Here is how to relocate your default Library folders in Windows 8

Beginner's Tips Series!

Previously, we took a look at different methods of creating screenshots on the Surface Pro 3 and other Windows 8 devices, some of which automatically saved to a subfolder in the Pictures directory called Screenshots. This folder gets created the first time you use the Home (Windows) button + Down Volume to make a screen grab and becomes the default folder going forward.

You may decide that for ease of use or organizational purposes that you want to change the default folder where these files are saved. If that is the case, fear not, you can easily change it. Furthermore, this procedure is not limited to your Screenshots folder. It will work with just about any of your default folders, like Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. However, for the sake of continuity, we will stick with the Screenshots folder. Here's all you have to do:

  1. Highlight your current Screenshots folder by clicking it, then click the Properties button on the Home tab. You can also simply right-click the Screenshots folder and select Properties.

  1. When the Properties box pops up, go to the Location tab and click on the Move button.

  1. You will be prompted to select the now location in which you would like to store your screenshots

  1. You will then be prompted to move any existing screenshots to the new location.

And just like that, your files will be whisked away to the new location. Any future screenshots you take will also be saved there by default.

This is a quick and easy way to keep your data organized, or compartmentalized on a separate storage device, such as a secondary hard drive or MicroSD card. We will explore the latter in the near future. Stay tuned!

Seth Brodeur
  • Somehwat related question: If I move my "Skydrive Camera Roll" folder into my main pictures folder on OneDrive, will it automatically update the location across my devices (Lumia 920, mainly.) I've had Skydrive for a while now and when I initially set it up, the "Camera Roll" folder was in the root folder of Skydrive. I believe it's now located in a "My Pictures" folder when you set up OneDrive. Anyone knows what happens if you move or rename your "Camera Roll" folder?
  • Great question - its been bugging me for a while too
  • Oh my, how do I save a word document with Windows 95?
  • Windows 95? Start... Run... "cmd" <enter> "format c:" <enter>  
  • LOL
  • Start -> Run -> "cmd" -> deltree system32
  • confirm by typing 'Y' and press enter to begin format process!
  • As a deployment standard, I move the Location to OneDrive *or* OneDrive for Business (depends on client) for the default Windows folders - Documents, Favorites, Music, Pictures, and Videos.
  • In my case I move the Camera Roll folder but it still creates another folder in the root of OneDrive folder and upload to them So for my case, It was worthless
  • Thanks for the reply. This is what I figured it would do. I think I'll wait to do anything until the OneDrive team fices this "issue."
  • Hi, your camera roll folder is linked to the location of the Pictures library, so if you relocate Pictures, as shown in this article, to the Pictures folder inside OneDrive, then YES, it will sync your PC camera roll to your phone camera roll through Overdrive! This is how I have it set up. :)
  • Also interested to know if screenshot folder can be moved to onedrive instead?
  • You have to update the app/process that's writing to OneDrive, not the target destination folder. If the app still thinks it needs to write to a given folder path, it will continue to do so unless you update it.
  • I renamed "SkyDrive Camera Roll" to "OneDrive Camera Roll" and haven't had any issues, although I have yet to move it.
  • Okay. What about to change folder for apps and games?
    How to change default destination for apps from store (system disk or disk c) to other local disk?
    It's real or not yet?
  • You can't do that. I used sysprep and audit mode on first setup to try and relocate the store apps directory off my ssd along with my program files, and it broke everything
  • In Windows 8  you could do that (Edit Register), but not in 8.1. 
  • This article doesn't show up properly on the wpc phone app. The steps on how to do it don't show at all.
  • Maybe a formatting issue?
    Best use "show in browser", under the "more" section.
  • Definately show in browser. I was a little confused for half a second as well.
  • View images
  • It's in the picture -I guess-
  • Haha yeah, I thought to myself "well, that wasn't helpful, were they trolling us?"
  • Great article, which will help alot of people undoubtedly. However there are other simpler and quicker ways to move directories but can be confusing to explain in writing :P. I'm guessing your saving them for a later series of how to(s)?
  • But this isn't simply moving directories. It's changing the default paths for libraries. A bit similar to symbolic links.
  • Hi I have Lumia 520 cyan updated phone. All my WhatsApp pics are saving in "other" folder. Is there way to make them save in "WhatsApp" folder by default??
    Thank in advance Naveen
  • This could be done since xp but unfortunately once you move it you'd have to take both disks offline to move it back
  • I use this method for my desktop when dual booting OS on the same or different harddrives. Save time to make sure you do not have duplicate files and having to back up 2 seperate drives of pictures, music, videos
  • I did this with my Surface. There is something that appears ro happen for no reason with just a few random files that causes problems with video organizing apps. All of a sudden, the device will see a movie/tv show file's name is its location name instead of the actual file name. Example is, all of a sudden a an episode of the tv show Fargo will go from being named "Fargo - S01E01" to being named "d:/3742648287/Videos/Tv/Fargo/S01/Fargo -S01E01". This becomes a huge problem with the apps that use the files name to gain video information and properly organize it (such as Movie Premier, Pandora Video, Plex). Thus never seems to occur with files not stored on an SD card being used through the OS's video library.
  • Another way to do this go to the desk top in Windows 8.1 open file explorer(folder icon on the task bar) click on View Then Options then Change folder and view options in the window that opens you will see a check option for show Libraries click OK you should now be able to see the Libraries on the left hand bar you can right click on any of them Like Apps and chose properties in this window you can add a new location and  make it the default. I have notice that if you move the Apps folder some times updates will not work properly but I have not tested this is a while so it may be fixed.
  • Pro tip: Put them all in your OneDrive folder.
  • Same as w7
  • Just ruin my Nokia 2520 by trying this. I accidently selected riot folder on sd card as default pictures but now I can not undo. Days access denied! Refreshing now. Hope that helps. Nothing else has!
  • I already knew how to do it. EVERYONE should do himself/herself a favor and redirect your Libraries and Downloads folder from Drive C to Drive D so that your PC/laptop/hybrid won't have a long time booting up.
  • Been doing that for years already :p
  • Thanks for such awsum article :D