Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 10 Pro

    I had an interesting thing happen to me today.

    I had a Windows 7 Pro machine that I'd moved Users folder to drive D. I cloned all the disks, then did a clean (I think) install of Windows 10 2004, but did not format any disk. I just told the installer I didn't want to keep anything.

    I created a test user, called "test," so I could edit the relocate.xml file on the D drive (to update it to Windows 10 standards).

    My users folder is ALREADY on the D drive, and does not appear on the C drive at all.

    I created "test2" to test whether new user profiles would also go to the D drive. The new test user's file folder showed up on the D drive.

    Does anyone see any reason not to go ahead with the rest of the computer set-up (installing necessary programs, etc.) without worrying about using Option 1?
      My Computer

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

    Hi geeks!

    Due serious health issues, I have been incapacitated and unable to take part on the forums for past 2+ months. Twice have I thought that OK, I'm back, but have then relapsed both times.

    Since a few days now, it's looking better. I am clearly on the mend, getting back to normal life.

    I can see a lot of posts I have not read in my tutorial threads. In next couple of days, I will read all of them, and try to reply to those still being unanswered.

    My sincere apologies for my absence.


      My Computer

  3. Posts : 14
    Windows 10 Pro

    Kari said:

    Hi geeks!
    Due serious health issues, I have been incapacitated and unable to take part on the forums for past 2+ months. Twice have I thought that OK, I'm back, but have then relapsed both times.
    Since a few days now, it's looking better. I am clearly on the mend, getting back to normal life.
    I can see a lot of posts I have not read in my tutorial threads. In next couple of days, I will read all of them, and try to reply to those still being unanswered.
    My sincere apologies for my absence.

    Please don't feel you have to apologize for being absent, especially when it's due to illness!
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Home

    Help Please...

    Kari, please help...

    But first, I would like to thank you for this very useful post.

    Second, I hope you are feeling better now.

    About my problem, I have followed carefully, step by step, your Method One (i.e. Relocating Users folder during installation) and the Users folder was successfully created on my D: drive (my relocated drive, as in your example). However, it remained also at its initial location which is the C: drive and it contains the Administrator folder.

    Please note that the built-in Administrator user is not activated and I can confirm that from its Account active state displayed using the net user Administrator command in the elevated Command Prompt. I can also confirm it since it is not present in the login page or when I click on my username in the Start menu.

    Please advise how I can remove the Users folder from the C: drive along with the Administrator folder that is under it.

    Thank you!

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Enterprise

    Hello guys,

    I experience the same issue as some other recent posts in this thread.
    Since windows 10 is released, I always create a master image by configuring virtual machine, install windows 10 enterprise, doing the changes I need, start SCCM Capture Media and create .wim file.
    Then using SCCM to deploy those wims. While depoyment it uses unattend.xml for passing oobe.
    This worked great until 20H2 came out.
    Deployment is clearly crashing due to unattend parameter:


    This was never a problem, until now...
    Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10-screenshot-2021-02-17-084008.jpg

    Any new ideas how to fix this issue? I tried so many things, hard to write it all down.
    Could it be something related to existing local accounts in the image?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 20H2

    Have spent the past week trying to solve this stuck-on-install/reboot issue with Method 2 on 20H2.
    Seemingly no matter what I tried, the machine would be on a windows logo with rotating balls for hours, eventually I would power-off and the next reboot would show a dialog "Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation."

    Thankfully I followed the advice to use Macrium Reflect and was able to restore and try something different after every failure.

    Starting situation:
    Drive 0: 500Gb SSD, 250Gb for C:, D:, small recovery and vendor partitions
    Drive 1: 500Gb HDD, (11 years old, seems OK but overdue to fail at any time)
    Drive 2: 1Tb SSD, new

    C:\ nearly full with C:\Users
    D:\ contains relocated former "My *" directories (Documents, Videos, Downloads etc.) from my own user and OneDrive under D:\Home\Ed - (I had done this some years ago to try and recover space on C:)
    Very inconvenient having some files on C:\Users\Ed and others on D:\Home\Ed
    Goal: Move all C:\Users to D:\Users, merge D:\Home\Ed\* into D:\Users\Ed

