Something weird with My Documents

  Ian in Northampton 18:24 16 Jan 2015
Locked
Answered

Here’s a weird one on which I’d appreciate some advice…

On my W7 PC, in the ‘Libraries’ folder there is a ‘Documents’ folder and a ‘My Documents’ folder.

The ‘Documents’ folder looks like what I would expect the ‘My Documents’ folder to look like – it has all the stuff I’ve consciously saved in it.

But the ‘My Documents’ folder has ~95,000 items in it (excluding what’s in the sub-folders). It seems to have a copy of every file that’s ever been created on, or copied/downloaded to my PC, including all manner of crap.

Can someone explain to me what’s going on here? It can’t be good for any single folder to have 95,000 items in it.

Suffice it to say, Windows Explorer gets very unhappy when you select 95,000 items and try to delete them…

  Secret-Squirrel 18:58 16 Jan 2015

".......select 95,000 items and try to delete them"

Oooh Ian, be careful. The Libraries folders aren't real folders but a type of shortcut that points to a real folder or folders on the hard drive. Before you start deleting stuff (and perhaps regret it), right-click the "My Documents" Library and choose "Properties". The "Locations" window shows all the folders included in that Library.

  Ian in Northampton 19:46 16 Jan 2015

Thanks S-S. Hmmmm....

  wee eddie 20:09 16 Jan 2015

While I am not a fan of Libraries, I think that this will be what you have.

In the Library's "Documents" Folder you will have shortcuts to every file you put in it.

In the Library's "My Documents" Folder, you will have shortcuts to all the Files on your computer

  rdave13 00:11 17 Jan 2015
Answer

This might help.

As SS states, even though the Libraries folders are just pointers, never delete any folder showing in the Library folder. If you do this it will give a warning and if you continue they will be deleted from the PC. To remove folders from the Library you must always use the properties by right clicking it. Say, Pictures folder in library. Right click it, properties and select the folder to remove.

Why Microsoft introduced this I don't know. Took me a while to realise that it's possible to delete important files with this 'pointer' system if you're not careful. Dumbed down on Win 8 but handy never the less.

  Ian in Northampton 10:53 17 Jan 2015

Thanks guys. I think I'd better back away from this.

  Batch 17:17 17 Jan 2015

Have to say I don't like Libraries at all. It's confusing and takes longer to navigate to a specific sub-folder (as one is starting higher up a tree).

That's why I use XYplorer as an alternative file manager to Windows Explorer. It is much more like Windows Explorer used to be in WinXP (and before) and is highly configurable. A free version (click here) has been available for a while now. Unfortunately it often needs to run as administrator, so I put an entry (with admin priviledges and which is set to run only on demand) in Scheduled Tasks that is invoked to launch Xyplorer. Might be worth a look.

  Batch 17:18 17 Jan 2015

And BTW, I did look at a whole host of alternative file managers and XYplorer was easily the best.

  Ian in Northampton 17:59 17 Jan 2015

Thanks Batch. I'll take a look.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

WPA2 hack: How secure is your Wi-Fi?

HP’s new Surface Pro rival is designed specifically for Adobe-using designers and artists

Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad

Que faire si son iPhone ou iPad est tombé dans de l'eau ?