Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

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  1. Posts : 2

    Kari said:
    No, it should be the install.wim file and that's the cause for your issue.

    Thanks Kari! Worked like a charm ^^
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  2. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Good to hear!
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  3. Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    I have been following this thread, as well as your warning to use the Win7 procedure to move the user directory. Thank you for your post. I have a sort of unique situation, and am unsure of the order or how to proceed. Here goes.

    My old PC HD crashed. (Data backed up online)
    I ordered a new PC with Win7 Pro (no Win10 pro available to be shipped when I wanted it)

    I plan on doing the following:
    1. Setting up the new PC with Win7 Pro (No backed up data or program files will be loaded yet.)
    2. Download the Win10Pro Upgrade and installing it.
    3. Defaulting User Profiles to the D Drive
    4. Transferring appropriate data from my online backup to my user profile directory on the D Drive.

    More than likely, I will have to set up an initial user profile when I initialize the New PC. And, as mentioned, I'll be downloading the upgrade. So, at what point do I follow the instructions to default User Files to D? The instructions here start from a basis of a clean boot from the CD. When I initiate the upgrade on Win10Pro, will I see the same screens I see in your screenshots provided?
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  4. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Hi Wgrayson, welcome to the Ten Forums.

    The upgrade system has changed, you can set up Windows 7 relocating the Users folder (do not relocate ProgramData or any other system folders!), then upgrade to Windows 10.

    An alternative method is to set up Windows 7 with a dummy user account, keeping the Users folder on C: drive, then upgrade to Windows 10 and when 10 arrives the settings screen after last reboot required by upgrade, enter Audit Mode and relocate the Users folder and finally then when Windows boots to OOBE phase and asks for the initial users, create your real user account.

    When in desktop after all this, delete the dummy user.

    Last edited by Kari; 06 Aug 2015 at 11:26.
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  5. Posts : 3
    Windows 10

    Actually, this makes sense and I thought that would be the answer --- setting up a dummy account for the Win7 setup. I was just unsure if the Win10 upgrade process would allow me to go into edit mode.

    By the way, now that Win10 is live, does your original process for moving directories work or should we follow the Win7 steps you referred us to?
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  6. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    The process to sysprep the Users folder to another drive is exactly same in all Windows versions from Vista to 10. You can do it in 10 by following the tutorial for 7, except that the 7 tutorial also shows how to move the ProgramData, too; in 8 and later you cannot move ProgramData.
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  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 7

    Kari said:
    First, welcome to the Ten Forums :)

    The registry edits were needed when the upgrade was not possible with relocated system folders. Upgrading from 7 to 10 you need to move the ProgramData first back to C: drive but you should not need to edit the registry anymore, although the edits shown here do no harm when done.

    I have only tested 7 to 10 upgrade now a couple of times with relocated Users folder only, not on a system where also the ProgramData was relocated and then moved back to C: drive. I will test that scenario as soon as I can find some time, until that I can only tell you that you should not need to edit registry after moving the ProgramData to C: but if the upgrade then fails notifying you that you cannot upgrade due the system being sysprepped, an easy fix is to edit the registry.

    Moving the ProgramData directory from D:\ to C:\ before the install, can I just move the directory through file explorer or do I need to something else?

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  8. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    No, it is not possible just to copy it. You need to use the same method to move it back to C: as what you did to move it from C:, use Sysprep for it.
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  9. Posts : 7
    Windows 7

    Hmm, I did that last time some two years ago or so... lets see if my dusty old cogs can turn...

    So basically:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
      <settings pass="oobeSystem">
         <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
      <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:E:/sources/install.wim#Windows 7 ULTIMATE" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
    placing the relocate.xml file on d:\ then pop the Win7 Pro cd in my drive, and then run:
    C:\>net stop wmpnetworksvc
    followed by
    C:\>%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate.xml
    I'm guessing all this in safe mode or an cmd shell started as admin?

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  10. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 Pro

    Hey Kari,

    So I followed the tutorial back on Windows 7 to move the Users folders now i'm back to do it again on my brand new clean install of Windows 10. Before I go ahead, just want to run a couple things by you to make sure I got the right procedure.

    First thing; I created a USB install media to do my clean install. I read that I need to use the ISO instead? So just download the iso,mount it and it will work when the computer restarts?

    Second; Do I need to create a folder on the destination drive for the Users folder to go into?

    And third; When the installation procedure starts back up, just create a local account to log in and then when I restart again I can use my MS account? Would my data/settings/personalization still remain?

    Thank you and keep up the great work!
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