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Ask HTG: Moving My Documents, Backing Up Android, and Multi-Monitor Taskbars in Windows 7

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Once a week we round up some of the responses we’ve fired off to How-To Geek readers and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at how to move the default location for documents in Windows 7, backing up Android, and multi-monitor taskbars in Windows 7.

How Do I Move “My Documents” To A Secondary Disk?

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Dear How-To Geek,

I have been reading your site avidly for almost a year. Among others, some of the things I learned from your site were where to get the Windows 8 preview, how to dual-boot my machine, and later how to use EasyBCD to edit the boot files and restore it back to a one OS computer.

I just caught the SSD bug after reading last week’s Ask HTG column, which referenced an article from last year about the differences between SSD vs HDD.

I plan to use the SSD for my OS (Win 7 64-bit) and programs (Office, Photoshop, etc) and an HDD as the file storage drive. My question is, can you write an article, or direct me to information that will show me how, once installed, I can change the default location where files are stored to the second drive, rather than the C: drive? I want it so that when I save files in the ‘My Documents’ folder, they will automatically be written to the second drive, without having to select the drive and the subsequent folders from a dropdown box every time I want to save something.

Thank you so much and keep up the excellent work!

Sincerely,

Default Swapper

Dear Default Swapper,

Moving the default locations has been a pretty simple affair since Windows Vista. In fact, the quick guide we shared to swapping default locations in Windows Vista works just as well for Windows 7—you can check it out here. Essentially all you need to do, once you install Windows 7, is to right click on each folder in your Windows 7 Library—such as My Documents—and select properties. Under the Location tab, pick a new folder for the folder. That’s it! While you’re tweaking Windows to your liking, don’t forget to customize your Library save locations.

One thing you may want to keep in mind: moving the files to a slower secondary hard drive is going to slow down your workflow. This isn’t a big deal if you’re not accessing the files frequently, but if you’re going to be opening, editing, and saving lots of files all day long then you may wish to at least keep a scratch folder of sorts on your SSD in order to avoid latency.

How Can I Backup Everything On My Android Phone?

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Dear How-To Geek,

I’m a new Android phone user and I’d really love a simple way to back up everything on my phone. I’m talking everything, short of outright cloning the phone like a computer hard drive. I want to backup my apps, my contacts, my system settings, the whole nine yards. What do I need?

Sincerely,

Backup 4 Life

Dear Backup 4 Life,

If you’d like that level of control and depth to your phone backup, there’s no better app for the task than Titanium Backup. You’ll need to root your phone but once you do so, Titanium Backup will back up just about every single thing on your phone. Check out our in-depth guide to using Titanium Backup here.

Setting Up a Multi-Monitor Taskbar in Windows 7

Dear How-To Geek,

I saw your article on how to tweak the Windows 8 multi-monitor taskbar. I didn’t realize, until I saw that article, how bad I want a multi-monitor taskbar! The problem is I’m in Windows 7. What can I do? I reallywant a sweet cross-monitor taskbar!

Sincerely,

Taskbar Envy

Dear Taskbar Envy,

If you’re rocking multiple monitors in Windows 7 and desiring a little customization, your first stop should be our guide to maxing our the multi-monitor magic under Windows 7. Among other things, you’ll see how to get multi-monitor taskbars in Windows 7—I use Display Fusion Pro and love everything about it. You’ll never go back to a single taskbar again!


Have a pressing tech question? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/7/12

Comments (3)

  1. akanealw

    I do all three things in this article exactly! The two pc things I got from you at HTG. Love the site!

  2. UltimatePSV

    I would suggest that the person who wants to back up their phone also look into nandroid backups.

  3. Peter

    Regarding backing up of android phone, Samsung has a PC software program called KIES and an app called KIES AIR that will allow you to manage and synchronise everything stored on your mobile, including backing up. It will detect your phone via USB or wirelessly.Works very much like iTunes. Not sure if it will work for other mobile brands.

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