11 November 2014

At some point, you’ll probably run into a problem that doesn’t seem to have an easy solution: one of your default User folders in Windows 7 (My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, Downloads, and Desktop) will suddenly disappear.

Try as you might, you won’t be able to restore these user folders, because they are actually “special”. Windows treats them differently than a normal folder you might create yourself, and they even have pretty icons, like so:


There is a lot of info out there on how to fix these built-in Windows 7 folders, but it’s all rather complicated.

So, here’s the boiled-down, anybody-can-do-it version on how to restore your missing User folders – or so I hope!

First, a few bits of info you’ll need to keep in mind. The default locations for the User folders in Windows 7 are:

  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Downloads
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Music
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Pictures
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Videos

Just replace USERNAME with your Windows account login, which in my case is “Scottie”. So, my Desktop folder is:

  • C:\Users\Scottie\Desktop

These are the actual names of the folders as stored on your hard drive, but since we’re talking about special User folders, they are magically turned into “My ___” folders with the special icon.

So, that’s that. Next, we’re gonna repair your folders. The process will go like this:

  1. Create/rename the User folders
  2. Edit the Registry to reset The Magic
  3. Run some command-prompt stuff to finish The Magic
  4. Reboot

Don’t worry, it’s all very simple!

Create/Rename the User Folders

So, open Explorer (Win-E, or double-click the Computer icon) and navigate to: C:\Users\USERNAME

Here, you’re going to need to decide which folder(s) are screwed up.

Even though the PATH to the User folder doesn’t contain the word “My”, the version you see in Explorer should look like so:

  • Desktop
  • My Documents
  • Downloads
  • My Music
  • My Pictures
  • My Videos

Note that “Desktop” and “Downloads” do NOT have “My” in front of them in Explorer, but they DO have Magic Folder Icons, which look like so:

If a “magic folder” icon is not there, and it just looks like a regular folder icon, you just need to check the folder name and change it if necessary. If a folder is completely missing, you’ll need to create a new one. Again, the following is the list of folders you may need to create/rename:

  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Desktop
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Downloads
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Music
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Pictures
  • C:\Users\USERNAME\Videos

For example,  if you see “My Documents” and it’s a magic icon, you do not need to do anything.

If you see a normal yellow folder called “Documents”, do nothing.

If there is no “My Documents” or “Documents”, then create a new folder C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents.

There are two steps here:

  1. Check for the Magic Folder Icon
  2. Check that non-Magic Folders have the proper name, which prepares us for the next step

Maybe only your Downloads folder is screwed up, and all the other folders are okay (Desktop, My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos). In that case, make sure there is a folder “Downloads”. If there is, go to the next step. If there isn’t, create it first.

Reset the Registry User Folder Settings

This part might seem scary, but it’s really easy.

  1. Click Start
  2. Type: regedt32
  3. Click the program regedt32.exe to run the Registry Editor
  4. In the left pane, navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

You should see this:

RegEdit: User Shell Folders
(click to enlarge)

I’ve highlighted the fields you’ll need to look at. You can see that there is one entry for Downloads, one for Desktop, one for My Music, etc. For each folder you need to fix, you’ll want to do 2 things:

  1. Make sure the Name field is correct (far left, in pink)
  2. Make sure the Data field is correct (far right, in pink)

Now, in Windows 7, the path C:\Users\USERNAME\ is often written as %USERPROFILE% internally in Windows. This is just a variable that points to your Users directory. Simple, yes? It’s also quite handy.

So, in the Registry Editor, make sure you’re using the default values, like so (Name –> Data):

  • {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Downloads
  • Desktop  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Desktop
  • My Music  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Music
  • My Pictures  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Pictures
  • My Video  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Videos
  • Personal  –>  %USERPROFILE%\Documents

Don’t ask me why the Name for Downloads is that wonky string, or why the Name for Documents is “Personal”… It’s Microsoft.

