Map Windows My Documents Folder to Network Drive

How to Point you’re My Documents folder to another location.

We have a network storage drive at work, which is backed up nightly. Since I started I have been saving all my documents on the local pc and then moving them to the backup server. I decided that there had to be a better way, so I mapped the My Documents folder to my backup folder on the companies network storage server. It is very simple to do. You can also map to a different local drive or folder. This technique can be applied to the My Documents, My Pictures, My Movies, and My Video folders as well.

Right click on the My Documents Icon and select properties
Map Windows My Documents Folder to Network Drive

The folder properties will be displayed. Notice that the target (C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents) is the default windows target. This is useful if you want to change back.
Map Windows My Documents Folder to Network Drive

Now select the “Move..” button and choose the folder you want to use as you’re My Documents folder. I selected the L:\ drive on my computer, which is a mapped network drive.
Map Windows My Documents Folder to Network Drive

If you would like to return to the default settings, for any reason, click the Restore Default button. The folder is now mapped to my network share. Select apply to save the changes. Remember, this can be applied to the My Documents, My Pictures, My Video, and My Music folders on your computer also. The steps are the same.

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  • turbo1979

    anyway, we can do this via a logon script. I basically want to force all my users to have their MyDocuments on a shared drive. I want to create a logon script which shall ensure that any computer they log on from has the “L:” drive mapped to the shared drive where their respective “My Document” can reside. How can i achieve this?


  • Are you using active directory?

  • bculler

    I had the exact same idea as turbo1979. We at least are indeed using active directory.

    I’d be very interested to know how you can do this via a script as well…

  • I know that you can mount a drive using the net use command. I have used it in some backup batch scripts. Example: net use x: \\computername\C$ .

    I’m not sure if you can use that in a log on script or not. Let me know if you
    can get it to work.

    Haven’t used Active Directory since I got out of school and I don’t think we ever messed with log on scripts.

  • Denis Baldwin

    Anyone come up with a way to do this with a login script? I know I can do it by hand, but I have hundreds of users and would like to just throw something like “net use ‘My Documents’ \\server\users\$username$”, if possible.

    Anyone know the syntax I need to make this happen?

  • Joe
  • Andy

    I suggest ONLY mapping the “My Documents” folder (so documents are backed up) but NOT local app settings. It appears to be done this way where I work (settings are stored on network share) and this breaks msn, skype, browser every day or second day – if the network comes up slowly for some reason, the apps all start, find no settings and start with defaults.
    Which is royal pain. Any experience similar to this please feedback. Thx

  • Fernando

    Yes, it is possible if you use AD. Follow the next steps:
    1.- Create a script something like:
    net use o: \\servername\FileServer
    2.- Go to a user, Right click properties and click Profile tab.
    3.- You will see there is a logon script field. Enter your script name.
    4.- Paste your script file into C:\WINDOWS\SYSVOL\sysvol\\scripts

    That should do it.

    I am not sure if you can add the script in oder location and just point to that file in the Logon script field. I think I tried in the past and didn’t work for me.

    Good luck.

  • I am a non-windows user administering an OS X server with some windows xp clients. User home directory is on the OS X server. I would like to set a script to run that would map the winxp users “My Documents”, “My Music” etc files to the relevant file in the network home directory. Any of you experts willing to share a script?

    Thanks and have a great day.

  • After reading more about net use I’m not sure that this is the command I need. The network volume is already mounted automatically at login. The only thing I want to try to do is redirect the My Documents, My Music etc folders to the relevant folders in the OS X home directory, Documents, Music, Pictures and Movies. So can a script create symbolic links for the user as they login?

    Thanks again.

    Rick Davis

  • curtis

    You’ll need a VBS script to map the My Documents to the relevant network volume. Something like this:

    Dim WSHShell
    Set WSHShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
    WSHShell.RegWrite “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\Personal”, “P:\”
    WSHShell.RegWrite “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\My Pictures”, “P:\”

    Then call the script in your batch file set to run on user login.

  • chian yi

    thanks very much. i finally find an answer.

  • Pim Messelink

    You don’t have to use VB, you can use regini:

    1) create a file somewhere where your users can read it named reg.txt with these lines for instance:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    Personal = REG_EXPAND_SZ U:\Documents
    My Pictures = REG_SZ U:\Documents\My Pictures

    2) add a line to your logon script (for instance logon.cmd in \\server\netlogon):

    regini \\server\netlogon\reg.txt

    And you should be good to go.

  • steve weeps

    Do changes to the registry with regini.exe require administrator priviledges on the workstation?

  • Mark

    I am looking to implement something like this in our office, we are using AD and have several network shares.

