If you need to add more space to your computer, one way to do this is to add a second disk.  The problem then move-public-folder-win10becomes what should you move to that disk.  In home theaters and other PC’s with lots of shared storage it is common practice to move the PUBLIC folders.  However, this is not as easy as moving other profile folders, but it is not that difficult.


  1. COPY (don’t MOVE) the C:\USERS\PUBLIC folder to a different disk or partition
  2. Click the START button and type REGEDIT (not case sensitive) and press enter
  4. Double click on PUBLIC
  5. Correct the path
  6. Reboot the PC
  7. Go to C:\USERS\PUBLIC and delete everything


The remaining clean up is optional:

  1. Go to c:\USERS
  2. Right click on PUBLIC and select SECURITY
  3. Click ADVANCED
  4. Click CHANGE on OWNER and set it to you (rather than system)
  5. Then delete C:\USERS\PUBLIC
  6. Go to your new PUBLIC folder (in the video below this is E:\PUBLIC)
  7. Right click on PUBLIC and select the SHARING TAB then the ADVANCED SHARING button
  8. Click SHARE THIS FOLDER (it should show PUBLIC,  if it shows PUBLIC2, then your original C:\USERS\PUBLIC is still being shared and you should remove it)
  10. Click the SECURITY tab and click EDIT and set whatever security you want (in my case, I used EVERYONE FULL CONTROL) and click OK
  11. From a DIFFERENT computer on the network launch FILE EXPLORER then NETWORK and try to find your new share OR from FILE EXPLORER, type \\<hostname>\public (i.e. \\theater4\public) and make sure it comes up



mybitsnbobs · April 27, 2022 at 3:53 am

HI thread.. my c: drive was overflowing with files, so I tried this. I’ve followed all of the instructions and put the massive public docs folder on an external SSD (it’s mostly music software instruments & sound-packs like kontakt). When I load up a track in my DAW it’s asking me to find everything manually (like 30,000 samples) I have added the new location as a searchable location in the DAW. my question is >>> do I have the correct drive path in REGEDIT ? E:\Users\Public


Hipokondriak · March 5, 2022 at 9:39 am

back in the day of windows xp, i could click on my user name and move all my folders in one fell swoop. is there any way of doing that in win11?

    Ian Matthews · March 9, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Hipokondriak;

    Are you referring to C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\ ?

David Costello · September 17, 2021 at 1:36 am

Thanks for this – I have a number of win 7 PC’s that the library folder on the machines hard drive is defaulting to C:\Users\Public\Documents – can this be changed with regedit?

    Ian Matthews · September 18, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Hi David;

    I am sure you can relocated the pointer but I do not know the reg entry.

Eric · December 16, 2019 at 2:56 am

Thanks Bill for the link command. I did it too because I found out some of my softwares got the public documents path during install, put their files there, but keep using the original value instead of looking for the current one at each starts.

Tina Watkins · July 23, 2019 at 11:09 am

Nice, but I don’t have a HKLM option in regedit, they’re all HKEY

Thank you! · March 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Thank you for this. I followed your instructions and then added a tweak of my own. After deleting C:\USERS\PUBLIC i created a junction (mklink /J C:\USERS\PUBLIC mynewpublic) from C: to mynewlocation. Then i change the registry entry back

I don’t know if it was worth it but it has the advantage of PUBLIC still showing up in the C:\USERS directory which i like.

Bill L

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