Windows 7 Folder Redirection rename the Home folder in "My Documents"

When you redirect the Documents folder on a Windows 7-based computer to a network share, the folder name unexpectedly changes back to Documents. But we expect the folder name to be the user name.

Here are reproduce steps:

Server : Windows 2008 R2 STD (US)
Station : Windows Seven (Fr)

1.    We defined a hidden share as the home folder in Active Directory.
Ex :
\ServerUsers$User1 (home folder for user 1)
\ServerUsers$User2 (home folder for user 2)
2.    In GPO:
Configure the Folder redirection Setting with this parameter :
Basic - redirect everyone's folder to the same location
Redirect to the users home directory
Move the content of Documents to the new location
Also apply redirection policy to windows 2000 etc...

3.    When log to the server and browse "users" directory, the user directory appear like he was renamed in "My Documents"
Ex :
D:usersMy Documents
D:usersMy Documents
D:usersMy Documents

The folder are not really renamed, it was just the display that was incorrect.

4.    If using a command line to browse the directory, the folder appear with the good name.


This behavior was firstly observed in Windows Vista and still in Windows 7.
It appears to be a change from Windows XP - in XP, redirecting to the folder does not change the display name of that folder.


More information:;EN-US;947222

Comments (19)
  1. CEmmitt says:

    Brandon is correct, just delete the desktop.ini inside the affected My Documents folder

  2. I'm not seeing this behaviour. The top level user directory is correctly named after each individual's account name and, beneath that, there is the "My Documents" folder.

    Are you creating the user1, user2, user3 folders manually or allowing Windows to create them for you as needed?

  3. Chris Hall says:

    You are able to correct this however it is a manual process.

    1) Determine the proper owner of the file (typically it is whichever user has Full Control of the folder since it is a home drive)

    2) Rename the folder to a different name then what it should be (using your example D:usersuser1-temp)

    3) Rename the folder back to the correct name (using your example D:usersuser1)

    Since the issue is just a display problem when you try to rename the folder back to the original name the system sees the name is in use (Even though it does not show). By renaming the folder to something else then back to the original name will correct the display problem. After doing this i have not seen a reoccurrence of the display on that particular folder. I most often come across this when moving directories from one drive to another.

  4. Brandon says:

    Is it……  desktop.ini ??   show hidden files.   delete it.   The Folder should now say User1 instead of My Documents.

  5. b2 says:

    from Eric's article link:

    Method 3

    Do not grant the Read permission to the administrator for the Desktop.ini files on the server. To do this, follow these steps:

    Note If more than one Desktop.ini file exists, follow these steps for all the Desktop.ini files.

    Right-click the Desktop.ini file, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

    In the Group or user names pane, click Administrators.

    Click to select the Deny check box for the Read permission.

    Click OK.

  6. Kevin says:

    I came accross this issue planning for a Windows 7 roll out, currently we use XP, folder redirection is set up for both systems to point to the same folder.

    I Deleted the desktop.ini file from the users folder (that is being redirected) and it then seems to retrieve its proper name again, i then logged in again without issue.

    Probably just a case of deleting all the users desktop.ini files, will try this with a group policy preference

  7. PeteLong says:

    Here's some more information that might be helpful,

    <a href="…/0000467.htm">Windows Folder Redirection</a>


    <a href="">PeteNetLive</a&gt;

  8. KGJ says:

    We have had the same problem but have found that this only occurs if the individual User has ownershipo rights!  If we make a Domain Admin group the owner of the users home drive then when viewing the home folder structure with admin rights all user names are displayed.

    Alternatively, if in the details view you enable the 'Owner' and sort on this column then moving the column to the left hand side will show all of the 'My Documents' folders in user alohabetical order.

    I have not tested this yet when viewing the home directory without admin rights!!

  9. Max says:

    This is only possible when you write desktop.ini file on different location. Although you can move it between various locations, it still will show same results.

    So best practice is to disable redirection on users to keep them using the local storage and pass the information to the nearest file server which then will authenticate against your proposed file server and solve the issue.

  10. sgdought says:


    When a user logs in to a Windows 7 computer, and the home folder exists on a network share, the folder is renamed to My Documents instead of the users name.

    When browsing the home folder with windows 7, a filename column can be added to view the proper name of the folder.   However, in an environment with both XP and Wimdows 7, XP does not have the ability to add the filename column to explorer.  

    (Note:  This article assumes you are familiar with editing the registry, and doing registry imports from a file.  As always, backup your registry before editing. )


    When a user with a home folder redirected to  a network share logs in to a Windows 7 machine, windows 7 creates a desktop.ini file in the user home folder.   The desktop.ini contains the line:


    The line causes the folder to appear with the name My documents.

    The entire desktop.ini contents:







    To view the folders with the original name in Windows XP:

    Changing the desktop.ini to reflect %filename% makes XP see the home folder  as the file name, just like Windows 7 does when you add the filename column. (Note, the icon changes in XP, so at least you can tell when someone has logged into windows 7).

    Instead of:


    Change the desktop.ini file to reflect %filename%:







    This can be set in the registry in the following key:


    so when Windows 7 creates the desktop.ini file, it incorporates this setting.

    The regfile to change it  is:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




    Setting PreCreate value to 0 in the same registry key stops the desktop.ini file creation altogether!

    I searched the registry to find the value, LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%system32shell32.dll,-21770 to determine which key was used to create the desktop ini.

    Then since Windows 7 can add the column filename in explorer, I thought I would try %filname%

    Note: I ran a script to delete all the existing desktop.ini files, then applied the reg hack.



    Networking: It's not just a job, it's an OBSSESION!

  11. Brent F. says:

    Is this a REG_EXPAND_SZ ?    







    This not working as posted.  

  12. Pete Wilson says:

    The value is a REG_EXPAND_SZ – the information was cut off:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



  13. Pete Wilson says:

    Trying again (!):

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00





  14. Roger says:

    I’m using folder redirection and for XP’s machines the folders are not showing as windows 7 for example My Documents. I tried to find the folders that you guys mentioned above but I couldn’t. There’s any way to make xp work tthe same way as windows 7 for the folders structure?

  15. Per-Henrik says:

    SOLUTION: Remove hidden file desktop.ini under each user folder

  16. HeyAdmin says:

    @Per-Henrik, that is NOT a solution because desktop.ini is recreated by Windows at login.

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