Slow Computer? Moving the My Documents Folder to Help Speed Up Your Slow Computer

Moving the C:Douments folder really helps to fine tune your slow computer and improve it’s performance as you will see when you have gone through the process of moving the folder to another hard drive.


When Windows is installed on your computer, it places a folder named My Documents on the same drive as the Operating System, in most cases drive C:.


The My Documents folder is your own personal folder and there is a shortcut to My Documents in your start menu, on your desktop and it is also the default folder when you open Windows Explorer, thus making it easily accessible and manageable. It also has subfolders in it where you can store your photos, music, videos and any other personal files.


Windows creates a My Documents folder for each user on the computer.


However, having the C:Documents folder and the Operating System on the same hard drive is not such a good idea because the personal files in the C:Documents folder is growing in size constantly while the Windows Operating System grows very little in size over a long period of time.


This has a progressively negative influence on Windows’ performance. The C: Drive is going to get filled up with this personal data and you will have to start deleting files to make more space.


The second problem that arises is it complicates backup. Your personal data needs to be backed up frequently, while the Windows Operating System only has to be backed up once and thereafter you only need to create a restore point for it.


A third problem that surfaces is disk defragmenting. Having all this ever increasing data, the Operating System and your user applications on one drive, results in a slower defrag and may also keep your system from defragging at all.


It is, however, possible to move the whole My Documents folder if you have more than one hard drive or partition on your computer. But many PC’s have only a single partition of their hard drive; that is, their only hard drive is their C: drive.


The My Documents folder can therefore not be moved, unless you are able to partition the existing drive. In some cases it is possible to partition the existing C: drive, if the correct settings were used when the drive was originally formatted and the format used was NTFS and not FAT32.


Another thing is that there must be more free space on the second drive or partition than the size of the C:Douments folder. To find out how much space there is, click on My Computer and select Properties on the drives (usually C: and D: Not the CD or DVD drive). Make a note of the free space available on each drive. Now, while still in My Computer, right-click on My Documents and select Properties. You should see the folder sizes shown after a while. The largest figure is the amount of disk space you will need.


Now do the following:


Click Start, and then right-click on My Documents, click Properties, click the Target tab.


In the Target box, type the path to the folder location that you want, and then click OK. For example, D:My Documents.


If the folder does not exist, the Create Message dialog box is displayed. Click Yes to create the folder, and then click OK or click Move, click the folder in which to store your documents, and then click OK twice. If you need to create a new folder, click Make New Folder. Type a name for the folder, and then click OK twice. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location.


If , for any reason you would wish to restore the C:Documents folder to its default location, follow these steps:


Click Start, and then point to My Documents. Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties. Click Restore Default, and then click OK. In the Move Documents box, click Yes to move your documents to the new location, or click No to leave your documents in the original location.


Also, if you would wish to remove the My Documents Folder from the Start menu, follow these steps:


Right-click Start, and then click Properties. Click Customize. Click the Advanced tab. In the Start menu items list, under My Documents, click Don’t display this item, and then click OK twice. The next time you click Start, the My Documents folder is no longer displayed on the Start menu. This does not remove the files stored in the target location of the My Documents folder.


Except for moving the My Documents folder to another drive there are several other things you must keep in mind when you would like to speed up your slow computer. You cannot completely speed up a slow computer by fixing only one of the problems on it


Computers become slower for several reasons:


– viruses and malware can damage your data and slow down your computer.


– too many programs are installed but not used anymore which consume resources,


– files on the hard drive become fragmented and disorganized,


– the Windows registry has too many unused entries,


– unused network connections slow startup,


– too many programs automatically run at startup


I have researched and tested several products over a period of several months and in order for me to get our slow computer ‘s performance up to speed again, I made use of not less than 17 different products, each of which is designed to do a certain task on the PC. Eventually we ended up using 11 of these apps (all freeware) on a regular basis which keeps our PC’s performing clean and error free.


In forthcoming articles I’ll explain to you in detail, how to clear out forgotten programs, unused, unnecessary and junk files and how to clean and streamline the Windows registry.

Tom Meintjes