Windows 10: My Downloads and Documents folders became fused

Discus and support My Downloads and Documents folders became fused in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; Hi! I have a weird issue. My Downloads and Documents folders became fused somehow. I don't just mean they point to the same folder, which was my... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by avada, May 4, 2021 at 2:53 AM.

  1. avada Win User

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused


    Hi! I have a weird issue. My Downloads and Documents folders became fused somehow. I don't just mean they point to the same folder, which was my intention. And before I did without issue. But both show up as "documents", which is really annoying, especially since the actual folder name is "downloads"... And if I change the location for one, both changes. When I press "default location" in the properties window, bot is set to the default download path. I also failed with manual registry changes "personal" in both locations: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders. No effect. They still point to the same folder despite their keys having different values. So at this point I'm out of ideas. Does anyone have any? (I remember that some years ago there used to be an app to deal with something like this. Either locations or just icons, I'm not sure. Though I can't fathom why changing the registry key didn't work.)

    :)
     

  2. Downloads folder is the Documents folder

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for posting your query on Microsoft Community.

    I suggest you to Restore to Default the folders and document settings and see if it helps.

    Step 1:

    Please follow below steps and check if it helps.

    • Go to Download folder.
    • Right click on the Download Folder and go to Properties.
    • In Properties go to Location tab.
    • In location Tab Click on Restore Default.


    Step 2:

    Please follow below steps and check if it helps.

    • Go to Documents folder.
    • Right click on the Document folder and go to Properties.
    • In Properties go to Location tab.
    • In location Tab Click on Restore Default.
    After performing above steps change the settings as you required and check if it helps.

    Hope these information helps, please get back to us for future support, we’ll be glad to assist you further.

    Thank you.
     
    Prabhavathi Patil, May 4, 2021 at 3:01 AM
    #2
  3. avada Win User
    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused

    Hi!

    I have a weird issue. My Downloads and Documents folders became fused somehow.

    I don't just mean they point to the same folder, which was my intention. And before I did without issue.

    But both show up as "documents", which is really annoying, especially since the actual folder name is "downloads"... And if I change the location for one, both changes.
    When I press "default location" in the properties window, bot is set to the default download path.

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]


    I also failed with manual registry changes "personal" in both locations: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders.
    No effect. They still point to the same folder despite their keys having different values.

    So at this point I'm out of ideas. Does anyone have any?

    (I remember that some years ago there used to be an app to deal with something like this. Either locations or just icons, I'm not sure. Though I can't fathom why changing the registry key didn't work.)
     
  4. KeithM Win User

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused

    Here's what happened.

    Windows uses desktop.ini files to customize folders. Windows uses these not only to assign custom icons to file system folders, but also language-specific display names (LocalizedResourceName). The file for Documents looks like this:

    Code:
    The various language versions have different shell.dll files. So when Explorer queries:
    • @%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21770
      • An English language version returns: Documents
      • A Hungarian(?) language version returns: Dokumentumok

    WHen you re-driect a KnownFolder, Explorer creates the file in the new target.Things can get confusing when more than one folder in the same location has the same LocalizedResourceName. For example, if I create a folder named 3D Redirect under my UserProfile, before re-direction, things appear normal:

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]



    If I then re-direct 3D Objects to it (without moving contents so original folder remains), my UserProfile folder now looks like this in Explorer:


    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]


    and the actual folder names are only revealed outside of the Explorer shell:

    Code:
    And when a folder has a LocalizedResourceName applied, re-naming the folder in Explorer

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]


    doesn't rename the file system folder, it only modifies the desktop.ini file, assigning a literal value to LocalizedResourceName:

    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]

    Code:
    Windows also tries to "protect" these folders by restoring the desktop.ini file if it's been deleted or modifed. So when you had both Documents & Downloads pointed to the same folder, you had dueling desktop.ini files changing the display name back & forth.



    As for the folders that appear under This PC, there are two KnownFolders that reference the user's Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders:

    Code:
    FolderDescriptions are in the registry under:

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions
    and the InstaceCLSIDs are found under:

    HKCR\CLSID
    and all are added to the This PC folder by their Instance CLSID:


    My Downloads and Documents folders became fused [​IMG]


    But only the "Local..." versions are visible. The others are hidden by the "ThisPCPolicy" value found in the PropertyBag subkey of the FolderDescriptionID.Under the User Shell Folders key, some KnownFolders are referred to by their name and some by their InstanceCLSID.For a newly-creaetd user, only Personal, My..., and {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B}(Downloads) are defined. It's only when you re-direct the folders that their "twin" "Local..." IDs are created.

    So when you changed the path for Personal, you saw no chnage under This PC, because the visible Documents was using the path defined for {d3162b92-9365-467a-956b-92703aca08af} (Local Documents). Had you explicitly typed shellMy Downloads and Documents folders became fused :personal in the Explorer Address bar, it would have opened to your edited path.

    But the "trick" I mentioned in my earlier post does appear to still work. While the default behavior of the shortcuts is to use the display name of the target folder, this can be over-ridden by creating entries under:

    HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID
    So, the following .reg file would ensure that the shortcuts always display their default names and icons under This PC, even when re-directed to the same folder:

    Code:
    With that you can redirect the folders to a common folder and they will still appear unique under This PC. After re-directing, you can clear the Read-only attribute on the target folder to ensure it displays with its file system name.
     
Thema:

My Downloads and Documents folders became fused

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