To correct the Name field, right-click the Name and select “Rename”:

RegEdit: Rename Key
To change the Data field (the folder path), double-click the name field, and enter the new path from the list above:

Registry: Modify Key Data
In my example, I don’t want My Documents pointing to E:\Users\Scottie\Documents, because I don’t have E: any more! Oops.

First, I made C:\Users\Scottie\Documents in the steps above.

Now in the Registry Editor, I would not change the Name of “Personal”, since that’s okay according to the list above. But I would double-click it, and change the Data to %USERPROFILE%\Documents

Do the same for any other User folders you need to fix. When you’re done editing, just close the Registry Editor (it saves automatically).

Last crazy step

Now you’re going to complete The Magic. Do this:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type: cmd
  3. Right-click cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator
  4. For each folder you need to fix or recreate, run the following command(s):
  • Downloads:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Downloads /S /D
  • Desktop:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Desktop /S /D
  • My Documents:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Documents /S /D
  • My Music:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Music /S /D
  • My Pictures:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Pictures /S /D
  • My Videos:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Videos /S /D

Highlight each “attrib” command you need above, and copy it (Ctrl-C, or right-click and pick Copy). Then, in the Command Prompt window, click the C:\ icon in the upper-left corner and choose Edit -> Paste:

Command Prompt paste!
Less typing = good!

Reboot

That’s it. You’ve made sure your missing folder(s) exist, you’ve done some Registry hacking to reset the Magic Folders, and you’ve set the proper attributes on your new folders.

All that’s left is to reboot! When you log back in, you should see your User folders restored to mint, magical condition.

Final Notes

Hopefully, this has been fairly easy to follow. For other User folders (Contacts) or for Windows 8, check out Seven Forums tutorial on this very topic.

I found their explanation rather difficult to follow, but it does have more information – and even some .REG files you can download and run to avoid doing any registry editing yourself. Check it out!

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Repair missing User folders in Windows 7
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91 thoughts on “Repair missing User folders in Windows 7

  • 9 January 2015 at 00:32
    Permalink

    Thanks a lot! it was helpful however I was not able to do the last step. after copying the command in the administrator it says path not found. here’s the full text

    C:\Users\Damoon>attrib +r -s -h “%USERPROFILE%\Desktop” /S /D
    Path not found – C:\Users\Damoon\”C:\Users\Damoon

    Reply
  • 9 January 2015 at 10:21
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    @Damoon

    Eek! Remove the quotes so the command is like so:

    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Desktop /S /D

    I updated the article. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 1 February 2015 at 04:40
    Permalink

    Could you speak here about when the folders are redirected to a server? Specifically when My Documents is really found at \\Server\RedirectedFolders\Scottie\Documents

    Reply
    • 1 February 2015 at 12:59
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      Well, I would, but I can’t because I don’t know anything about it.

      Reply
  • 8 February 2015 at 02:05
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    Documents File disappeared from my local profile Users\lee.DOMAINNAME, but I still have one at my network profile Users\Lee. Windows 8, Small Business Server 2003, roaming profile. In the Registry Editor for lee.DOMAINNAME, the Personal, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos are all under \\server\Users\Lee\My Documents\. By your description, it seems that all of these Magic files were somehow relocated to my network profile on the server which does not work for programs that must have a local data file. Can I simply rename all of them per your instructions to move them back to my local machine? It looks like all of the data folders and files I need are in the \\server\Users\Lee\Documents
    folder. Thank you for your assistance Scottie.

    Reply
    • 8 February 2015 at 11:36
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      Oh boy, I’m not sure… With a roaming user profile, there are different chunks of the registry and the user profile itself that are merged from the server to the local machine when you log on. When you log out, any new data is merged back onto the server. Trouble is, I’m not sure which registry entries to modify, if any. From a brief search, it appears that you might want to use something called a “UNC redirection path”. But alas, this particular topic has reached the limits of my mojo!