    Things I tried:
    • Convert C drive from MBR to GPT (caused scary issues with recovery at first) because I thought I might need more than 4 partitions
    • Removed graphics card and used built-in graphics (fixed frightening blank screen after GPT/UEFI switch)
    • Removed Linux Subsystem (something suggested AppData/.../lxss files might be causing an issue)
    • Uninstall VirtualBox (one sysprep attempt gave an error suggesting it was incompatible)
    • Cleared out some space on C:\ and move the relocated "My *" directories back to C:\Users\Ed
    • Disobey the note just above the video on Method 2 "With Windows 10 version 1703 and later you do not have to disable existing users as shown in video...might even lock you completely out from Windows"

    After the convert to GPT I had moved to 20H2 so had always obeyed the note about not disabling users. But by then I was out of other ideas, and since I knew that I could successfully recover using Macrium each time there was nothing to lose.

    I left the machine for a few hours and was very surprised to find it at an installation screen asking me to confirm the language. All done and I am just now tidying up my files, a very happy bunny. Thankyou for your excellent tutorials and help on here.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Enterprise


    I would like to let you know how I "fixed" my issue.
    I guess problem appears when a user is already configured before sysprep.

    Now I build the task sequence different and based on official windows iso.
    Doing all the customization within sequence. Moving user folder is before any customization.
    And then creating user etc.

      My Computer

  8. Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Pro

    Dear Kari,

    first of all thanks for your great tutorial. Although it is not exactly what I need, it has given me great insight into this topic.

    If you have time, please give me a comment to the following issue:
    To my knowledge, the user profile folders contain everything linked to a user including registry settings, app data and also the special shell folders. Although I'm fully in love with the idea to move the entire user folder to another volume in order to split the windows system from user data for easier backup and restore of system images, I have my doubts if this is really the case when moving the entire user folder. As it contains e.g. registry data and app data, which is closely linked to the windows system, I favor the idea of moving only the special shell folders to a new location.
    I know how to do it manually, but as I'm a lazy guy, the number for folders is large (12 folders), and I would like to setup a multi-user system for my family (4 accounts), I'm asking myself if there is a way to set the default location of the special shell folders for new user accounts? I've done intensive search in the internet, but didn't found any hint, even at "Microsoft Answers".

    Do you have any idea, how to approach this issue? I highly appreciate you advise.

      My Computer

  9. Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    Greetings from NY Kari!

    I hope all is well and you are back to normal. I am doing a clean install trying to have the Users Folder installed on drive M on a 64bit win 10 install. I created 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"



    When I try to run %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot /unattend:d:\relocate.xml at the cmd prompt I get the following System Preparation message pop up:

    USAGE: sysprep.exe [/quiet] [/generalize] [/audit|/oobe] [/reboot|/shutdown|/quit\ [/unattend:<filename>] [/mode:<mode>]

    If no command-line arguments are provided, a graphical user interface is used to select the desired Sysprep operation.

    I'm pretty sure everything looks perfect....what am I doing wrong?
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 46
    Windows 10 pro

    I'm unsure at this point if something has changed such that this thread is no longer viable -- at least as option 3 (upgrade) is concerned. Under Win7 I had moved my user profiles to my data HDD as part of 'SSD Best Practices' then, when forced to move up to Win10, I manually move them back according to the instructions in the tutorial for upgrading Win7-to-Win10. I left the copy intact on the data drive.

    Attempting to find instructions for doing the same thing under Win10pro, led me to this thread and I attempted to follow it but the registry did not have anything resembling the last two entries and there were no instructions as to whether they should be manually entered. Kari seems to be absent from this tutorial follow-on for personal health reasons so I don't wish to disturb her (having had the lifetime of personal health issues that I have had). But I'm now lost as to how to proceed since there doesn't seem to be any way for me to get this sysprep thingie working.

    In the end, I don't have a ton of profiles and all I want to do is minimize the writes/rewrites to the SSD and save the space because I have a large amount of data in several apps. I want the two primary profiles moved to my data HDD, I want any future profiles to be created there, I want all installed apps to use the data drive for their data and temp files and I want all future program installs to automatically use the data HDD and not the SSD. Even if I have to perform each of these steps manually (as in regedits or modification of system environment variables that's fine. I just need a clear tutorial (or set of them) in order to proceed.

    Of course, it is possible that I misunderstood something in Kari's work from 2014 but, at this point, it seems better to move on without waiting for a reply from her. Can anyone point me in the way I should go?
      My Computer


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