News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

  • Directing files to be saved on a second hard drive

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Directing files to be saved on a second hard drive

    Viewing 21 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2381494
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        I just added a second drive (labeled D) to my Windows 10 PC that I want to use for storage.

        Most instructions say to Open File Explorer. Right-click on a default folder that you want to move. Click on the Location tab. Click on the Move button and select a new folder for this content.

        Am I actually moving a folder? IOW is the original folder on the C: drive going to be deleted? Or is this just pointing to new additional folders on the D: drive where the files will be saved?

        When searching I found this regarding freeing up space.

        Brace Yourself — These Features Are Leaving Windows 10

        What’s the difference between these two steps? It appears they do the same thing but apparently not.

        If You Have a Second Disk Drive, Change the Location of Default Folders

        If you have a second disk drive, you can move certain default folders that may be taking up space. You can move folders for such content as your contacts, desktop, documents, and pictures. Open File Explorer. Right-click on a default folder that you want to move. Click on the Location tab. Click on the Move button and select a new folder for this content.

        Next, change where new content is saved.

        If your PC has more than one internal disk drive or an attached external drive, you can change the location of certain data from your primary drive to a different drive. To do this, return to the Storage screen in settings. Under More storage settings, click on the link to Change where new content is saved. You can now change the location for new apps, documents, music, photos and videos, new movies and TV shows, and offline maps.

        Thanks -any suggestions will be appreciated.

      • #2381908
        TechTango
        AskWoody Plus

        Am I actually moving a folder? IOW is the original folder on the C: drive going to be deleted? Or is this just pointing to new additional folders on the D: drive where the files will be saved?

        In File Explorer, the basic “right click hold and drag” will always pop up a reconfirm window with “Move here”, “Copy here”, “Create shortcut here”.  Selecting “Move here” will move (not copy” the folder and/or files you have selected.  If you want to retain the folder on the source disk, to not select “Move”.

        I keep my boot drive lean so my image backups don’t take long to make.  I keep many folders and files on second disks and retain some on the source disk.   The stuff I don’t retain on the source disk is everything in my OneDrive cloud and Google Drive cloud.  Combined, it’s over 130 GB.   These files only exist on a second disk an in the cloud.

        I do keep archives of EVERYTHING on multiple external backup disks and sync changes to them a couple of time a week.

        I don’t use storage sense, but it does seem much improved from the first version.

        • #2382030
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          In File Explorer, the basic “right click hold and drag” will always pop up a reconfirm window with “Move here”, “Copy here”, “Create shortcut here”.  Selecting “Move here” will move (not copy” the folder and/or files you have selected.  If you want to retain the folder on the source disk, to not select “Move”.

          The question was about moving a folder from its Location tab.

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1263 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

      • #2381955
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        If you have a second disk drive, you can move certain default folders that may be taking up space.

        NEVER move default folders from C: drive to D: drive .
        COPY the contains in these folders to new created folders on D: drive.
        After verifying the copy , delete the data in the original C: folders.
        Change appropriate settings to save new files to the new D: folders (I always save manually, never let Windows to decide for me).

        • #2381972
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          NEVER move default folders from C: drive to D: drive .

          Why not?

          How to move user folders to different location on Windows 10

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1263 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2382217
            BrerBear
            AskWoody Lounger

            That’s the procedure I usually see. However sometimes I see the other method mentioned as in my first posting where you go to the Storage screen in settings > More storage settings > Change where new content is saved.

            What’s the difference between the two? And why use both?

            • #2382424
              Moonshine
              AskWoody Lounger

              That’s the procedure I usually see. However sometimes I see the other method mentioned as in my first posting where you go to the Storage screen in settings > More storage settings > Change where new content is saved.

              What’s the difference between the two? And why use both?

              The difference is using the ‘Location > Move’ option lets you manually create a folder (Documents as an example) in the ‘D’ Drive (or other internal Drive of your choice) and to then move ‘all’ the folders/files from the original Documents location to the new location.
              Documents in the future, when saved, will show the new default save location for you to use or not.
              In my experience, the original, now empty, Documents folder remains in the ‘User’ files folder. I assume this is for older programs that may be hard coded to write/save to that location and thus in doing so, avoiding complications trying to find a folder that wouldn’t be there.