      Reply
  • 8 February 2015 at 20:19
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    Thank you Scottie. We are trying to eliminate the roaming profiles. It seems the cause more problems that the small benefit they provide.

    Reply
  • 24 April 2015 at 21:32
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    Thanks a lot for Your great work Scottie. I restored everything when acted according to Your instructions. Wonderful explanation!

    Reply
  • 1 May 2015 at 11:32
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    Thank you so much. I couldn’t figure out why Phrase Express wouldn’t work on my computer for literally years.
    I finally realized that it was because I deleted my original My Documents folder and this helped me fix everything!

    Reply
  • 30 June 2015 at 15:18
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    Hi, I just can’t finish the last step, in the cmd, after i pasted the command “attrib +r -s -h “%USERPROFILE%\Desktop” /S /D” and press enter, it showed:”Parameter format not correct -“, what should I do now?

    Reply
    • 30 June 2015 at 16:53
      Permalink

      Quotes around %USERPROFILE%\Desktop aren’t necessary, but that shouldn’t be a problem… Huh. I dunno.
      What do you get when you enter this in a command prompt window?
      echo %USERPROFILE%

      Reply
  • 18 July 2015 at 20:23
    Permalink

    Hello,

    I have somewhat related problem. My problem is that my folders are all there but path to them looks like this
    c:/users/-/documents
    cmd command -echo %USERPROFILE% returns c:/users/-

    Any ideas? I would like to repair Win7 with upgrade installation but this is giving me headache.

    Reply
  • 24 July 2015 at 02:21
    Permalink

    I have a problem where a folder hasn’t disappeared but for some reason I can’t access it.

    Whenever I click on the Downloads folder, I get this message: Location is not available, C:\Users\Computer2\Downloads is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.

    I have tried running chkdsk fixes and it always says that some corrupted files could not be fixed, and I try to reopen the downloads folder after restarting, but same message appears.

    Is there a way to fix the downloads folder? Or can I apply your instructions on this page to this particular problem and get a brand new uncorrupt downloads folder that I can use?

    Reply
    • 24 July 2015 at 11:46
      Permalink

      I would try to use something like Unlocker first. That will usually delete files that cannot be deleted due to wonky permissions or whatever.

      If the files are really corrupted and even Unlocker can’t remove them, then I would start worrying that the hard disk is failing. So first, I’d prolly go to the manufacturer’s web site and get SeaTools or the Samsung HDD diagnostic software or whatever, burn it to a disk/USB key, and run a hard drive test. If there are bad areas on the disk, the HDD should reallocate stuff on the fly, but it might not if it’s failing.

      If the disk test comes up okay, then you could move the Downloads folder as you suggest. It should work okay.

      Reply
  • 5 August 2015 at 10:11
    Permalink

    Thanks a lot Scottie it worked. I accidentally moved my downloads folder to the desktop and deleted it from there, believing I had only copied the shortcut across. This prompted issues to accessing the original folder, where the magical icon was gone and location missing. This method fixed it, thanks for the clear explanations!

    Reply
  • 1 October 2015 at 23:18
    Permalink

    Hi,
    Added a SSD to this aging Win7 (^4-bit) PC, loaded the OS on it, the old Win7 disk became H:\, the User dir was visible for some time there and now has disappeared completely.
    Your help file talks of resurrecting the C:\User dirs, any comment on doing the same for my H:\?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • 4 October 2015 at 07:43
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    Hi Scottie,
    You are correct, the new one is C:\Users. I am sorry, I thought I pointed out to you that initially H:\Users was accessible and visible, but not any more accessible and now Win7 has completely lost it together with all my docs, photos and videos and I just hope a prior backup picked it all up. Judging by 2 Mio. hits on Google, this seems to be a major problem with Win7 as even C:\Users gets lost as you are pointing out.

