Hard disk getting full? Time to change My Documents location on your system.

There are a number of reasons why you may want to change the physical location where the content of the “My Documents” folder is stored on your computer.

Yesterday I was trying to make a copy of a cdrom with family pictures when I ran into a very common hard disk space problem.

My Nero Express CD burning software was telling me “Not enough space to copy this disc”

Change My Documents Location

I realized that this is a very common problem and that a lot of people run into this when trying to copy cdroms, or even when performing other tasks.

That’s why I have decided to write this article.

The frustrating part of it is that it can just as well happen even if you have upgraded your computer with an additional hard disk to get disk space in abundance.

The simple solution: Change My Documents Location

Most people don’t know that it only takes about 30 seconds to change the physical storage location of the “My Documents” folder on their system:

  • Click on the Start button
  • Right-click the “My Documents” folder and select “Properties”
  • Windows will open up the My Documents properties window:

Change My Documents Location

  • Click on the “Move” button and browse to a location on your other hard disk
  • Click ok
  • Windows will aks if you want to move the current files in your “old” My Documents folder to the new location. Select “Yes”.
  • You might get additional dialogs about moving read-only files or system files. Confirm those as well

That’s it! That’s all you need to do to move your “My Documents” folder to a location with more breathing room. Provided that you have an additional hard disk with extra space of course.

Change software settings?

While I could of course also have configured my Nero burning ROM software to put it’s cache file on my second hard disk, I think it’s a whole lot easier to simply change the physical location of the “My Documents” folder. It’s just so very simple to do and from then on ANY software that tries to put temporary files under the My Documents directory will find the storage that it needs.

No need to figure out how to configure every single piece of software that uses temporary files. Furthermore, if you purchased an additional hard disk to get extra storage, you might as well use that extra storage.

You don’t even need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

And you will even get an additional performance gain because Windows will be able to simultaneously write to the My Documents location on one disk and system files on your other (system) disk, thereby using the throughput capacity of both disks at once.

Change My Documents Location – The most underused tip in the world?

You simply wouldn’t believe how many people lose time and valuable files trying to clean out files they no longer need in order to free up disk space when they run into this problem.

Be smarter. Use this one little tip and give all your programs the disk space they need.

So many people get frustrated because they upgraded their computer with a second hard drive and they just don’t understand why they still run into disk space problems.

That’s because Windows was initially installed on their original hard disk. When given a new hard disk with extra space, Windows isn’t smart enough to recognize this extra storage automatically. This little “Change My Documents Location” trick will simply help Windows make better use of your hard drive capacity.

While I wholeheartedly agree that it’s not a very good idea to run Windows on a system with only 383MB free space on the system disk (like in the first image in this article), the point that I’m trying to drive home here is that this is a very common situation and that there’s a very simple solution to this that a lot of people don’t know about.

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