              When you opt to ‘Change where new content is saved’, say in the D Drive, a new folder, with your user name, is created and a sub folder called Documents is within that folder.
              All new documents will have a default save location to this changed location/folder and the original Documents folder content remains.
              You will now have 2 locations for ‘Document’ content – the original Documents folder and the newly created location which saves ‘new’ content to that location.
              You will have 2 locations that contain old and one for new content!
              The ‘Change where new content is saved’ option perhaps should be used on a new, clean install and all Documents created/saved will have the new/changed location from day one and not have confusingly 2 locations of similar types of files.

              I always ‘move’ all my documents (folders/files) to an internal ‘*’ Drive using the ‘Location’ tab option and always do on any new machine along with Pictures, Videos, Music.
              When I, for experimental purposes, use the ‘Change where new content is saved’ option for say Documents, any changes are not respected and do not work. I assume this is because the ‘Move’ via the ‘Location’ tab has been used previously used and changed Registry settings are preventing the new location from being offered.

              Again from my experience, program settings giving a save location choice, over-rides options given by the ‘Change where new content is saved’.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382023
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Freeing up space = buying a bigger SSD.
        Keep all your data on it and backup that data regularly.

        Note: not all user data is stored where you think it is. A number of programs store data in %APPDATA%, e.g. mail programs and browsers.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2382033
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          Is there anything wrong with Documents, Downloads etc. being moved to a secondary, non-system disk?

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1263 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

          • #2382036
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Nothing, except your SSD is the fastest disk and therefore the best place for all your data. Unless you can afford 2 SSDs and dedicate one to your user data, which is difficult thanks to programs writing to appdata.

            cheers, Paul

      • #2382051
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        NEVER move default folders from C: drive to D: drive .

        Why not?

        How to move user folders to different location on Windows 10

        Wasn’t 1809 upgrade fiasco enough ?

        • #2382057
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          Wasn’t 1809 upgrade fiasco enough ?

          No. Because that only affected 0.01% of 1809 updates, where users had moved known folders but chosen not to include all contained files; which was contrary to Microsoft’s recommendations. But they still got Microsoft’s assistance to recover any deleted files.

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1263 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

      • #2382134
        Drcard:))
        AskWoody Lounger

        Because of updates and other cloud type data files, I don’t move the default folders.  I move the contents of the folder to another drive and place in the default folder a symlink to the actual files on the other drive.   All updates and cloud functions will “see” the default folder on the old drive as the location of the files.  Data stored on second drive but functions as being on the default drive.

        HTH, Dana:))

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382157
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        But they still got Microsoft’s assistance to recover any deleted files.

        Not all dat has been recovered. Many (who didn’t backup) lost Gigs valuable family history…data.

      • #2382453
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        The only time I use that location / move thing is when, on a new build of windows, I need to point My Documents or Documents or whatever it wants to call it, to my “E” partition, which is where I keep my real My Documents with all its stuff. I use “Move”. There is nothing else on C that I want on an alternate partition. I only install stuff to C, I do not “keep” stuff on C as that quickly becomes a huge hideous mess.

        My typical system is on an SSD (250GB at the moment) with a number of partitions – the 3 that win needs to boot it, plus, C(the operating system), E(all my apps, drivers, My Documents, and other stuff). I used to have another partition “F” for my phone stuff when I was heavy into flashing my smart phones but that has become simply another small folder on “E” partition as I don’t do that any more. There are also a couple other partitions for Linux Mint since that’s what I seem to be using 99% of the time at the moment.

        When I do a backup, I use Macrium to backup that entire SSD to an image in a folder on an external SSD(connected via USB3 and which can be removed offsite when not needed).(I actually have a few of those). Backups take about 9 minutes for my stuff and produces about a 70GB folder.Macrium support in windows allows those folders to be opened, explored, and individual files or items to be extracted back to, say, “E”.  This external drive also has a label “G”.

        This way, no matter how badly screwed up the system SSD is, I can always, easily get it back, just by plugging in the Macrium Rescue bootable USB stick, booting to it and doing the restore. 9 minutes later, it’s as if nothing happened.

         

        This way, too, if I put a new OS on there, all the stuff I really need is carried forward on “E”. I just have to re-install apps on “C”.

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2382494
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        What’s the consensus of opinion on moving email to a second drive?

        A family member saves a lot of email with photos for reference so we use POP mail & have over 2GB of Thunderbird email. I did some searching & some people move the Profiles to a second drive & some people say that slows down things & is not worth it. But I’m thinking in terms of backing up data & making an image of the SSD. IOW why make an image that includes email?

        Any comments on this would be appreciated. Thanks again.

