick access times. The system is installed on C: which is a fast SSD. winsxs takes up a lot of prime drive space which could be used for other things that need quick access times.

    Microsoft strongly advises against doing anything with the winsxs folder but maybe it would work?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Hi.
      Do not touch WinSxS folder please. You will kill OS.
      It is not designed to be moved.

      Reply
  2. Tedjo

    Hi Sergey, thank you for your clear instructions. Very helpful. A question which I could not find the answer is: on Windows 8, is it possible to turn off internet connection sharing *among users*? I mean, if some users log in at the same time on one PC, each one must enter his/her own username and password registered to the network, which, in my case is a university. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  3. Paul

    Please note that Microsoft does not support moving the user profiles folder to another drive.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2876597
    http://www.zdnet.com/article/dont-move-your-windows-user-profiles-folder-to-another-drive/

    The above process works (I’ve done it successfully myself), but you will not be able to upgrade your windows version (though you can get updates for the current version of windows through windows update). If you hope to upgrade from Windows 7 > 8 > 8.1 > 10, that will not be possible

    Reply
  4. John

    I get error access is denied

    Reply
  5. Rehv

    I just can’t do it. System can’t fins desktop.ini and then says it couldnt create “all users” dir…

    Reply
    1. John V

      Using a flash drive Windows 10 Pro installation I get the same errors: First: F:\Users\desktop.ini (Y/N)?
      Then when I answer either Y or N, I get: File creation error – The system cannot find the file specified.
      And: Unable to create directory – C:\Users\All Users, 0 File(s) copied

      Reply
  6. Link

    sadly this doesnt work, cant create all users folder in drive:\Users , application data and so on when running xcopy (what is this folder anyway?)

    Reply
  7. WinUsers

    According to the latest comments from the official release of Windows 10 , it does not work ? Sergey Tkachenko can you come back to us and do the test , please?

    And this try : works or not ? On Windows 10 ?
    robocopy /copyall /mir /xj C:\Users E:\Users
    rmdir /S /Q C:\Users
    mklink /J C:\Users E:\Users
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

    Reply
    1. John

      Thanks for this. As others have pointed out, the xcopy command proposed in the original posting does not do the job – it falls over on a number of “special” directory entries including “All users” and “Public” in the Users folder – these are some kind of symbolic link or junction, can’t remember which.

      The Robocopy command you suggesed did seem to complete the copy OK.

      The mklink command needs a bit of care – it seems to me that Sergei probably has the parameters the wrong way around in his original post. First parameter is the place where the link will be created. Second parameter is where the link is to point to.

      The tricky thing is, first parameter needs to use the drive lettering mappings in use when running the Windows Setup / Command Prompt environment, second parameter needs to use the drive lettering mappings that will be used when running the final Windows system.

      In my case the mapping when running Windows is SSD = C:, DVD = D:, HD = E:; when in Setup SSD = D: and HD = E:. HD is the same in both cases which makes life easier! Command is: mklink /J D:\Users E:\Users.

      System seems to be running OK – I’ll post again with further comments if things start going wrong!

      One thing does worry me – the entries for “All users” and “Public” have *not* been copied to E:\Users by the robocopy command. I’m not quite sure what impact this might have. If anybody knows, please let me know!

      Reply
    2. John

      P.S. I’m assuming the last line of your posting is just a typo of some sort (“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE etc”). If not, please could you explain it?

      Reply
  8. kaygu

    How are we supposed to rename our Users forlder in .bak ?
    Is there a specific command line to type ?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      In cmd prompt you can do it as follows:

      ren C:\Users c:\Users.bak
      Reply
      1. John

        Should be:
        ren C:\Users Users.bak
        Second parameter can’t have a full path; the command can only rename within a directory, it can’t do a move.

        Reply
  9. James M DeLuca

    Correction?
    4. Close the Open dialog and then close Notepad and type the following in the command prompt:
    xcopy “D:\Users” “E:\Users” /e /i /h /s /k /p
    [error]..assuming that drive E: is the desired new location for your Program Files folder.
    [correction] ..assuming that drive E: is the desired new location for your Users folder.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thank you. Fixed.

      Reply
  10. Steve Bovis

    Does the newly linked “Users” folder on the new drive have to be called “Users” or can it be called say “Win10Users”, I say this as I already have a linked folder from an 8.1 installation on the proposed drive already called “Users” ?

    Reply
  11. christopher dunne

    I’ve had no success with this.

    My plan was to put the user directory on a second partition so it could be accessed in Linux when Windows was hibernated (still not sure if it would lock it anyway).

