Accidentally merged User folders; How to unmerge Downloads folder

Windows 10 allows you to change the default location. of the User folders to another drive. It’s probably the best practice to make sure the files stay safe in case of system crash. Now it may so happen that when changing this path to another drive, say D Drive, or any folder, the Windows system recognized it as a hard drive as well. While the files will get saved in that folder, it will appear as a hard-drive in Windows Explorer or look merged with another folder. It may also happen that you accidentally dragged and dropped a user folder in another user folder. If you get such an issue then this post will show you how to unmerge User folders if you accidentally merged them.

Accidentally merged User folders

If you accidentally merged User folders, like the downloads Library with another drive or folder, here is how to unmerge folders in Windows 10 and restore them back to default location.

Note: Even if you try using File History to restore it, it will not work. You will not be able to move them back to previous locations or restore the folders to previous versions. It would say that they are not available.

We will take the example of the Downloads folder here.

How to unmerge Downloads folder

Open Run prompt, type ‘regedit’ and hit enter. This will launch the Registry Editor.

Navigate to the following key:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Accidentally merged User folders
In the right hand pane, double-click on the multi-string value {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}.

Under Value Data copy paste the following: %USERPROFILE%\Downloads

Click OK and close the Registry Editor

If you closely notice the multi-string values, they belong to each of the folders. You have Desktop, Favorites, Skydrive, Music Pictures and so on. So if you face the problem with any folder location, you need follow the related fix. After, you will need to restart your PC. The OS will pick up the new folder location during the startup.

Here are the values for the other folders:

  • Music : {1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE}
  • Pictures : {3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA}
  • Videos : {A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C}
  • Documents : {A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0}
  • Desktop : {B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641}

Now to change the location correctly, follow these steps:

  • Open Windows File Explorer. In the right-hand pane, right-click the Downloads folder.
  • Click on Properties.
  • Switch to Location Tab, and type D:\Downloads in the location box.unmerge Downloads folder
  • Click Apply and OK

This will make sure that not only your downloads folder location is restored, but also that it doesn’t appear as a drive or stay merged with another folder.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.

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