How to move Desktop and Favorites locations on Windows XP

On Microsoft’s Windows XP is it harder to move Favorites or My Documents locations than on newer versions. You may want to move these folders for various reasons such as for backup purposes or scripting. There are multiple ways to do it like using Group Policy Objects (GPOs), registry editor tricks but we will focus on most safe way to do it : using Microsoft’s PowerToys utilities. In the following guide you will learn how to move (not just copy) Desktop, Favorites or any other folders located within Documents and Settings on Windows XP.

How to move Desktop and Favorites on Windows XP

1. Download and install Windows XP PowerToys from Microsoft’s official website.

MS PowerToys Windows XP

2. From ‘All Programs’ select ‘Powertoys for Windows XP’ and run ‘Tweak UI’.

TweakUI PowerToys XP

3. From ‘Tweak UI’ select ‘My Computer’ and ‘Special Folders’.  Then chose which folder you would like to move from the dropdown location and then click on ‘Change Location’.

TweakUI Interface PowerToys

4. In our example we select ‘Favorites’.  When you change folder, you must accept following warning :

TweakUI Warning

5. You are done.  Repeat with all folder you want to move.

More information about moving those kind of folders on earlier Windows :

From Microsoft Windows Vista, you can now right-click + properties on any folder from ‘Desktop’ to ‘My Documents’, select ‘Location’ table and then click on ‘move’ button.  You will now be able to move folder without use of third party software such as PowerToys by Microsoft.


Moving system or default folders on any operating system is a risky task.  Always backup your files from within each folder before doing any action, that way you will always feel safe and revert any failed operation.

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