Continuing with our beginner friendly back to basics guides, this time we show you how to change default save locations in Windows 10.
The operating system saves all documents, pictures, music etc to the drive Windows is installed on by default: this has always been the case in prior versions of the OS as well.
While that is the desired location for many users, some may prefer different locations, e.g. to store files on another partition or hard drive that has more space.
Microsoft implemented functionality in the Settings application of the Windows 10 operating system that allows users to change save locations in a simple and straightforward manner. It just takes a few clicks to do it.
Why would do you want to do this? Storage space can be an issue for some users. For example, I have a 120GB SSD in my computer and Windows 10 is installed on it along with a few programs. It gets accumulated with media, documents, etc, fairly quickly. This is a big deal, because it not only takes up precious disk space, but it also becomes a chore to move the data manually from time to time.
How to change the default save location in Windows 10
- Open the Settings app.
- Click on System and then on “Storage” from the side-bar on the left.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where it says “More Storage Settings”.
- Click on the text that reads “Change where new content is saved”.
You are taken to a new screen which displays the default save locations for six different types of data: Apps, Documents, Music, Photos and Videos, Movies and TV Shows, and Maps.
Each of these options is set to “This PC” by default. To change the default save location click on the menu next to a data type and pick one of the available locations from the menu that opens; Windows 10 lists all partitions that are available on the computer.
If you want to change the save location of Apps, simply click the button next to the icon and select a different drive. Click on the apply button which appears. You will see a progress cursor, wait for a few seconds and it should be done. You will have to repeat this for each of the 6 options if you want to change the save location for each of the data types.
Once you have done this, Windows 10 will save the data to the selected partition. You may have to re-open existing applications for the change to be reflected though.
Note: Windows will still create its Documents folder for each of the selected drives. It will be created in the following format: “UsernameContent Type”. For e.g. selecting D: as the new location for pictures on my computer created the folder in D:AshwinPictures. It’s too bad that you can’t pick a custom folder for the saved data, but this option should be fine for most users.
Windows 10 allows you to pick different partitions for different categories. Continuing with the previous example, you could select a different drive for Documents, say E:. You could set Music to be saved on F: and so on. It also lets you select other hard drives installed on the computer. So, you can use them for saving content as well.
But what about USB hard drives? Can I use those? If you have an external drive connected to the computer, you will see it listed as well. But I’d really only recommend using it for the save location, if the drive will be permanently connected to the computer.
Moving save locations to a different partition or drive is a welcome feature but it is a bit unfortunate that the folder structure itself cannot be changed at all. Windows 10 replicates the default storage path on the new partition and there is no option to change that.
Other than that, it is a good option for users who run out of space on their primary partition regularly.
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