    I want each person to have their own personal H:\ drive on the network, something like \\server\home\$user that is only accessible to the individual user (and admins). I also want the My Documents folder mapped to this location as well, it needs to be done silently (without user intervention) and automatically at logon.

  • Adamc

    I am school tech director and and using windows server 2008 with active directory. All users have storage on the server but when a user saves to my documents, it saves to the local computer. How can I map my documents to save to user’s folder on the server. I have 140 users to worry about so the easier the better.

  • Douwe

    I tried all above solutions but nothing worked.
    Log in as a normal user, redirect ‘My Documents” to the mapped drive of the users personal folder. You can also change more settings e.g desktop settings. Go to ‘My computer’ and disconnect the mapped drive of the users homedirectory. Now login as administrator, delete all files in the (hidden) folder for default user and copy all files from the folder of the user you first logged in as to the folder of the default user.

  • William Pate

    You can accomplish this with folder redirection through Group Policy. If you are using Active Directory 2003 with WIN XP or Vista clients then load Group Policy Object Editor on one of your domain controllers. Create a new group policy and under User Configuration you will find a folder called WIndows Settings. Under Windows Settings there is a folder called Folder Redirection right click on this folder and select properties. At this point you are going to need a server share to point the my documents folder to. I also recommend redirecting the Desktop. If you right click on my documents and go to properties you can chooose “Basic – Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location”. Under Target folder location I choose Create a folder for each user under the root path. Under root path type in the path to your share ex. \\server\share
    Under the settings tab I recommend making sure Grant the user exclusive rights to my documents is checked and Move the contents of my documents folder to the new location is checked. You MUST be careful though because once you apply this policy to users it could take a significant amount of time when they go to login. You will get the applying computer settings screen for a long time sometimes and basically what is happening is the server is copying the users my documents folder to the server. You probably want to pick someone you know well to try this out on at first. Then I suggest moving the users over to the new policy one at a time…and schedule the move with them for the end of the day. Have them logoff then move their user account into the new OU with the policy and have them log back in. This way if it takes an hour for their my documents to copy it will do it while they are at home….good luck.

  • salome undac

    I have a collection of movies located in the drive J of my computer. I shared it in the local network. Sad to say that only ten users are allowed to brows in the said movies. I used WindowsXp. Please help. Thank you.

  • Tom

    I agree with William – This is setup in the GPOE. The way we did it was setup for DOMAIN USERS group – this way everyone gets it and you don’t have to reconcile with your user list to make sure you’ve added everyone. If you have a repository of user/passwords go to each machine over the weekend and log them out/in.
    If your business is gigantic, send out emails and have people log out/in at intervals during the day based on last names alphabetically. This way everyone should be able to get it done without too much network interruption.

    so Monday 8:00A Last names starting with A
    Monday 8:30A Last names starting with B

    and so on.

  • I have figured out how to redirect the My Documents to a network drive H:\ using the login script. This works well to now have all files saved to My Documents not saved locally, but redirected to a network share. We are doing this for ~9,000 Windows XP SP3 client machines. An interesting consequence is that Desktop Search now also goes out to the network share when indexing the files in My Documents. This causes issues with network bandwidth when many of the user’s machines run indexing.

    Anyone else run into this network issue, and if so how did you get around it?

    Thank you for any help!

  • terry short

    Ken darby how did you redirect my document to a network drive h: usng a login script, I need to do this

  • XxBladesxX

    I’m also having this issue, I’m running win server 2003 r2 with network OS that include, win 2k, XP, and Vista. I need to add a script that auto creates a “My Documents” folder on the server for every user, and only gives them access to it(other then admins)… any suggestions would be very appreciated

  • Nitin

    I also want to redirect my Document folder to another drive. OS-WindowsSvr 2003 sp2, AD, DNS installed. i have to run the domain users from thin client on the same server. so the data will reside on same server, but at different location rather then default (C:\…). i want that user will login from thinclint and it will have access to only its home folder at E drive, no other drive and my comp all will be visible to him… please help…

  • Alain Quarré

    Maybe too late, but
    I wrote a script to move all user’s folder before account activation.
    You can read in english her, but this post is incomplete:

    Or read this thread in french:

    Test it and give your comment.

    Alain Quarré

  • TimB

    The login script works, but you need to kill and reload explorer.exe for the chnages to take effect…

    Using active directory as suggested does NOT map the my documnets to the network drive, it does map it to the share…

    When they open “My Docs” they will see “\\server\share\username\my folder”

    We would like to see “N:My folder”

    Does anyone please know a way around this in AD preferably?

  • DirkV

    You can do this for dozens of users with “folder redirection”. Google the expression for a good list of pages with some detailed how-to steps.

  • Hmm is anyone else experiencing prooblems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s
    the blog. Any rdsponses would be greatly appreciated.

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