    Any hope of seeing my old Win7 H:\Users ever again?
    Regards
    Dom

    Reply
    • 4 October 2015 at 14:00
      Permalink

      Well, I’m not sure what happened then. I’ve never seen this problem before, and I’ve installed lots of SSDs in many puters. The old Users folder on the HDD is always there, and it never just “disappears”. So, I’m a bit perplexed as to what happened!

      Reply
  • 4 October 2015 at 16:49
    Permalink

    Hi Scottie, on Win7 x64, I tried all but still the entire contents of “My documents” just vanished. The other folders and contents are intact. Any idea?

    Reply
    • 4 October 2015 at 18:30
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      That’s weird. I’m not sure what happened. Interestingly enough, this is the second report I’ve received of vanishing user folders in as many days. ???

      Reply
  • 4 October 2015 at 23:47
    Permalink

    Thanks Scottie. Well if Windows even deletes the primary C:\Users according to your article, why shouldn’t this bug even extend to any secondary X:\Users directory? On another forum the suggestion is to remove power to the old Win7 HD while installing the SSD; clever trick.

    Regards
    Dominic

    Reply
  • 4 October 2015 at 23:50
    Permalink

    Will try to use an autobooting Linux DVD to look for those missing H:\Users folders as a last resort and I hope the chains to the file blocks in the FAT equivalent to the NTFS scheme have not been broken.

    Reply
  • 6 November 2015 at 14:56
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    Worked like a charm. Windows 8.1. When I first opened file explorer after reboot, it looked like it hadn’t worked but it just took a few seconds to update the locations and everything corrected itself. Thanks!

    Reply
  • 30 November 2015 at 05:04
    Permalink

    In the last step when i paste corresponding text for music, pictures and videos it says file not found. I deleted those folders yesterday…

    I did all the previous steps

    Reply
  • 30 November 2015 at 13:17
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    @Vislav
    In that case, you have to create the folders again first. The “magic” folders are just normal folders like you would create anywhere. After going through all the steps above, the normal folders become Magic Folders – but first they must exist! So, if you deleted them, just make new ones with the proper path/name.

    Reply
  • 1 December 2015 at 20:53
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    @Scottie
    Ty. I solved the problem. Went to C/users folder, opened folder of another user i created, the needed folders were there, i copied them and pasted them into my main user folder. And the problem is solved. : )
    I didn’t even know i can do that, i just tried and it worked.

    I deleted those folders in the first place cos i thought i don’t need them but then i couldn’t ‘play League Of Legends game, tried several different things to try to repair the game but nothing helped, after i found info that my game isn’t working cos i deleted those folders i came to your page and did all the steps but the last one when i encountered the problem i stated in my first post.

    After i just copied those folder from another user on my pc to the one i need the game was fixed and it works again.

    Reply
  • 11 January 2016 at 22:25
    Permalink

    Im at the end steps and I used to commands:
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Videos /S /D &
    attrib +r -s -h %USERPROFILE%\Music /S /D

    It comes up for both of them:

    Paremeter format not correct –

    Reply
  • 11 January 2016 at 23:29
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    Thanks for that. Will try that.

    Reply
  • 14 January 2016 at 22:49
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    So your fix worked. My Downloads folder disappeared and I was able to get it back with Icon and have shell:downloads find it. However, whenever something lands in the folder it changes its icon from the default Downloads to whatever appears new in that folder. That used to not happen. I’m guessing it’s a folder attribute that needs to be set. Any idea?

    Thanks for these instructions. Looking around the web, it was hard getting any clear guidance and your steps are easy to follow and understand and did the trick (except for that minor attribute issue).

