Moving the Pictures Library

by Barry Dysert
(last updated January 27, 2014)

5

It is not unusual in this era of digital photographs to collect, over time, a large number of pictures. For this reason, you may want to move your Pictures library to a place other than the default location. This is a good idea, particularly if you are moving it to location with more space or to a faster drive.

Since the Pictures library is just a folder, you can easily move files into it and create subfolders within it. Unlike a regular folder (a library is special; it is considered a system folder) if you want to relocate it to another location you need to do so a little differently.

As an example, let's say you want to move your Pictures folder to "D:\Pictures." To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window.
  2. Navigate to the folder C:\Users\<user>. (Replace <user> with your user name—the one you use to log into Windows.) You should see the My Pictures folder listed in the Explorer window.
  3. Right-click the My Pictures folder and, from the resulting Context menu, choose Properties. Windows displays the My Pictures Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Location tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. Changing the location of the Pictures folder.

  6. Enter the path to where you want the Pictures library located. In this case, you would enter D:\Pictures.
  7. Click on OK. Windows prompts you to ensure you want to make the change and whether you want to move the existing picture files to the new location.
  8. Click Yes (to signify you want to move the pictures).

Note that if you ever want to move the Pictures folder back to the default location of "C:\Users\<user>", you can go through the same procedure, but click the Restore Default button on the Location tab of the dialog box and everything will be moved back.

 This tip (12921) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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What is 2 + 7?

2015-03-29 02:30:39

Lanier Dodson

Sorry, I should have said in the second paragraph in my previous comment that it results in moving the pictures FOLDER.


2015-03-29 02:27:33

Lanier Dodson

I agree with Don. I think the key point Barry missed it that, per Microsoft, Libraries are VIRTUAL folders, not actual folders. The library links to folders that may be located in multiple locations on your C drive and even on other drives and on a network. You can look at a library as being a folder of shortcuts to the actual files.

That said, what Barry shows in his example results in actually moving the pictures FILE, but not the pictures LIBRARY, to the D: drive.


2014-01-28 12:07:00

Don H

Yes, I believe the pictures would stay where they were


2014-01-27 20:07:12

sheila mcinnes

So are the picture files still on the c drive as well?


2014-01-27 12:29:23

Don H

This Tip implies that the actual picture files are being moved to a new location. I have interpreted the Library folder as a consolidated index. This quote from a MS reference explains why I think the tip misleads:
"Libraries—new in Windows 7—make it easier to find, work with, and organize files scattered across your PC or network. A library brings your stuff together in one place—no matter where it's actually stored. The result? You get more done."


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