Where is Documents and Settings, My Documents, My Downloads, My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos?

Author Scott M on April 20, 2012 | Print | Bookmark
Last updated on September 11, 2015

Document relates to: Other


In Windows Vista and newer, I get an error accessing Documents and Settings, My Documents, My Downloads, My Music, My Pictures, or My Videos. Where are these located?


When attempting to access the "Documents and Settings", "My Documents", "My Downloads", "My Music", "My Pictures, or "My Videos" folders in Windows Vista and newer, you will receive an access denied error message.

This is due to the fact that Microsoft made a number of changes starting with Windows Vista, including changing the names of the above folders and changing the locations of a number of them. For backwards compatibility with applications, they created special short-cuts in the regular locations that are only usable by the system (programs). This means that when you attempt to access them using Windows Explorer or a Laplink product, you will recevie an Access Denied error message. You will need to use the correct new location for those folders.

Here is a summary of the changed locations:

Windows XP location Windows Vista and newer location
C:\Documents and Settings C:\Users
C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\My Documents C:\Users\<your_username>\Documents
C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\My Documents\My Downloads C:\Users\<your_username>\Downloads
C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\My Documents\My Music C:\Users\<your_username>\Music
C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\My Documents\My Pictures C:\Users\<your_username>\Pictures
C:\Documents and Settings\<your_username>\My Documents\My Videos C:\Users\<your_username>\Videos

See the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information on this issue: KB930128 

NOTE (only for PCmover 10 and up): For those customers moving to computers with OneDrive enabled, it is possible to have inadvertently directed PCmover to transfer all or some of the data to the OneDrive folder, so that location should also be checked for the ‘missing’ data:

C:\Users\<username>\OneDrive – Using the quick access view by clicking the folder icon in the task bar at the bottom of the screen, will also provide direct access to the OneDrive folder.

This article can be found by searching for:

Keywords: Windows, missing, documents, folders

Platforms: WinVista, Win7, Win8/8.1, Win10

Article#: 1084

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Category: Other

Last updated on September 11, 2015 with 4393 views

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