    Reply
  • 15 January 2016 at 00:24
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    BTW, I played with “My Pictures” to see if I could get “Downloads” to work similarly and then I accidentally screwed up “My Pictures” to where I had to delete and start over. Reclaiming it didn’t quite work as smoothly. I had to:

    o create %USERPROFILE%\Pictures
    o check regedit which was fine
    o do attrib command for Pictures
    o reboot after which folder was now called “Pictures”
    o get properties in Windows and change name to “My Pictures”
    o in cmd shell rename “My Pictures” to Pictures
    -> this kept name in Windows/Explorer as “My Pictures”
    o in regedit, change data filed back to Pictures
    -> I guess the name change in Windows properties changed it
    o run attrib command and reboot
    o that finally got me back to “My Pictures” in Windows/Explorer and “Pictures” on the disk in cmd shell and the shell:my pictures command working

    So a weird set of steps. I tried following the exact steps above first but it would never come back as “My Pictures” after reboot until I tweaked it as above. The “My Pictures” folder does keep its icon but my “Downloads” folder still changes icon depending on what’s in it. I compared them and they have exact same folder properties/attributes so I’m at a loss. Still, it’s an improvement over having a blank icon.

    Reply
  • 11 February 2016 at 18:53
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    @Lee Kissner
    Hi Lee. Did you ever solve this problem? My documents are also located on the server, and displays that server path when I open the registry. Even when trying to follow the directions above, it tells me that the file is not found. THis has happened to a few other employees here, and none of us can figure out what caused this or how to fix it. I have deleted my profile from the registry so that a new one could be created and I thought this solved my issue, but I still have documents disappearing and reappearing and still, no documents or desktop folder on my C: drive. Did removing the roaming profile help any?

    Reply
  • 23 February 2016 at 05:50
    Permalink

    Scottie,
    This is driving me crazy!
    Every now and again (more now than again), if I right-click on the desktop and select “New/Shortcut” then click “Browse” to select a file/folder to be used in the shortcut, instead of seeing all the usual folders available on the system (including “Computer”, all the drives, the Users Private files, the Network (in other words, EVERYTHING), all I see is a tree node of “Desktop” which only has my User Name showing (collapsed) directly under it. If I click on the User Name folder I see all the personal files/folders, but I cannot point to anything outside of my Personal Files. I am actually running under Windows 10, not 7, and this problem is sort of the reverse of the one where others are missing the personal folders. I have the personal folders but all the rest of the system in the “Entire system” tree is missing! Is there a way to fix this without having to go through the TEDIOUS and time-consuming method of creating a new user, copying all the program data from the current user over to the new user user folders, then deleting the old user? Any help (particularly if there is an automated way to do it) would be heaven sent!

    Reply
    • 23 February 2016 at 12:47
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      Hmm, that’s one I’ve never seen before. Unfortunately, my searching didn’t turn up anything useful at all… 🙁

      Reply
  • 23 February 2016 at 12:55
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    @Chris Raisin

    Oh, hold one. Try this:

    1. Type: WinKey-R
    2. Type: gpedit.msc
    3. Navigate to: User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> File Explorer
    4. Make sure these 2 entries are either “Not configured” or “Disabled”:
    – Hide these specified drives in My Computer
    – Prevent access to drives from My Computer

    That MIGHT do it…

    Reply
  • 23 February 2016 at 16:49
    Permalink

    That did not do anything, unfortunately.
    I created a batch file and ran all the “attrib” commands through a batch file called “ResetUserSettings.cmd” run under “Administration” security level.
    No errors occurred but I still have the same problem.

    I guess it is some sort of corruption of the Profile and I will have to manually rebuild (I will see if I can rite a cmd file to automate it all…will be tricky! :-))
    Thanks for your help anyway.

    Reply
  • 6 April 2016 at 17:51
    Permalink

    Hi Scottie! Thanks for this post! I messed up with these folders trying to move them to an external drive. I merged desktop with downloads and documents is just as well gone.

    Now looking at the registry editor, I have 4 different entries for desktop, I wonder if I can just delete them and create a new one with the right values?

    Also, in Windows 10, the registry editor looks a bit different. Under data for example I only find for example %USERPROFILE%\Music

    Even for folders I didn’t mess up with like Music, there are two entries as follows:
    Name: random numbers and letters Data: %USERPROFILE%\Music
    Name: My Music Data: %USERPROFILE%\Music (same)
    should I keep the second version and just delete the first one?

