Move Users Folder Location in Windows 10  

  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,524
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    First, see this post for explanation for my longer than expected absence: Today [7]

    OK, some unanswered questions:

    Yocto Bq said:
    Kari, please help... 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.
    When rebooting to Audit Mode (tutorial step 1: Install Windows 10), Windows Setup temporarily activates the built-in Administrator account, and creates a folder for it in C:\Users.

    When Sysprep is then run, and Users folder relocated, Windows Setup boots back to OOBE. User accounts are relocated, and the C:\Users\Administrator folder is now empty, because Sysprep again deactivated the built-in Administrator account.

    This is totally normal, and you can delete the whole C:\Users folder.

    itsenaf said:
    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?
    itsenaf said:
    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.

    Good to know you got it fixed!

    edrandall said:
    Have spent the past week trying to solve this stuck-on-install/reboot issue with Method 2 on 20H2
    I remind you about the warning at the beginning of Method Two:

    Do not proceed before creating a system image!

    Sysprepping an existing installation with an OEM pre-installed Windows is risky. Manufacturers might have their own unattended answer files in place which ignore your custom unattended files. Anything can go wrong when sysprepping an existing installation, I do not recommend doing this.

    If you decide to try it and it fails and you post about it, I will remind you about this warning asking you to restore the system image you made before proceeding.

    Short: Relocating Users folder with Sysprep should only be done on new, clean installs! Trying this Method Two, relocating Users on an existing installation might force you to do a complete reinstall or restore your PC to factory state.

    That being said, just to be sure, I have today tested Method Two on both a physical and a virtual Windows 10 installation. Both succeeded without any whatsoever issues.

    Stefan F said:
    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".
    You have two options: clean install and Method One as in this tutorial to make all user profile folders you later create to be relocated, or manually move user folders one by one as told in this tutorial: Move Location of Documents Folder in Windows 10

    intimategems said:
    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>]
    Only possible explanation is, that when you type the command, there's a typo. Next time you try it, please take a screenshot of the Command Prompt window showing your typed command and post it here, I will need to see how you typed the command.

    obieephyhm said:
    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.
    Yes, both the method and tutorial are still viable and accurate, working perfectly

    obieephyhm said:
    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).
    It's he / him, not she / her

    obieephyhm said:
    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,
    Method One works perfectly on clean installs, tested today on both physical and virtual installations.

    obieephyhm said:
    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.
    Again, it's he / him, not she / her.

    Relocating the whole Users folder has worked perfectly since Vista days. My first tutorial about this method was published over 10 years ago on our sister site, Seven Forums: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Only one thing has changed since that: since Windows 10 version 1511, you do not have to relocate users back to C: drive when upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10. This from this very tutorial:

    Please notice that with the Build 10586 (TH2 version 1511) and later there has been no issues in upgrading even with relocated Users folder.

    If upgrading from Windows 7 with not only the Users folder but also the ProgramData folder relocated, you have to move ProgramData back to C: drive before upgrading as told below. Windows 10 does not support relocating Programdata, nor can you upgrade with relocated ProgramData. This is not necessary if the ProgramData folder is not relocated.

      My Computer

  2. Lokateu's Avatar
    Posts : 21
    Windows 10 20H2

    If I ever needed to clean install Windows 10 on Drive C I can do this tutorial and get the users back?

    I don't know exactly, but AppData folder will be stored on drive E as well, right?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 25
    Windows 10 pro

    Okay, I'm back and still trying to figure a few things out (big surprise) . . . what I'm looking for is a simple tutorial that tells me how to change where Windows 10 pro defaults new users to -- I want to move it off the 'c' drive to my primary hdd data drive which is, in my case, H:. Before I get to setting up any other user accounts, I want to change the process and then I want to move my own profile to the same drive.

    When I search Tenforums, I find mostly stuff that talks about sysprep and doing it during the install. Which, of course, would have made sense had I thought about it but the process of working through my damaged DAW and finally having to replace a ton of hardware then having problems trying to salvage my old install -- I just created a new image on a usb drive and installed it yesterday. I'll just have to re-install a ton of software assuming I can get past the tricky parts.

    Anyway -- can you point me in the way I should go to find the info I need?
      My Computer


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