    Anyway like ‘rehv’ posted the original xcopy method only copied one file for me. I tried copying it in Linux and it seemed to work but after the cretion of the link Windows complains it can’t find the profile.

    I then wondered if there was an issue with Linux copying files so tried the ‘robocopy’ method posted in comments, this was very busy and seemed to copy all so I got my hopes up but just the same issue upon booting to Windows.

    I then just had a panic, I tried to restore my backed up folder, Windows seemed to boot and login so it got further but then it went to the set pin screen (I think I’d already set a Pin) it seemed to crash on this but did allow a reboot and this time it went in fine. The ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList’ isn’t a DOS command?

    Reply
  12. Bradley Bronson

    Correction…
    mklink should show the name of the link before the target, e.g.

    mklink /J “D:\Users” “E:\Users”

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thank you very much.

      Reply
  13. atzs

    Great post, but the method doesn’t work with my build. Instead of

    xcopy “E:\Users” “D:\Users” /e /i /h /s /k /p

    I have used

    xcopy “E:\Users” “D:\Users” /e /i /h /k /o /x /b

    Reply
  14. Paolo

    Thanks for the tutorial, it has been very useful! it worked like a charm just for moving one profile folder but recently something went wrong. maybe anyone experienced the same issue.
    If I create a new user and move his profile folder: c:\Users\ to e:\Users\ then Cortana and start menu (SearchUI.exe ) and all the default app, stop to work. if I move back the forlder to c:\Users\ everything works. Any Idea?

    Reply
  15. Maryl

    I tried this method, got the desktop.ini- error, went through with it anyway,, could not sign in no more, then tried to undo what I had done including renaming users.bak back to users., This seemed to work, but now my C:\Users is permanently called Users.bak in the Windows Explorer, I cannot rename it. When I opened the command prompt it was called C:\Users, without the .bak extension. How do I solve this?

    Reply
  16. Jesse Osborn

    DO NOT DO THIS
    I moved the users folder from my ssd to my hdd and i cannot install all components of the windows 10 anniversary update. I will try to revert the changes, hopefully this will fix it.

    Reply
  17. Paul

    Just tried this, after reading through all the instructions and revisions in the notes.

    Couple of things.

    OP: While I do appreciate your help and expertise, could you please clean up and trial the revisions contained in the comments ? I had to use a revised xcopy command atzs suggested. The copy completed without errors. With the method proposed in the body of the post, I got the “ini” error.

    After following all of the other directions, including the revised symlink creation format, everything seemed to work, I got no errors, but upon first boot, I get this error: User Profile Cannot Be Loaded.

    So, after all this, it doesn’t work. Windows10 Pro Creators Update. Single user, no password, simple as possible setup.

    Reply
  18. Tomaž

    I ussualy install Windows and create a user. Then I run CMD and enable Administrator account ( net user Administrator /active:yes ) and logoff my account and login into Administrator account. Then I move my user folder to another drive and create a junction ( mklink /j “C:\Users\ACCOUNT” “D:\Users\ACCOUNT” ). Disable the Administrator account ( net user Administrator /active:no ) and login to my account. It works like a charm. *NOTE THE HYPENS WHEN MAKING A JUNCTION. THEY MUST BE USED!!!

    Reply
    1. Rodolfo

      funcionou para mim da seguinte forma.
      eu instalei o windows 7 e fiz o robocoy, e os comandos a baixo.

      1o) Após a primeiro boot do Windows durante a instalação, precione Shift + F10

      2o) Execute os comandos abaixo

      d:
      mkdir USERS
      robocopy C:\Users D:\USERS /e /copyall /xj

      3o) Acesse o registro do Windows

      regedit
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

      4o) Altere as seguinte chaves

      Default D:\USERS\Default
      ProfilesDirectory D:\USERS
      Public D:\USERS\Public

      Após fazer este processo, atualize seu windows 7 por completo, e atualize logo em seguida atualize para o windows 10, e pronto, as pastas Users estarão em outro disco.

      Reply
  19. Rodolfo

    funcionou para mim da seguinte forma.
    eu instalei o windows 7 e fiz o robocoy, e os comandos a baixo.

    1o) Após a primeiro boot do Windows durante a instalação, precione Shift + F10

    2o) Execute os comandos abaixo

    d:
    mkdir USERS
    robocopy C:\Users D:\USERS /e /copyall /xj

    3o) Acesse o registro do Windows

    regedit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

    4o) Altere as seguinte chaves

    Default D:\USERS\Default
    ProfilesDirectory D:\USERS
    Public D:\USERS\Public

    Após fazer este processo, atualize seu windows 7 por completo, e atualize logo em seguida atualize para o windows 10, e pronto, as pastas Users estarão em outro disco.

    Reply

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