    Complicated windows!
    Thanks a lot for your help!
    Hopefully you’ll see this comment soon 🙂

    Best regards,
    Elisa

    Reply
    • 7 April 2016 at 10:24
      Permalink

      Not sure what’s going on with “My Music Data”. I’ve never heard of or seen that one before.

      You may have 2 entries for a “My” folder: one with a crazy string as the name, like {742AE2D4-904F-2907-8171-4C27FB0BF721}, and a second with the name, like “My Pictures”. In that case, I change both to the new path.

      Reply
  • 7 April 2016 at 13:04
    Permalink

    @Chris Raisin
    Well, I discovered the problem! It seems that if you have more than 85
    shortcuts or folders on your desktop which contain shortcuts that (when added to the number of shortcuts on your desktop exceed 85) then you “break” the browse window used when creating a new shortcut on your desktop.
    I made a video explaining all this and showing how to fix it.
    Have a look at:

    Reply
  • 7 April 2016 at 13:08
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    OOps! That should read “84” not “85” (oncve there are 85 you have troubles)

    Reply
  • 7 April 2016 at 17:04
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    @Scottie
    Hi Scottie, I did that and it worked. I moved everything to individual folders in D using the conventional method and everything seems to work fine. The registry editor still looks messy with all the multiple entries but I hope I won’t need to check it out again.

    Thank uou very much for your help 🙂

    Cheers,
    Elisa

    Reply
  • 6 May 2016 at 19:24
    Permalink

    Hi Scottie: I was missing the Documents/MyDocuments folder due to a finger problem last week. I did everything you said to do to restore. I created the Documents folder in myuser and it stood out as a normal folder above the other three My’s. I did not redo the attrib stuff on the other folders as they all appeared as they should. Then when I did the attrib work on the Documents folder the magic folder appeared, but the name did not change to My Documents. I have been over and over it but I cannot see where I went wrong.

    Reply
  • 6 May 2016 at 19:28
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    BTW, I cleaned up the name in Regedit as there was a misspelling, and an extra folder in Desktop, which I removed.

    Reply
  • 9 May 2016 at 03:23
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    Just so we are clear, when I created the Documents folder, it appeared as a normal yellow folder. When I then applied the attrib line, the name did not change to My Documents, but the folder changed its appearance to the ‘magic’ folder but with the name Documents.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • 9 May 2016 at 10:30
      Permalink

      Hmm, I’m not sure what’s going on there. If it works, I’d just leave it as is.

      Reply
  • 9 May 2016 at 15:56
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    Before I did the attrib thing, I had one subfolder in the folder Documents. Do you suppose that could be the culprit? I think I will delete everything and start afresh with a new empty folder Documents. I will also delete Documents from the Library.

    Reply
  • 27 May 2016 at 12:07
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    Hi Scottie, Just a simple, quick thank you for helping me out with my problem (solved by editing the filepath in the reg and rebooting). Much appreciated, all the best!!

    Reply
  • 30 June 2016 at 16:21
    Permalink

    Hi Scottie! I’ve read your article and it looks very reassuring but not for my case. You see, my problem is somewhat the same. All of a sudden my “My Documents” folder is still visible but it’s only named with “Documents”, like in what you’ve said in your problem. And it’s the only special folder that I have a problem with. Then the other problem is that one of my file folders in it somehow misses some of my files/subfolders in it and I just can’t seem to know why. I’ve checked the folder properties of the folder and it says that it still has a lot of items in it and its attributes is not in hidden mode so I don’t know why I can’t view some of my files there. I did every basic thing to do like check its properties, the folder options if it has any sketchy settings on but nothing. I ran several virus scans but no threats/viruses has been scanned. I’m so anxious that I even downloaded some data retriever applications for lost data but I guess it only works for those items that got deleted from my computer. That also gave me the hint that my files are still there and they’re just really in a very good hidden mode that I can’t seem to figure out and that I still can retrieve them. They are all such important files for school. Ugh, I hope you can help me out. I’m really going desperate on this 🙁 Hoping for a response soon, thank you!

