Undo: Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder  

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder

    Undo: Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder

    accidentally mergng your Pictures folder with your User folder is easy to do but more difficult to correct
    Published by Category: User Accounts
    19 Aug 2018
    Designer Media Ltd


    In Windows 10 you can Move Location of Pictures Folder in Windows 10. You may have done this, for example, because your C: drive is an SSD with limited free space and you want to keep your Pictures on a larger E: drive.

    When you make this move the original C:\Users\<YourUsername>\Pictures folder will be deleted. If you change your mind and want to move Pictures back to the C: drive you will have to create a new Pictures folder in your User folder and select that as the destination. If you fail to take this step and just select C:\Users\<YourUsername> then Windows warns you that you are trying to merge Pictures with you Profile and that this is a permanent change that cannot be undone.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-redirection-warning.png

    At this point you should have cancelled, created a new Pictures folder and selected that. Unfortunately it's all to easy to click Yes before you've fully reading the warning.

    The consequences of merging the folders can be very confusing, so first a description of some strange effects you may see so that you can identify this as being your problem. In the screenshots that follow a user with the name Owner has merged their Pictures folder with their user profile folder, C:\Users\Owner. The most obvious anomaly is that the user folder now appears in some parts of File Explorer under the name Pictures and with a 'pictures' icon, but a Command Prompt will still show its true name.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-different-names-same-folder.png

    Your User folder will also contain a Pictures folder which, if you click on it, will take you to your same User folder, but with some subtle differences in what you can see there. You won't see a Pictures folder any more, but you will now see Camera Roll and Saved Pictures.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-same-but-different.png

    Windows is correct in saying that you cannot undo the redirection with the normal tools Windows provides. But it is possible to manually separate the Pictures and Profile functions of the merged folder. To repair the damage done, follow these steps. It's important to perform all the steps in this order, so do not try any shortcuts.



    Here's How:

    1. Open File Explorer, in the View ribbon tick 'File name extensions' and 'Hidden files'. On the View ribbon, click Options > change folder and search options. In the window that opens click the View tab. Scroll down and untick 'Hide folder merge conflicts' and 'Hide protected operating system files'. Click Apply or OK to save these changes.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-explorer-settings.png

    2. In the left hand column of file Explorer (otherwise known as the Navigation Pane) click on your User folder (the one with a user icon to its left). In these examples the user has the name Owner.

    3. In your user folder, create a new folder named Pictures. You will now see two Pictures folders, the original one with a pictures icon, the new one as a plain folder.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-two-picture-folders.png

    4. find the desktop.ini file in C:\Users\<yourname> and move it into the new C:\Users\<yourname>\Pictures you just created.

    5. Using File Explore to cut and paste, move your live folders 'Camera Roll', 'Saved Pictures', and 'Screenshots' if it exists (will only be there if you've used WinKey+PrtScn) and any photos to the new C:\Users\<yourname>\Pictures you created.

    6. Open Registry Editor (regedit) and go to the key...
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

    Before making any registry changes, always back up the registry key in case you make an error and need to restore it. Select the key (in this case User Shell Folders) in the left hand list, then use File > Export... to save the key as a .reg file. You can restore the key by double-clicking on the .reg file you created.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-regedit.png


    7. You can now edit both {0DDD015D-B06C-45D5-8C4C-F59713854639} and My Pictures to point to %USERPROFILE%\Pictures

    Double-click on the item in the right hand list to open the edit dialog box, type the changes and click OK to save them. Sign out and then back in, or restart the PC for these registry changes to take effect.

    Undo:  Merged your Pictures folder with your User folder-tutorial-edit-registry.png

    That's it. You now have a functional pictures folder with all its standard sub-folders located in the C:\Users\<yourname>\Pictures folder. If you wish, you can now move it elsewhere. Or you can just leave it where it is.


    Note   Note
    Initially your new Pictures folder may just have a plain folder icon. After making the changes it took about 10 minutes of using the PC before the normal pictures folder icon returned. If it doesn't return, try a Restart or two. If it still doesn't come back try rebuilding the Icon Cache.


    my thanks go to @Barman58 for bringing desktop.ini to my attention, moving that was key to getting this to work.

