Permanently Getting Rid of 'My Pictures' and 'My Music'

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 20, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Newer versions of Windows, in trying to be helpful, add some "standard" folders to your hard drive, supposedly as a repository for some of your files. The two principal folders are "My Pictures" and "My Music." These are supposed to be, respectively, for your digital images and your digital music.

Some people want to get rid of these folders, however. There are instructions floating around the Internet that describe how to get rid of them, including making some edits in the Registry. However, removing the folders will do you no good if the programs you are using (like Word) expect to find and use them.

When you first install Word, it uses your "My Pictures" folder as a starting point for your graphics files. When you choose Picture from the Insert menu, and then choose From File, this folder is where Word first looks for graphics. If you previously deleted the folder, Word assumes you made a mistake and helpfully creates the folder for you.

The way around this problem is to simply tell Word to look somewhere else. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the File Locations tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The File Locations tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Select the Clipart Pictures option.
  5. Click on Modify. Word displays the Modify location dialog box.
  6. Use the controls in the dialog box to select a different folder to use as a starting point.
  7. Click on OK, then click on Close.

The Clipart Pictures folder setting (step 3) is used as the default location when you choose to insert a picture from a file. It is not used (contrary to its name) when you insert clip art.

Interestingly enough, if you leave the setting for Clipart Pictures blank, Word reverts back to the "My Pictures" default and still attempts to begin looking at that location. In other words, you must provide a different, specific folder location in order for Word to ignore the "My Pictures" folder.

In regards to the "My Music" folder, it is doubtful that Word would recreate this folder, because there is no portion of Word that uses that folder by default. There are other programs, however, that may use it. For instance, Internet Explorer may use it as your default download folder for music files. If the folder has been deleted, Internet Explorer may recreate it. The folder is also used by Windows Media Player.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1829) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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