    Reply
    • 30 June 2016 at 19:49
      Permalink

      Can you see the “hidden” files if you uncheck “Hide protected operating system files” in Explorer options?
      Have you done an anti-malware scan? Lots of malware likes to hide files like what you are experiencing…

      Reply
      • 3 July 2016 at 20:29
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        Hey, sorry for the late response. No, I did that as well but my files still aren’t showing up. I tried basically everything 🙁 And yes I did a lot of anti-malware scans. One time I scanned my whole system and got these suspicious looking objects that got quarantined but it made my computer boot into sort of what it seemed like a blue screen of death! I ran my computer on safe mode the next boot and just brought back those objects out of quarantine because it clearly had some really essential parts of the system in it. Ugh, this is hopeless…

        Reply
  • 22 July 2016 at 09:43
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    OMG, I’m trying to get my new ssd set up and it has been a total nightmare. I had somehow gotten my old hdd set up as my current desktop so everything I added to the hdd would pop up on desktop. This article saved my life.

    Reply
  • 29 July 2016 at 05:12
    Permalink

    I just can’t get the Desktop icon in my user folder to restore using the above command in Windows 10. Strangely it is fine under Quick Access and This PC. Can you suggest anything? Thanks so much for the helpful post!

    Reply
  • 3 September 2016 at 22:04
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    Hi Scott, I happened upon your article and appreciated how clearly written were the instructions. I’m very comfortable working with the Windows 10 registry and this article was just what I needed to “fill in the blanks”! I got into some trouble (as have others) trying to isolate special folders to a second drive and with your help it is all straightened out. Thanks a bunch!!!

    Reply
  • 18 September 2016 at 09:04
    Permalink

    U my friend are a rockstar… works in Windows 10 as well. Thanx

    Reply
  • 11 October 2016 at 02:11
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    Thanks a lot for your help and easy explanation.
    I think I found most of them.
    But still ‘defalt’ folder and ‘Appdata’ folder is blurred.
    Maybe I did something wrong or I missed them forever.
    Anyway, thanks a lot again!

    Reply
  • 17 October 2016 at 12:25
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    You legend!!! that fixed it for me. Thanks mate!!!!

    Reply
  • 4 January 2017 at 21:38
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    I did a big mistake today. I entered “attrib – s -h” for entire pc, i wanted to do this for one folder only. The little problem is that user folders (documents, downloads, my pictures etc.) and folders in start menu with shortcuts to basic windows’ files (e.g. paint, calculator, folders: system tools, administrative tools etc.) are renamed to english which isn’t my default language in windows. If i start a program, its name in titlebar is in my language, also comments of renamed start menu shortcuts are still in my language.

    Reply
    • 4 January 2017 at 23:06
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      UH-OH! If you didn’t use the /S and /D switches, then it shouldn’t have processed subfolders and everything in them. Removing the hidden attribute (-h) isn’t so bad, but yeah, -s could potentially screw things up pretty good.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of any tool that resets the attributes for an entire Windows install… 🙁

      Reply
  • 4 January 2017 at 23:27
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    Can i rename user folders and then change links to these folder in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders keys?
    I see many desktop.ini files now, i will re-hide them. I wonder if there are some folders i should re-hide too.

    Reply
    • 5 January 2017 at 00:19
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      Give it a try. You can always put it back the way it was if it doesn’t work! I’m not actually sure where it gets the name of the “magic folder” from. Is it just the name of the key in the registry, or is there some other place?

      Reply
  • 24 January 2017 at 17:13
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    These instructions got one of my games (Mount & Blade Warband) able to save again, as well as an app for another one (Elite: Dangerous). If you clone your boot disk to another one, make sure you check your folder references and fix it using these steps!

    Reply

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