Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

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

    sliding said:
    But why does a new C:\Users\username folders get created despite the fact that it has all been moved to another location/drive? Looks like MS persists to use C:\users for some of their programs.
    That is not exactly a consistent system design.
    That is both consistent and logical.

    When you install Windows, Users folder is created on C: drive as any other system folders but no user accounts are created. After Setup has finished, after its last restart, when OOBE starts, Setup creates a temporary user account defaultuser0 to allow OOBE (Windows Welcome) to be run. It will be created in C:\Users.

    Now you will restart to Audit Mode. Because no actual user accounts exists yet, Windows temporarily enables the built-in admin account and signs you in to Audit Mode using it. At this point, system has no knowledge that user profiles will be relocated, so also Administrator user profile will be created in C:\Users.

    When you Sysprep with an answer file which relocates the Users folder to another drive, Windows deletes the current defaultuser0 profile and disables Administrator profile. It then creates the new Users folder on another drive and creates new defaultuser0 profile on that folder, this way allowing you now go through OOBE and create your initial user profile.

    Because Sysprep disabled the built-in admin used in Audit Mode, its profile folders will be emptied but main folder Administrator remains. Windows Setup will not remove the C:\Users folder now because it contains profile folder Administrator, empty at this moment but still existing.

    When user then signs in to desktop first time, temporary defaultuser0 profile will be automatically deleted. It is safe to remove now obsolete C:\Users folder manually. It will be no longer needed.

    roy111 said:
    Given all the work you have done and still do (excellent tutorials and helpful forum posts) I do not see how you could have lost something; you may be no longer referenced as a Most Valuable Promoter but you surely are a

    Most Valuable Person!

    to many users.
    Thanks for your kind words!

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 2
    Win 10 64 bits

    Issue with new laptop

    Hi everyone,

    Following this (great) thread I already did the relocation of the Users folder previously on my old desktop and everything went fine.
    Unfortunately this desktop died and I bought a new laptop and I'm facing difficulties to move the folder this time.

    Information :
    . Asus laptop with a SSD M2 and a HDD
    . Windows 10 64 bits 1803 on a USB key
    . Windows licence came with the laptop

    Issue :
    Each time I'm applying the Sysprep, the laptop is rebooting as it should but then the Windows installation restarts from scratch as nothing was done. If I tried to complete the installation, the Users folder is still on C: and there is nothing on D: .

    What I tried :
    . Applying Sysprep with the 2 methods (with crtl+shift+f3 when Cortana speaks for the first time OR with shift+F10 when it's asking to connect to a network)
    . Deleting everything on D:
    . Deleting every partitions on both SSD and HDD (including the manufacturer recovery partition ) to let Windows 10 creates its partitions

    I am a bit short of ideas now...

    Any help would be most welcome...
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 2
    Win 10 64 bits

    Ok... This is nuts but after trying numerous times yesterday I just started the laptop today : it was in the middle of Windows installation. I completed the installation and the Users folder did move on D. ....

    Case closed I guess...
    Thanks again for this topic !
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 2
    Windows 10

    Kari said:
    C:\Users\Administrator is useless remnant from when you signed in to Audit Mode using that account. After Sysprep, that profile becomes useless as all profiles have been moved to new location.

    In this case, it is totally safe to delete C:\Users. You can test it easily by enabling built-in administrator account (tutorial) and signing in to it once. After first sign-in, you will see that new user profile folder Administrator will be created on the new location.

    Thank you so much for the advice Kari, really appreciate it.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 1
    Win 10 Pro


    Let's see if I have this correct. Running v1803 build 17134.165. Computer is fully backed up. Been running the system on the SSD only. Re-added the HDD back into the system. Fully formatted as a single 2 Tb partition, with only the relocate.xml file on it.

