When you perform a clean install of Windows 10, the setup creates Program Files, Program Files (x86) if it’s 64-bit Windows 10, Users, and Windows folders in the root of the drive. You might also see Windows.old folder in the root of the drive if you haven’t removed the previous Windows installation or if you performed an upgrade.
If you have installed Windows 10 on a small partition and now running out of space, you can consider deleting Windows.old folder (if there is one), move apps to another drive or SD card and delete junk files. Additionally, you can also move the Users folder to another drive to free up some significant amount of space on the drive where Windows 10 is installed.
What’s a Users folder?
The Users folder includes all the profiles or user accounts on your Windows 10 PC. Folders like Desktop, Documents, Pictures, and Videos of your account are located under the Users folder. So, if you have hundreds of files and folders in your Downloads, Desktop or Documents folder, your Users folder’s size weighs in GBs, and moving the Users folder to a different drive can free up GBs of space on your system drive.
Why should you not move the Users folder?
Unfortunately, moving Users folder is not a straight-forward job on Windows 10 as the folder is a system folder, and Windows doesn’t support moving users profile folder out of the box. If possible, try to extend the system drive as moving Users folder might cause issues while upgrading to newer Windows 10 builds.
That said, if you really want to free up some good amount of space on your Windows 10 drive, you can follow the given below instructions. In this guide, we will see how you can relocate Users folder in Windows 10. Before moving the Users folder, we recommend you create a system image backup so that you can easily restore it to the original location if and when required.
Change the location of Users folder or future profiles
WARNING: Moving the user profile folder to a location other than the default location might prevent you from upgrading Windows 10 to a new build or version in the future. So it’s advisable not to move the user profile folder to another drive. If the drive is running out of disk space, follow instructions in Method 2 to free up disk space by moving desktop, downloads, documents, music, and picture folder.
This method doesn’t allow you relocate or move your existing profile folder but will help you select the location for profiles that you might create in the future. So, this method doesn’t help you move the existing user profile folder.
If you really want to move an existing profile folder, follow instructions in this method to change the location of future profiles, create a new user account (the new location will be used to create this user account or profile), move all data from the old user account to the new one, and then delete the old user account
Step 1: Visit this page and download Profile Relocator. Extract the zip file to get a folder named ProfileRelocator, which includes Profile Relocator executable.
Step 2: Launch Profile Relocator with admin rights, check I agree to the above box, and then click the Next button.
NOTE: If you’re running Profile Relocator on the RTM build of Windows 10, you might see an “Unsupported operating system; continue at own risk” message. Profile Relocator is fully compatible with Windows 10, but it has not been updated in recent times (last updated in 2014). So it’s safe to use, but please create a restore point before running it.
Step 3: Here, click on the folder icon next to New Location, and then select the location where you want to save your future profiles. Click the Start button.
Step 4: Once done, log-off Windows 10, and then log back in again. That’s it! From now onwards, whenever you create a new user account, Windows 10 will choose the new location instead of the default location.
Move desktop, documents, pictures, downloads and music folders
As mentioned before, moving the user profile folder is not a good idea as it breaks Windows while upgrading to a new build.
If your intention of moving the profile folder is to free up disk space, then please go ahead and move downloads, desktop, documents, pictures, and music folders to another drive. Moving these folders should free up GBs of space on your system drive without any issues.