Reset Shell Folders Default Paths

Posted On 2008-08-20 by FortyPoundHead
Tags: Software Hack/Tweak Tip Windows XP Windows 2000
Views: 3174

Windows stores the location of per-user special folders under the following registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders
Some software, such as TweakUI, can modify these default settings, causing incomplete or incorrect information to be displayed on the desktop, start menu, as well as other places. For example, you can use this information to point the "Shared Documents" folder to a network share. This would be done in order to provide a common directory for all users.

You can use the information in the table below to reset the default locations of the User Shell Folders:

Shell Folder Path
AppData %USERPROFILE%\Application Data
Cache %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
Cookies %USERPROFILE%\Cookies
Desktop %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
Favorites %USERPROFILE%\Favorites
History %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History
Local AppData %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data
Local Settings %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings
My Music %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Music
My Pictures %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Pictures
Nethood %USERPROFILE%\NetHood
Personal [My Documents] %USERPROFILE%\My Documents
PrintHood %USERPROFILE%\PrintHood
Programs %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Start Menu %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
Startup %USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Templates %USERPROFILE%\Templates

Instead of making changes on a per user basis, you can also use this information on a per-machine basis. Navigate to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders
and use the table below for the proper settings for each entry:

Shell FolderPath
Common AppData%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data
Common Desktop%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Desktop
Common Documents%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents
Common Programs%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Common Start Menu%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu
Common Startup%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Common Templates%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Templates

After updating the above entries, you need to refresh the shell. This can be done by killing the Explorer.exe process, and running a new copy, or simply rebooting.

Also, you'll need to move your files manually from the old location to the new location.

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