Today I was messing with Google Drive and the Windows Libraries.


Google Drive logoWindows Libraries

My idea was to integrate both products so I could access my data from everywhere.

If you want to skip the details and jump to the conclusion, please refer to the heading named SOLUTION (or How to correctly integrate your "My Documents" with Google Drive) - scroll below.


Windows Libraries for infants.

For newborns, Windows Libraries are a "catalog"-type of a special folder.

Instead of standard files & folders, they contain "links" that point to other folders.

For example, when you open Windows Explorer.exe (Win+E), by default you'll find a "Libraries" list (on the left).

Each Library (let's say Documents), shows you your files & folders, 'though the actual files and folders are located somewhere else.

For example, the Documents Library holds your Documents Folder Content (ie. C:\Users\%username%\My Documents\), along the Public Documents (normally located by default at C:\Users\Public\Documents).

To manage what to show within a specific Library:

  • Right Click on the Library (ie. Libraries -> Pictures).
  • Click on "Properties".
  • On the popup window, Add/Remove the folders locations you'd like to include.

Now, for the readers who agree on Google Drive's value, what I wanted to achieve was a convenient integration between "My Documents" Library (on my PC) with Google Drive (in the Cloud).

In other words, I wanted to host my "C:\Users\andrea\My Documents" within my Google Drive root.

That way, C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive\My Documents would still be available within my "Documents"-Library.


How to NOT integrate Google Drive with "My Documents".

So I went into C:\Users\andrea\ with explorer.exe and right-clicked on Mt Documents.

Then "Properties" -> "Location"-tab and I pointed the Destination to C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive (since I thought my ENTIRE "My Documents"-folder would've been relocated as-it-was to my Google Drive root).

The expected end result would've been C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive\My Documents.


Error No.1

Unfortunately something went wrong and I ended up with a C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive == C:\Users\andrea\My Documents folder.


Error No.2

Since this IMHO is suboptimal, I tried to rollback by relocating "My Documents" to somewhere else.

Whoa! that definitely killed my Google Drive folder!


Error No.1 & No.2 FIX.

To fix the above scenario, I had to "unlink" my computer from Google Drive first (which is a PITA, since after you uploaded a couple of gigs to it, you have to clean it from the web side, then re-upload everything - unless you're OK with downloading all your duplicates, that is!).


SOLUTION (or How to correctly integrate your "My Documents" with Google Drive).

Lesson learned: if you wish to relocate your Documents to Google Drive:

  1. Please first create a NEW Folder inside C:\Users\%username%\Google Drive\ and name it (conveniently) "My Documents".
  2. Make sure the New Folder is synched to Google Drive.
  3. Right Click on your (real) "My Documents"-folder Properties.
  4. Click on the "Location"-tab.
  5. Click on the "Move"-Button.
  6. Select the New Folder created at step No.1
  7. Click OK to Confirm and wait for the file transfer process to relocate all your stuff over there.

This way you'll end-up with a "My Documents" subfolder of C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive\ (ie. C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive\My Documents).

  • The advantage of this setup is that it allows you to store, say, your "My Documents" and your "My Pictures" on Google's Drive.

Also, if you happen to have an "home" folder on your Mac and/or your Linux-based system, the separation allows you to distinguish between each OS.

That is good since some Windows Programs have the (good or bad?!) habit of dumping stuff (ie. Savegames, etc.) into your "My Documents"-folder (that you don't want to "see" when on a Mac or Ubuntu).

Now, if Documents doesn't come up on your Libraries, right click then & add your "C:\Users\andrea\Google Drive\My Documents" to it!

Happy cloud computing!


I made a mess of my files, please help?!

[BONUS]: did you happen to mess it badly and now, after you Right Click on your "My Documents"-folder, the "Location"-Tab is missing?!

No problem:

  1. Fire regedit
  2. Go to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders".
  3. Specify on which folder the Location-Tab should appear!



Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home.

Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family.

In this Ad-sponsored space, Andrea shares his quest for "ultimate" IT knowledge, meticulously brought to you in an easy to read format.

[SOLVED] How to correctly integrate Google Drive with "My Documents".
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