Documents folder not recognized as "My Documents"

Discussion in 'Windows Vista File Management' started by David Witus, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. David Witus

    David Witus Guest

    I have a Documents folder in my username folder but somehow Vista no longer
    recognizes it as such. So, whenever I re-start my PC, Vista creates a new,
    empty Documents folder in the same username folder and makes that the
    Documents folder for purposes of Favorite Links, etc. I must have deleted an
    attribute of some sort of the pre-existing Documents folder so now the
    system views it as just a plain old folder in the username folder.

    I just tried merging the two folders thinking that might accomplish it, but
    I get a message that says "you need permission to do that" then asks me to
    retry or cancel - neither of which, or course, get me there.

    So, how do I give it back whatever attribute the Documents folder needs to
    make Vista recognize it as the Documents that should be treated as "My
    Documents" was treated in Windows XP?
    David Witus, Mar 27, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. In the 'Start Search' box on the Start Menu, type:


    This should open the folder that Vista thinks is your user's 'Documents'

    If you view the Properties for this folder, there should be a 'Location' TAB
    (not to be confused with the Location label on the 'General' tab. The
    textbox contains the file system path to the folder. If it's not the folder
    you want, use the 'Move' button to point it to the location you want.

    However, you mention the new folder containing 'Favorites' & 'Links', and
    those are normally under the User Profile folder (C:\Users\UserName).

    If you could run the following commands from 'Start Search', each will open
    an Explorer window. If you right-click once in the 'BreadCrumbs' bar and
    select 'Copy Address', you can paste those addresses into a text file and
    post them back with your reply.

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 27, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. David Witus

    Sandy J Guest

    I am having the same issues as David and I tried your suggestion but didn't
    get anywhere. When I click on "Properties" for the Documents folder, nothing

    Sandy J, Mar 28, 2007
  4. In an Explorer window or on the Start Menu?

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  5. David Witus

    Sandy J Guest

    It is in the Explorer window that opens when I type shell:personal in the
    start search box. It opens to the documents folder that windows thinks my
    documents are in, but they are in the other one. This folder has a blue
    icon, the one where my docments are is a yellow folder icon. I have tried
    moving my documents to the blue folder, but that just creates another folder
    in the document folder and buries the documents one layer deeper. I cannot
    rename or remove either document folder.

    Sandy J, Mar 28, 2007
  6. If Favorite Links are filling the left-pane of Explorer, click the up-arrow
    at the bottom where it says 'Folders' so you can see your folder tree. You
    should be able to right-click the blue folder icon and view properties -- is
    that not working?

    Click once in the Breadcrumbs bar of each folder to view the path to each

    If you want the empty folder that Vista currently thinks is Documents folder
    to remain your Documents folder, just open the other folder, press <Ctrl>+A
    to select everything, right-click & select 'Copy'. Open the empty folder,
    right-click & select 'Paste'. Once you're sure everything has copied over,
    you can delete the contents from the other folder.

    If you want the folder that currently has your documents to be designated as
    the Documents folder, use the 'Move' button I mentioned in the previous post
    to point it at the folder that currently contains your documents, say yes
    when asked about moving all files, this will give your Documents folder its
    special icon & delete the now unused folder.

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  7. David Witus

    Sandy J Guest

    OK, I was able to right-click and get the properties tab to open.
    The Blue icon folder has a location tab that reads:
    C:\Users\Sandy\Documents\New Folder\Documents. It is empty. But it is the
    default Document folder.
    The Yellow icon folder has no location tab but it says in the General screen
    that the location is: C:\Users\Sandy. It has all my documents in it.
    When I follow your instructions to move the Blue icon folder into the Yellow
    icon folder I get this error message: Cannot redirect descendant into
    parent. The specified path is invalid.

    How did I screw things up so badly? Is there a magical way to just delete
    the empty folder? If I could, then wouldn't the default automatically go to
    the folder named Documents? I can't delete either folder so the name must
    have some signficance.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sandy J, Mar 28, 2007
  8. Attached is a zip file which contains a .reg file that will reset your
    Documents folder. Save the zip file to your Desktop, then right-click it &
    select 'Extract All...'. If you accept the defaults from expansion, you'll
    now have a folder on your Desktop containing a single file,
    'DefaultDocumentsEntry.reg'. Double-click this file to merge it, you'll get
    a warning, but proceed through it. Log off & log back on and your Documents
    folder should be reset to 'C:\Users\Sandy\Documents'.

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  9. I suppose the actual attachment would help!!! :)

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  10. David Witus

    Sandy J Guest

    Thanks for all your help, Keith, it is very much appreciated. I hate to be
    such a dummy, but I can't find the attached zip file to extract onto my

    Sandy J, Mar 28, 2007
  11. Sorry, I didn't see you were using the MS web interface to these groups --
    attachments don't show up there -- but they do on Google:

    At the bottom of the page, you'll see a download link.

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 28, 2007
  12. David Witus

    Sandy J Guest

    Yea ! ! ! ! It worked!!! Thanks so much for your help.

    Sandy J, Mar 29, 2007
  13. Whew!!!! ;-)

    You're welcome. Glad it's fixed.

    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 29, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.