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Change the Default Save Folder for Windows 7 Libraries to Something Else (Like Your Dropbox)

Have you ever noticed that when you save a file into a Windows 7 library through the common “Save As” dialog, that it ends up in just one of the folders that make up that library? Here’s how to customize the default save location for any library.

As an example, if you were to save a Word document using the Save As dialog, it would end up in your My Documents folder by default. But what if you would prefer that the files get saved somewhere else? Like one of your Dropbox folders, for instance?

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Changing Default Save Location: Method 1

You can simply click the “Includes 3 locations” in the Open/Save dialog to make your way into the quick properties window.

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From here, you can easily add or remove library locations, and if you right-click on one of them, you can choose “Set as default save location”. Useful!

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Changing Default Save Location: Method 2

You can also head in Windows Explorer down to the Libraries section, right-click on any of the libraries, and choose Properties.

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This will take you into the extended library properties window, where you can add or remove locations, and click the Set save location to set the default.

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You’ll note in the screenshots above that I’ve included my Dropbox documents folder—this is a really great way to include your Dropbox folders in the default libraries, and set the default location as your Dropbox instead of the regular folders.

Note: while we used Documents library as the example here, this should work for all libraries.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/23/10

Comments (16)

  1. yethz

    thumbs up for this tips!
    really usefull for an average users like me ;) … Thank you…

  2. kev

    excellent tip – I had no idea you could right click on the locations to ‘set as default’ cheers!

  3. doubleohseven11

    Thanks! Great info. I do have a bit of a more advanced question relating to this.
    Skip to bottom for Quick Answer

    Scenario:
    Custom Library, “Movies”
    3 Locations: E: (60 GB), F: (60 GB), and G: (100 GB)
    Default Save Location: G:

    Together these locations contain roughly 160GB of data right now, with another 60GB left. I have set my default folder to the largest. When I copy movies INTO it from another computer (The library is shared with the homegroup), it says Not Enough Free Space.

    Now my question is not why. I know that’s because the G: is full. All I have to do is move some files from G: to F: or E: and then it will let me copy, OR copy the new files straight into F: or E:

    My question is this:
    When setting the Default Save Directory, is there a way to make windows automatically Overflow into the next location when the default gets full?

    Again, Thanks for the post and thanks for reading this!
    doubleohseven11ads+onetime@gmail.com

  4. tarisul

    excellent tip thanks a lot its solve my problems

  5. postscripter

    I recommend anyone to create three partitions in his harddisks
    – Windows
    – Program Files (where programs get installed)
    – Documents (text, movies, pictures, projects..etc)

    And then change the default library location to the Documents path.

    This will improve the performance of your pc.

  6. KapteinSabetann

    Thumbs up!!!

  7. chuckles

    non techy, new W7 user.
    I use my laptop for work, or rather at work, and play. In XP i basically have everything in My Docs and organized in a high level, for instance Work, Me, Wife, House. During the day I was always in the work folder, in the evenings alwasy in the others.

    With W7 I’ve moved the XP My Docs, basically as is and pointed one library to my Work folder and another to My Docs. When I go to default save it always goes to My Docs. Following instructions above my Library properties only show one library. I suppose because my Work folder is within the My Docs folder.

    Is there a way I can point the default to a folder within My Docs?

  8. Priscilla

    I bow to you for helping me to get Bill Gates’s decision-making preferences OUT OF MY LIFE!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!
    THANK YOU!

  9. Cheryl

    Personally, I am thinking Windows 7 is an exercise in sado-masochism. Unfortunately, my computer is still too new to replace it with a mac. And I was already prepared to throw XP over a cliff… Really, I only bought 7 out of sheer desperation and guess what? It sucks beyond belief!!!!

    Anyway, many appreciative thanks — because it was you who showed me how to get Firefox to save ANY file in ANY location, which is obviously way better than three measily “only the same three” locations that W7 allows.

    Notice how MicroSoft takes features away and makes you pay more? This is the last time I fall for that crap…

  10. Karthik

    Great.
    Keep helping us out
    Thanks

  11. Glenn

    Excellent.
    Just wanted I needed.
    Thanks.

  12. Ralph Malph

    great info, one thing missing….

    Need to know how to do this via registry edit/import so that I can set ANY and ALL computers and users on a computer to have ALL libraries common folders etc point to same drive and folder. NO MATTER WHAT.

    I have hundreds of computers some of them have multiple users who’s profiles will be created at log on EVERY TIME as they are “frozen” computers. ALL “My Documents”, My Videos”, My Pictures” ect for ALL users must point to the same “unfrozen” drive. By default NOTHING MUST EVER SAVE in any other location. The hidden profile setting folders “desktop”, “contacts” and other such folders do not need to be moved as I don’t want those to be permanently changeable by the users. Just the places that software will try to save data by default.

    Bottom line is when I tell Windows to show the users files and I open the desktop Icon/Folder/Shortcut/whatever that windows then puts on the desktop and give as a name the name of the user then the following Icons MUST point to the same BASE drive location, “My Documents”, “My Music”, “My Videos” not to “c:\users\public\….” which for my systems is frozen at all times. The Desktop contacts and all the other folders under the “User” icon must not change. This is common sense control that ALL system admins need to have. I need to know the reg settings to have this control via a reg import via a .REG file. I need to be able to install Win OS x86 or x64 log in as admin then run .reg file then ANY other user that logs in gets the default save locations & library links to these locations set to where I need then and not where MS is forcing them to be.

    Thanks,

    Ralph Malph

  13. MJ

    I have a similiar issue to the above post, i set the default save location as above to point to the users ‘home’ directory, currenty H: but when I set it it, it renamed the users folder on the server from thier username to my documents. for example the folder ‘Bob’ renamed itself to ‘My Documents’ all the stuff was still there, but it makes manangement almost impossible as an admin doesnt know what folder belongs to each person!

  14. Ralph

    Thank you so much! Running Windows 7. This has bothered me for months! Thanks, Ralph…

  15. Francis

    @Postscript:
    could u help me have that kind of partitions on my hard disk? Thank You!!

  16. dan

    I changed directory as described above and now outlook crashes when saving and attaching

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