      • #2382495
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        As per my above post, I use TBird. It uses a folder named “tbird”. I have that on my “E” drive. So when I first install TBird, I point it to that folder in Account Settings/Local Folders. Again, that means that I have all my past mail if I change opsys. It also means that I can access it both on windows, and Linux Mint. So I have the same mail whether I am using windows or linux. Easy.  Whether that partition is on the same drive or different drive from the opsys makes no difference as long as you have set it to point to that folder. I leave it on the same SSD as, for me, it is simply easier to back it up when I back up everything else.

        If you have all your mail somewhere, like on C, I have no idea how to move it to another partition, but I am sure with a bit of googling and asking on a tbird forum you could find out.

        EDIT – it may be as simple as looking in account settings and seeing where it is pointing now, moving that folder to another partition, and then changing the pointer in tbird to point to it in its new location.

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2382549
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        What’s the consensus of opinion on moving email to a second drive?

        That much mail is asking for a drive of its own.
        This will not slow things down as long as the drive is internal.
        Backup / image will be easier.
        You can have an SSD for Windows / programs and an HDD for the mail store. Your machine will then be faster, including email.

        The problem is moving the TB profile folder. It is a manual process and you need to be careful, but it works well. (See “moving a profile” on this page.)

        I point it to that folder in Account Settings/Local Folders.

        That doesn’t move your mail store. See the page linked above for details.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2382672
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        krism wrote:

        I point it to that folder in Account Settings/Local Folders.

        That doesn’t move your mail store. See the page linked above for details.

        cheers, Paul”

        Taken out of context. I had already moved the folder. 🙂

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2383007
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        krism wrote:

        I point it to that folder in Account Settings/Local Folders.

        That doesn’t move your mail store. See the page linked above for details.

        cheers, Paul”

        Taken out of context. I had already moved the folder. 🙂

        Just to clarify, are you pointing to Account Settings/Local Folders/Local directory

        or Account Settings/Server Settings/Local directory?

         

        • #2383008
          krism
          AskWoody Plus

          Please ask as many questions as you need! this was a folder that I created 5-10 years ago by moving the folder at the default location in (for windows) c/user/I forget where it puts it, to a folder named Tbird on my E partition.

          In thunderbird, Edit, Account Settings:

          tbirdmod

           

          My guess is that the default is something like

          your user name/.thunderbird/the active profile(the big one)/Mail , but check your own tbird for where it is. Copy that to wherever you want to keep it and then change the location to point to the new location. If all went well , it should look the same.  Then at some point you can delete the stuff in .thunderbird/profile/mail

          - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

      • #2383048
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’ve read how to move the Profiles folder to a second drive & how to change the Directory location in Account Settings/Server Settings. Most comments say there will be less problems if you move the whole profile. But I’d like to know what’s the problem with just changing the Directory location since that is an option in Account Settings/Server Settings.

         

        • #2383167
          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          sounds like you will be creating a new blank profile. Copying the contents of the original profile folder to the new one may be desirable for you.

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2383085
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        Sorry, I don’t know. I have never moved the pointer in the server settings so I can’t advise you there. Who knows, it might be better. Don’t know. I have only ever moved the message storage and left .thunderbird where it was. Sorry.

        I suppose it would be simple to simply make an image backup with something like Macrium, and then change it as you wish and see if it works. If it doesn’t, just restore the image and nothing lost.

        - ThinkPad T570-20HA, i7-7600U, 2.8GHz, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 256GB M.2 NVMe PM961. -

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2383431
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        what’s the problem with just changing the Directory location

        You now have two locations to backup / restore. Move the whole profile and backup once.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2383588
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        what’s the problem with just changing the Directory location

        You now have two locations to backup / restore. Move the whole profile and backup once.

        cheers, Paul

        I’m still kicking it around. Email is data so why not store it with the other data. OTOH it doesn’t seem like something a lot of people do. Maybe because it’s a relatively small amount of data or maybe because it’s in AppData vs. a Library or other folder.

      • #2383740
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Email is one of the largest data uses for most people, after pictures and maybe music.

        The issue is that email apps “hide” the data location so backing it up is not obvious.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2383747
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        OTOH it doesn’t seem like something a lot of people do.

        I do. I use the free MailStore Home to backup my mail.

      • #2383796
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        I use FreeFileSync to back up the Mail section of my profile.
        Zig

      • #2388838
        BrerBear
        AskWoody Lounger

        That’s the procedure I usually see. However sometimes I see the other method mentioned as in my first posting where you go to the Storage screen in settings > More storage settings > Change where new content is saved.

        What’s the difference between the two? And why use both?

