Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

User data folder permissions

  1. #1


    Posts : 23
    Windows 8 Pro

    User data folder permissions


    Moving user data folders to a secondary drive (My Docs, My Pics, etc.) via the location tab in folder properties. However, the folder permissions change in the process of moving.

    1) Is there some way to move the folder while it retains the same security/permissions/ownership?

    2) If that's not possible, is there some way to apply a batch of permissions at once? ie, not have to manually change ownership, then individually update each user or group in the security settings after the folder was moved?

    It's a family computer, three main user (standard) accounts, one of which should remain private from the others. Goal is simply to keep the same segregation between users that exists natively when everything is in C:\Users\. Thanks!

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  2. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello 6forty,

    If you are just wanting to save HDD space, then you might consider this below to be able to access the files from your libraries with the files actually located where you like instead. This way you will not have to worry about any potential issues that come with moving user folder locations. For example, whatever partition you move your user folders to will now be included in a system image in Windows 8.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 23
    Windows 8 Pro


    Thanks for your reply, Brink. (and thanks for your tutorials, btw--I've read through many of them. Excellent stuff.)

    Yes, the idea is to save HDD space, as I installed a small 80GB SSD for the boot drive. I am familiar with using libraries in that manner (though I was not aware Windows system image would include those files, very smart. I've always used 3rd party imaging software, though, so I assume I'd miss out on that benefit.)

    I'll play around with the libraries and see what the permissions look like--I imagine I'll have to manually set the permissions on each new file location if I want to maintain user privacy.

    Regarding the first part of my question, retaining original permissions on a moved folder--do you know if this is possible? Part of the issue, I'm sure, is inherited permissions, as a secondary drive obviously isn't as restricted as Windows' C:\. I was just surprised to see it worked this way, as I'd have expected security properties to migrate with the folder, just as hidden/read only/etc properties do. Just trying to reason my way through this and learn how this aspect of Windows works (btw, do you know of a good tutorial or some other resource that covers this stuff? Most of what I turn up via Google doesn't seem geared toward people who aren't networking professionals.)
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  4. #4


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Yes, you would need to set permissions to how you like for both the folder and library the folder is included in to prevent access to those you want.
    To be honest, it would be much safer and easier to change the permissions of a moved user folder back to how you like. Otherwise it gets real tricky, and increases the chance of breaking the symbolic link/junction to cause issues with that folder no longer being available or linked. This is the main reason why I always recommend using libraries instead to avoid the whole issue of symbolic links and junctions.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 23
    Windows 8 Pro


    Thanks for the followup, Brink. Sorry for my delayed reply, I'm on the road visiting family for a few days, online time is limited. I'll have a chance to sit down with the PC in question on Sunday, hope to have it all set up and done then. Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're most welcome. Please let us know how it went, or if you have any more questions about it.

    Have a safe trip.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 23
    Windows 8 Pro


    Just following up, in case anyone is searching on this in the future.

    The concept of adding another location to the libraries and changing the default save location is great, works fine... but isn't what we needed in this case. Specifically, the one computer in question is my parents'. Having used Win7 for years, they're already trained to look to their user data folder for My Documents, Downloads, etc... and adding more locations to libraries, while it works great for the file open/save dialogs, only served to confuse when they weren't finding files in the default locations. So I'm back to moving default folder locations, and trying to figure out the seemingly random changes in file permissions on Win8.
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  8. #8


    Hi, I have the same problem - I don't know how to go about differing permissions after moving my user folders location by using the "normal" way of moving them through properties/location tab/Move button. (There is a small difference - I'm using Windows 7, but the main problem is the same.)

    6forty, how have you dealt with it? I also need the folders on D:\Users to have the same permissions as on C:\Users. I'm now comparing permissions of the Users root folder (Users\), my user folder (Users\MyName\) and e.g. Downloads or other folders in drives C and D. And I see the following differences in Security tabs: some of them have/don't have Everyone, Authenticated Users, Users, MyName and even Account Unknown listed. Other lines (user names) do match though.

    I'm mainly concerned about the privacy of my user files (after moving to D drive MyName user has been removed and Users and Authenticated Users users have been added). On the other hand, I don't want to break things - I suppose changing permissions to the wrong ones might make a lot of trouble now or in the future, and it can be hard to reverse it because during the changing process some of them would be overwritten, inherited etc.

    What is the best / easiest / safest way to have the same permissions as they were in original C:\Users ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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