    So I will do Method 2
    Steps to follow?
    1. Activate Built-in Administrator account
    2. Boot to the Administrator account
    3. Start Windows PowerShell in admin mode
    4. Type cmd to get back to the cmd prompt.
    5. Change directory to the window\system32 directory
    6. Type sysprep
    7. Type %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate.xml using the following relocate.xml file:

    <?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=""><FolderLocations><ProfilesDirectory>D:\Users</ProfilesDirectory></FolderLocations></component></settings></unattend>

    8. Allow sysprep to run (figure at least a hour or more, alot of files)
    9. Finally get to the OOBE setup
    10.Create a dummy local user
    11. See if ALL users are moved to the new drive.
    12. See that the Administrator acct is still on c:\Users
    13. See that there is a D:\Users
    14. There is still a C:\Users|grace (the active user} with only only 2 folders inside and they cannot be deleted
    15. The D:\Users directory has the public, local acct username, Administrator, default.migrated AND A FOLDER named Documents i.e. D:\Users\Documents\ with the Documents Icon! Inside that directory is the correct folder structure for the active user \grace

    I've included some screenshots, and it I click on the File Explorer bar, I see this: D:\Users\grace,

    Please see the photos!

    JohnMove Users Folder Location in Windows 10-2018-08-07-1-_li.jpgMove Users Folder Location in Windows 10-2018-08-07-2-_li.jpgMove Users Folder Location in Windows 10-2018-08-07_li.jpg
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Pro

    Hi Kari, I have done the relocation of the Users folder with MBR partitions. Trying to convert the partitions to GPT now but MBR2GPT says it cannot find the OS partition. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 72

    Make it once - reuse it forever!


    It's may be the tenth time I do that procedure in last few years.
    I wrote a simple .BAT that will manage all steps...
    No brain - It help me ... instead of forgetting and have to relearn it every time!
    If you feel it worth to add to your tutorial, feel free to do it (and no need to mention me)



    @Echo off
    Echo . Bat File to  relocate users files using D:/relocate64W10.xml
    Echo Close to exit
    Echo . Ensure that WMP Network Sharing Service is stopped
    net stop wmpnetworksvc
    Echo Close to exit
    Echo . Now the Sysprep command itself. 
    Echo . skip the rest BUT create a TEMPORARY account - 
    Echo - OOBE boot requires a user account to be created 
    Echo ! It may take some  time to have the job done ( a lot in some case)
    Echo !! Don't be afraid if you are left for long with BIOS logo on your screen !!
    %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate64W10.xml
    REM  Hope it Help - Alain

    This is my quite standard Relocate64W10.xml contents:

    <?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="">
    Last edited by AlainCh2; 13 Aug 2018 at 09:22. Reason: format
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 72

    I need Help and quick info, please:

    Now I have relocated everything on DATA = D:

    If I need to change the letter on that drive, say E: what is the best approach?

    a) relocate on a temporary drive TEMP = Z: then re-label DATA = E:

    b) Now DATA is already populated - clean it before moving it

    c) re-label DATA = E: ...and forget W10 ... it will not complain

    Sure c) would be the best... )

      My Computers

  9. Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    I followed method 1 to install Windows 10 on the SSD and the user profiles on the HDD in my laptop. Everything worked well for more than a year.

    Then the motherboard died and it seems to have killed the SSD, too.

    Now I've purchased a new SSD and would like to know how best to get the same set-up that I had before.

    - I assume that I have to format the HDD, before attempting to start method 1 again on the new SSD. Is this correct?
    - If so, is the sequence of steps as follows:
    i. Install Windows 10 on SSD.
    ii. Back up contents of HDD to external drive.
    iii. Format HDD
    iv. Reinstall Windows 10 on SSD, following method 1?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 Pro


    Just stumbled here after an endless search on how to free space on a tiny SSD.

    So far this is the most detailed and currently still supported guide i found. Before I start doing this, and backreading 122 pages, want to try asking few things.

    1. Is there any decrease/decline of speed from windows start up and/or program start up? I have read several talks about moving appdata negates the use of SSD to boost speed in opening programs. it this true? if yes, does it really have a noticeable difference?

    2. If somehow, being dumb, i did something wrong while on the process, will it damage the SSD drive? im not afraid to do any mistake, but im afraid of the owner of the laptop - the wife.

    3. Is there any known conflict? bugs? with this setup when running outlook? adobe sw?

    4. Lastly, i dont want to be rude, but I just want to be 110% sure, the opening post is updated right? and will work for 1803? hbt 1809? will it matter if it is upgraded to 1809?

    Thank you!
      My Computer


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