Inside Out

Why is it called My Documents again?

In Windows XP, the default data location for each user profile was the My Documents folder, with My Pictures and My Music created as subfolders in that location . Windows Vista introduced the concept of a user profile with separate subfolders for different data types and removed the "My" prefix from these locations. With Windows 7, the personal pronoun is back . Or is it? If you open a Command Prompt window and look at a raw directory listing of your user profile, you'll see that the actual name of the folder displayed as My Documents is simply Documents. The same is true for the Music, Pictures, and Videos folders. So where does the "My" come from? The display text comes from a custom Desktop.ini file that appears in each of these four folders . An entry at the top of the file points to a location within the system file Shell32.dll, which contains a localized name for this folder that varies according to your language. If you want to get rid of the pronoun, open your user profile folder, right-click the folder (My Documents, My Music, and so forth), and click Rename. Whatever text you enter here becomes the new value in the LocalizedResourceName value line in Desktop .ini .

In addition to these visible document folders, a user profile includes a number of hidden registry files, a hidden AppData folder, and several junctions provided for compatibility with Windows XP. In the remainder of this section, we break out some of the more interesting folders and subfolders within this location .

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