Proper use of the ‘My Documents’ folder

A discussion that comes up quite often with our customers is the proper use of the ‘My Documents’ folder, or in later versions of Windows abbreviated to ‘Documents’.  There are a few simple rules that if followed simplify life for users and IT administrators alike.  Note that these rules only apply to networks where there is at least one server and Active Directory has been configured, all server based networks setup by Australia Wide I.T. have Active Directory installed.  Your My Documents folder and similarly your Desktop should only be used for storing files that are personal to YOU.  You should not store work related files of any type in your My Documents folder, instead they should be placed in a suitable network folder.  If you do not have a suitable network location rather than take the easy way out and store your file in the My Documents folder you should contact your I.T. administrator and have a new network folder setup.

There are two main reasons for this- first and most importantly, the data in your My Documents folder is not necessarily backed up.  The second reason has to do with the way a feature called ‘Redirected Folders’ works, in many cases the more data you have in your My Documents folder the longer it takes to load that data over your network, as a user you’ll see this as a delay in both starting up your computer and when browsing your My Documents folder.

We know this is not a very exciting blog update but it is an important topic you should all be aware of.

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