        The difference is using the ‘Location > Move’ option lets you manually create a folder (Documents as an example) in the ‘D’ Drive (or other internal Drive of your choice) and to then move ‘all’ the folders/files from the original Documents location to the new location.
        Documents in the future, when saved, will show the new default save location for you to use or not.
        In my experience, the original, now empty, Documents folder remains in the ‘User’ files folder. I assume this is for older programs that may be hard coded to write/save to that location and thus in doing so, avoiding complications trying to find a folder that wouldn’t be there.

        When you opt to ‘Change where new content is saved’, say in the D Drive, a new folder, with your user name, is created and a sub folder called Documents is within that folder.
        All new documents will have a default save location to this changed location/folder and the original Documents folder content remains.
        You will now have 2 locations for ‘Document’ content – the original Documents folder and the newly created location which saves ‘new’ content to that location.
        You will have 2 locations that contain old and one for new content!
        The ‘Change where new content is saved’ option perhaps should be used on a new, clean install and all Documents created/saved will have the new/changed location from day one and not have confusingly 2 locations of similar types of files.

        I always ‘move’ all my documents (folders/files) to an internal ‘*’ Drive using the ‘Location’ tab option and always do on any new machine along with Pictures, Videos, Music.
        When I, for experimental purposes, use the ‘Change where new content is saved’ option for say Documents, any changes are not respected and do not work. I assume this is because the ‘Move’ via the ‘Location’ tab has been used previously used and changed Registry settings are preventing the new location from being offered.

        Again from my experience, program settings giving a save location choice, over-rides options given by the ‘Change where new content is saved’.

        For example, on a new install I manually create a Documents folder on the D: storage drive & copy all my document files to it from my old PC. IOW the documents were never on the new PC.

        You mentioned “Documents in the future, when saved, will show the new default save location for you to use…” I presume the word processor will automatically find these.

        Will the word processor automatically be directed to look in the D: storage drive for the old documents? IOW will the D: drive become the default location, or will I have to enter this every time I (or a family member) wants to open on old document?

         

        • #2388853
          Moonshine
          AskWoody Lounger

          MS Office Word, as an example, will save your documents to your user account’s Documents folder by default. This is generally C:\Users\NAME\Documents.
          If the Documents folder location has been moved/changed correctly by the methods shown above, then MS Office Word will use the changed location as default.

          Programs, such as Word/LO Writer, have their own independent settings for a user to direct the saved documents to. Making this change in the program settings will offer the location you have chosen as default, but a user can navigate to any location should they wish to via the Save dialog box.
          The examples below are from Word 2019 & LO Writer which use my Documents folder by default. I created this folder in my ‘D Drive’ and then used the ‘Location/Move’ option to direct all saved documents to this Documents folder (offer this location as default).

          • #2389037
            BrerBear
            AskWoody Lounger

            Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems you’e saying to go into C:\Users\NAME\Documents and use the Location/Move option.

            But the pictures seem to indicate using the program’s independent settings to change the default path.

            Does that mean I should change both settings?

            • #2389038
              Moonshine
              AskWoody Lounger

              The images above show the settings which show the documents are being offered the default save location that is the Documents folder in the D Drive – the folder location I had changed earlier by the Location/Move option.
              The independent save settings in the word processors allow a user to change the default location to where ever you want and the program should respect that change.
              Why don’t you just try it all out and see how it works?
              If you don’t like what has happened, use the ‘Location > Restore Default’ option.

              • #2389065
                Zig
                AskWoody Plus

                I agree with Moonshine; no need to muck with the registry.

                HOWEVER, IIRC, it’s a good idea (?necessary?) to revert the locations back to default before doing a major (Feature) upgrade or “non-destructive reinstall”. Don’t know if this advice is still current – perhaps Fred Langa will enlighten us?

                Zig

      • #2388843
        PaulK
        AskWoody Lounger

        The names (labels) that are displayed by Explorer, and the storage locations to which they point, are stored in the Registry. See if you can correlate what you have in your Registry with the files’ structure that you want.

        These are somewhat complex to wade through; don’t change them unless you REALLY understand what you are doing.
        “Look, don’t touch.” – – – “You break it, you … may be in trouble.”

        Regedit —

        These are for C:\Users\Public\ …
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Shell Folders
        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\User Shell Folders

        These are for C:\Users\[the currently logged-on user]\ …
        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

        (Note: The following key exists but has no parallel settings to above.)
        HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft

    Viewing 21 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, no politics or religion.

    Reply To: Directing files to be saved on a second hard drive

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.