Windows 10 Configuration

On another forum recently, I observed a discussion about performance, with a 2 drive windows system (C:\ drive was an SSD, D:\ was an HDD with bigger capacity). The user had been loading images and the like to C:\ and programs and stuff, where possible, was installed on D drive, but then application logs were filling up what remained of C, and there ensued a lot of discussion about moving files, cleaning up logs, etc.

For what it’s worth, when I got my new laptop just as I bought into Topaz suite of products, I moved some things to the D drive, but in the the above discussion someone questioned why I didn’t use the Windows built-in ways of managing storage. Essentially, I’ve been around Windows 10 since it was in beta status, but always with a one hard drive system. My way worked for me, the suggested way also works and maybe easier to configure. Here I will outline both methods, with the assumption that you have a fairly updated installation of Windows 10 and some familiarity with navigating around it.

Method 1 (manual steps - you would need to do this for every folder home you want to move):

  1. Open windows File Explorer.
  2. Under “This PC”, where it lists Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos, Pictures, choose a category folder (in this screenshot looking at Documents).
  3. Right-click and go to “Properties” and there will be several tabs across the top.
  4. Open the “Location” tab. By default, your documents are located at c:\Users\yourname\Documents.
  5. Change the path to d:\Users\yourname\Documents
  6. You have the option to “find target” or “move”. If you have documents in your home folder already and want to move to new location now’s a good time to do it.
  7. Click Apply… Click “OK”… Repeat for any other folders you want to move (Videos, Pictures, etc).

Method 2: (This would have been easier for me to do had I realized the settings were available… A shortcut to the first four steps below is to search for ‘storage settings’ and go directly to it).

  1. Click Start Menu…
  2. Click “Settings” gearbox.
  3. Click “System” icon.
  4. Click “Storage” on left panel.
  5. Click “Show more categories”.
  6. Scroll down to “change where new content is saved” and click on it.
  7. Note default locations for a variety of file types and/or programs.
  8. Change settings as desired to new locations.

In general, it has been my experience that a fair balance of performance is to leave windows and installation of programs to be loaded to C: if that’s an SSD, and to offload data to the D: drive if possible and IF you have more space there. If space is not an issue - or if you have multiple SSD or just hard drives then this may not be helpful except as a reference to know where these settings are stored.

I actually have a 500gb SSD and a 1TB HDD, and a 4TB external. So I backup/archive to external and cloud, and leave recent files on the D drive, but work locally on the C drive. If I were using something like Video Enhance AI I’d consider leaving videos on the SSD so as to have less I/O to a physical hard drive, but when evaluating the software I wasn’t thrilled with the performance even with a 6GB GTX Nvidia card and 16GB of system memory with a gen 10 i7 CPU, and video isn’t my primary focus, so it’s irrelevant to me, I guess.

Hope these helpful hints can help someone somewhere. Feedback/suggestions welcome.

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I use something like your first solution and keep as little as I can on the SSD, everything goes to the D drive. (Same specs as mentioned) . Thanks for another solution.

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