  1. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,805
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1
       #1

    Nice work Bree.
      My Computer

  2. OldMike65's Avatar
    Posts : 109,436
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H1 19043.1055
       #2

    Well done Bree congrats
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 (and XPSP3 and 98 SE2 and DOS5)
       #3

    Thanks very much for posting such a clear and effective fix for this problem. The steps worked as hoped and the actual registry editing is minimal.

    It's worth noting that in Step 4 (find the desktop.ini file in C:\Users\<yourname> and move it into the new C:\Users\<yourname>\Pictures you just created.), there wasn't a desktop.ini in the main folder. I took this to mean the desktop.ini in the "appropriated" Pictures folder.

    Second, I was also left with 5 shortcuts which all warned that I don't have permission to access them. They were to : Local Settings, My Documents, NetHood, Pictures and PrintHood. I assume these were left over from Windows redirecting to "Documents" to "Pictures" (and renaming Pictures in most, but not all instances). I deleted these seemingly without incident ( a full day of work and many reboots later).

    For such a "simple" change, semi-merging these two folders is a disaster. In my case I simply wanted to transfer my full "My Documents" tree structure from XP to Windows 10. I have several applications which are linked to documents I stored there, and not all the file references are relative.
      My Computer

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,701
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Welcome to Ten Forums Rextrash, glad to have been able to help....

    Rextrash said:
    ... I was also left with 5 shortcuts which all warned that I don't have permission to access them. They were to : Local Settings, My Documents, NetHood, Pictures and PrintHood. I assume these were left over from Windows redirecting to "Documents" to "Pictures" (and renaming Pictures in most, but not all instances). I deleted these seemingly without incident ( a full day of work and many reboots later)...

    Actually those were not shortcuts, they were Junction points and are a standard part of any Windows 7, 8 or 10 install. Deleting them all will do no real harm, not unless you have some XP era software installed that requires them.

    ...They are there for backward compatibility with older software that tries to save to the old default locations. For example, your 'Documents' folder is a real folder, but in Windows 95 and XP it had the name 'My Documents'. The Junction called 'My Documents' redirect older software to the Documents folder so that it will still be able to work normally. Your hidden Appdata folder is where apps save their working data, but it has variously been known in the past as 'Application Data' or 'Local Data'.

    ...These are many other Junctions in your user folder, all with the same purpose - backward compatibility. Here are the Junctions in your user folder, recognisable by the L attribute which means it is a Reparse Point.


    .
    documents vs mydocuments and publicdocuments What? Why? How? When? - post #6
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 (and XPSP3 and 98 SE2 and DOS5)
       #5

    Aha!
    Thanks Bree, that's infomation I didn't have. I do run legacy programs (hence the need to preserve the tree structure in "My Documents".

    - - - Updated - - -

    Aha!
    Thanks Bree, that's infomation I didn't have. I do run legacy programs (hence the need to preserve the tree structure in "My Documents").
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 1
    Windows 10
       #6

    Hi, sorry to bug you. I've accidentally done a similar thing, but it is the Saved Games folder that has merged with my User folder. Are you able to share how that would change this tutorial? I would be extremely grateful, thank you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nevermind, I think I figured it out. I created a Saved Games folder, moved the desktop.ini file and normal Saved Games folder contents to that folder, and then redirected "{4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}" from that directory in regedit to "%USERPROFILE%\Saved Games" and that seems to have done the trick.

    Thanks for providing this tutorial that gave me enough to go on to figure out my own similar but unique situation.
      My Computer

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,701
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
    Thread Starter
       #7

    superbirdcat said:
    Nevermind, I think I figured it out. I created a Saved Games folder, moved the desktop.ini file and normal Saved Games folder contents to that folder, and then redirected "{4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}" from that directory in regedit to "%USERPROFILE%\Saved Games" and that seems to have done the trick.

    Thanks for providing this tutorial that gave me enough to go on to figure out my own similar but unique situation.

    Welcome to Ten Forums superbirdcat

    Sorry I didn't get back to you before you figured it out for yourself. Yes, the principles are the same, whichever of the special folders you have merged with your User folder.
      My Computers


 

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