Windows 11: Sharing files to yourself

You have created a separate user account on your private PC to separate private from home office data. If you now want to transfer data from your personal account to your new work account, our tips will also work in the home version of Windows 11. […]

Perhaps you have finally managed to create a separate Windows user account on your private PC for the home office tasks. But now you have already accumulated data in your personal account that you would like to transfer to your work account: perhaps you have created a work profile in Firefox. Or you have made extensive settings in an application with which you would like to work in the work account.

Solution: The easiest way to do this is by your private “I” temporarily releasing the data to your professional account. Here’s what I documented in a virtual machine with Windows 11 Home Edition, but it also works the Pro version.

First in the private account

In the File Explorer, visit the folder via this PC C:Benutzer and right-click on the folder with your username. If necessary, use Show more options to grant access to and select specific people. Type the user name of the target user, e.g. Hanna Muster, alternatively, select it via the drop-down menu. Click Add.

In the question about “Network Discovery and file Sharing”, click No, make the network…a private network.

As you will notice, the default setting in the Permission level column is “Read”. Leave it that way so that you do not make any accidental changes to the data in your personal account from the work account. Click Share.

If you want to change settings for these items, use Change Settings. You will receive confirmation that the folder has been shared. Click Done.

Make sure that you do not have any files in use; this applies, for example, to Outlook files or the Firefox profile. That’s why we recommend that you save your work and exit all programs. It is best to use the Logout command via Start and click on your user icon.

Continue in the work account

Now log in with the account that received access. Open the folder in File Explorer via this PC C:Benutzer .

If you now double-click on the profile folder of your private account, you can access the data there.

That’s good to know

In a Windows user profile (C:BenutzerIhrName ) for example, your photo editor may want to save your photos in the Pictures subfolder. But the settings of the image editor itself, with almost one hundred percent certainty, lie in a hidden subfolder called AppData.

Most of them are stored in a folder like AppDataRoamingProgramname, some also in AppDataLocalProgramname. For most locally installed applications, you can therefore transfer the settings to a second PC or to a second user account by copying the profile folders of the respective program from AppData from one user account to the same location in the other account.

What you could do with it now: For example, you could get your business OneDrive folder so that everything doesn’t have to be synchronized completely over the Internet (which, according to experience, takes a very long time). This is what you should do before setting up your office OneDrive account in the new profile. If the folder has already been copied, OneDrive will find it as soon as you log in with your OneDrive account.

Or you get out of the hidden folder C:BenutzerNamePrivatkontoAppDataRoamingMozillaFirefoxProfiles the content of your Firefox profile. Or maybe you have other applications there whose setting profiles you would like to transfer to your work account.

My recommendation: With the exception of OneDrive, the following procedure is recommended for all other applications if you want to import setting profiles from AppData (usually Roaming, sometimes also Local). Using Firefox as an example, start the associated program in the new account at least once so that a profile folder with a random string is created within AppData. Close the program again. Only now copy the contents of the old profile folder to the new profile folder.

Remove Release

If all the data you need has been copied over, you can remove the sharing in the private account again. Log in again with your private account and navigate to C:Benutzer . Right-click on the originally shared profile folder and select the Remove Access command (if necessary, show it via further options) when Granting access. In the query window, click Change settings.

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