What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"

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  1. Posts : 39
    Windows 10
       #1

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"


    I should know this ! Maybe old age has gotten to me and not all of my synapses connect anymore.

    I have been using Windows since XP and have touched every version, except 8. I spent many, many years on 7, but some how the actual implementation and purpose of theses folders under C:\Users\name\Documents escapes me.

    Windows Explorer shows them as links, but if you try to access them you get "Access Denied". From CMD, DIR says there is nothing there.
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  2. Posts : 11,387
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706
       #2

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-hard-links-userprofile-folder.png

    What a very interesting question. They are called symbolic links. The only explanation I have ever seen is a general one
    Symbolic links are designed to aid in migration and application compatibility with UNIX operating systems.
    Microsoft has implemented its symbolic links to function just like UNIX links.

    If you look in the Registry at
    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    you will see many of their targets
    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-some-hard-link-targets.png


    But none of this explains what these particular symbolic links are doing in this particular location [C:\Users\YourUserName].

    I'll await with interest somebody knowledgeable responding to your question.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 22 Sep 2019 at 07:42.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 39
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Try3 said:
    What a very interesting question. They are called symbolic links. The only explanation I have ever seen is a general one
    IMHO, I would call a Windows Shortcut a closer replacement to a Unix symbolic (soft) links. (ln -s) Of course in Windows, file shortcuts show up as .lnk file types.

    Windows DOES have hard and soft/symbolic link via the mklink command. Windows Explorer see this as files or folders unlike Shortcuts.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 5,086
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #4

    Those are junction links:

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-junction-links.jpg
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  5. Posts : 24,632
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    theoldwizard1 said:
    ...some how the actual implementation and purpose of theses folders under C:\Users\name\Documents escapes me.
    Try3 said:
    They are called symbolic links. ... But none of this explains what these particular symbolic links are doing in this particular location [C:\Users\YourUserName].
    I'll await with interest somebody knowledgeable responding to your question.
    These symbolic links provide backward compatibility for older software that expects these folders to exist. In XP they were real folders, found under the 'C:\Documents and Settings' folder.

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-xp-my-music.png
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 5,086
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #6

    In addition I don't see the same shortcut names.

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-explorer.jpg
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 24,632
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Callender said:
    In addition I don't see the same shortcut names.
    Look in Documents.

    What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-image.png
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 39
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Callender said:
    Those are junction links:
    okay

    Why are they better/different than Shortcuts ?

    Why do I get Access Denied ?
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  9. Posts : 5,086
    21H1 64 Bit Home
       #9

    No shortcuts there for me are shown in Explorer but they do seem to exist:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What exactly are are "My music", "My Pictures" and "My videos"-my-documents.jpg  
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 24,632
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    theoldwizard1 said:
    okay

    Why are they better/different than Shortcuts ?

    Why do I get Access Denied ?
    These junction points were first seen in Vista, the first OS to use the new locations for Music, Pictures and Videos. MS explained it thus:


    Microsoft said:
    After you upgrade Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista, you cannot access the following folders in Windows Vista:
    • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents
    • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Music
    • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Pictures
    • %systemdrive%\Users\user_name\My Documents\My Videos

    Additionally, you receive the following error message when you try to access the folders:Access is denied.

    ...

    The My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos folders in Windows Vista are junction points. A junction point is a protected operating system folder that points to another folder. The junction point is an important part of application compatibility and does not contain any data or other files.

    ...


    By default, a junction point has the following settings after you upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista:
    • The attribute of a junction point is hidden.
    • The Read permission of a junction point is Deny.

    If you change these default settings, the system will become unstable.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...-music-my-pict
      My Computers


 

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