By Ivy / Last update May 17, 2022

Can I move files from C drive to D drive?

I have a completely new computer, running Win10. My C drive is almost full, as the system defaulted to installing everything there. And I want to move all documentation, videos etc ( NOT Program Files! ) to the D drive. How do I do this? Incidentally...opening file-viewer in tree & highlighting folder which I want to move & right-clicking properties doesn't work as the location tab is not visible at all...

--answers.microsoft.com

In fact, many users has ever been in this delemmma that the C drive is full when there's still much space in the D drive. Usually, when this occurs, your first thought may be transferring files from C drive to D drive, just as in the case above. And you can definitely do so with different methods. I'll introduce them in detail.

Before that, you need to know is it safe to transfer files from C drive to D drive and what files can you transfer? 

Is it safe to transfer files from C drive to D drive?

When your C drive gets full, obviously, there are two possible ways to solve the issue:

☛ One is to move unallocated space to C drive to extend it. 

If you do have unallocated space on the hard drive, you can try this solution. To put it simply, you can open Disk Management and assign the unallocated space to C drive, or "Shrink" a drive with plenty of space, and then "Extend" your C drive with the separated out space.

☛ The other is to transfer files from C drive to another drive (like D, E, F, or G). 

Given that you still have redundant space on D drive, this way may be a more direct and simple way to make room for C drive. But is it OK to do so? Actually, it depends on what files you’re about to move. You are allowed to move all files under the "User" folder, including Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Favorites, OneDrive, Picture, Music etc. etc.

Besides, there are some files you cannot move, such as, Windows, Program Files and Programs File (x86).  The Windows folder stores system files requires to start a computer, so you cannot move it. The last two folders are installation location of programs. If you move it, the program may stop working or not respond. And some of them only work when installed on the root drive of the hard drive. 

How to move files from C drive to D drive in Windows 11/10/8/7

How to move files from one drive to another? There are 5 methods in total. Click on the anchor text below to jump to the method you prefer. Except for moving files from local disk C to D, you’re allowed to transfer files from C drive to external hard drive using these methods.

Note: After moving, make sure you can access these files from D drive. If everything's fine, you can delete them from C drive to free up the space, but the previous shortcuts for these files would be invalid. In case of anything unexpected happens, you can backup the C drive at first.

#1: Copy files from C drive to D drive via Drag and Drop

Step 1. Double-click Computer or This PC to open Windows File Explorer. 

Step 2. Navigate to the folders or files you want to move,  right click them and select Copy or Cut from the given options. 

Cut or Copy

Step 3. Finally, find D drive or other drives you want to store the files to, and right click blank space and select Paste.

Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + C (Copy) or Ctrl + X (Cut) after pitching on these files in source drive. In the destination drive, press Ctrl + V to paste these files.

Important:
This method applies to transfer personal files from C drive to D drive. To move program files in this way will make them inaccessible.
It is not suggested to delete “My Documents” folder or similar folders on C drive after transferring. Otherwise, that would mess up your profile.

#2: Transfer files from C drive to D drive via free AOMEI Backupper Standard

AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free file sync software designed for Windows 11/10/8/7. With the Basic Sync feature, you can transfer files from one location to another effortlessly, such as from one folder to another, from internal disk to external disk, and from PC to PC, etc. Automatic sync is also supported.

Before you transfer files from C drive to D drive, please download and install this software. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

The following guide will show you how to move files from C to D:

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard on your computer. Click Sync and then Basic Sync.

File Sync

Step 2. Click Add Folder to browse files and folders from C drive. 

Add Folder

Tip: If you don't want to move all the files, you can choose exclude certain file type from selected folders with Filter Settings feature. It's available on the AOMEI Backupper Professional.

Click Filter

Step 3. Click to select D drive as the destination path. Then, click Start Sync to move files from C drive to D drive.

Select Sync Destination

Now, you may already move files from C drive to D drive successfully. But if you don't want to lose any data due to unexpected disaster, you could sync files to external hard drive, network drive, cloud drive etc and make it automatically with Schedule Sync feature.

Event trigger and USB Plug in (to move files to USB drive automatically when it's plugged in) are available on the professional version of AOMEI Backupper. 

Schedule Sync

#3: Move files from C drive to D drive in Command Prompt

Some advanced users prefer using Command Prompt. Learn how to move from C drive to D drive in CMD as follows:

Step 1. Press Windows + R key combo to start Run box. Type “cmd” and press Enter. 

Step 2. Copy files or the whole category with the following command.

  • To copy the file “workfile.txt” on the root of C drive to D drive , type command: “copy c: \workfile.txt d:”.
  • Surely, you can copy a whole category from current directory to D drive. Type command: “copy *.txt d:” This would copy all texts to D drive at a time.

move files via CMD

#4: Copy files from C drive to D drive via Move feature

Here you'll learn how to move files from local disk C to D using the built-in "Move" feature:

Step 1. Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer.

Step 2. Find out the files or folders you want to move, right-click it and select Properties from the context menu.

Step 3. Click the Location tab and Move option.

Move Feature

Step 4. Select the location you want to store your files or folders, then click Apply and Confirm.

#5: Move files from C drive to D drive by changing its default location

Step 1. Go to Settings > System > Storage and scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says More Storage Settings.

Step 2. Click Change where the new content is saved under the More Storage Settings.

Change Where the New Content Is Saved

Step 3. Then, you will see all the default save locations of Apps, Documents, Music, Photos and Videos, Movies and TV Shows, and Maps. Click the drop-down menu and select D drive as new location. Also, you can move files to another drive except for D drive.

Change Default Save Location

Problems you may encounter when transferring files 

0x80070057: the parameter is incorrect: This issue may be caused by corrupted files, network connection problem, long file path. You can choose to backup only subfolder in the "User" folder. And it's suggested to check both C drive and D drive by navigating to their Properties and selecting Check under the Tools tab.

0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system. This usually happens when using Cut and Paste. You can choose to use Copy and Paste. 

Summary

Without a tedious uninstall and reinstall process, one can easily copy files from C drive to D drive in five methods. Among these methods, AOMEI Backupper Standard also supports transferring files from SSD to HDD with the same feature. What’s more, to safeguard your computer, you can automatically backup files to external drive with the help of this utility.

As a matter of fact, this freeware still supports backing up system, disk, partition with flexible backup options, such as daily/weekly/monthly backup, full or incremental backup, normal or high compressional level, etc. 

If you want more advanced features, the Professional version is a great choice that can help you with real-time file sync, event triggers, backup encryption, command line backup/clone, backup scheme, and more.