Fix: Failed to Build the List of Regular Subfolders Under Error in Windows 11 / 10

Many users have encountered an error when trying to reset some of the user folders (like Desktop, Downloads, Pictures, Music, and so on) default location using the File Explorer. Generally, this error is reported when you make an attempt to change the folder’s location and it doesn’t work so you try to restore it back to default. The error message that is displayed to the user is:

Failed to build the list of regular subfolders under “D:\System Volume Information”.

Acces is denied.


Possible reasons for this error are:

  • Lack of administrative permissions
  • Issues during the transfer of folders between drives
  • The mapping of the drive folders is corrupted.

In this article, you will see a list of solutions that will help you overcome this error on your Windows PC.


Fix 1 – Attempt a Folder Location Reset and Restart


1. Go to the folder that is giving this error. Right-click on it and choose Properties.


1 Problematic Folder Properties Min


2. Select the Location tab.

3. Click on the Restore Default button.


1 Problematic Folder Restore Default Min


4. In the window that appears, click on No.

5. Restart your system. Check if the problem is resolved.


Fix 2 – Make a New Folder and Point to the Location


Assume you are trying to move the Desktop folder from the C drive to another drive (namely D or E). There can be an issue with this folder move like the complete drive may be displayed on the desktop. When you try to reset the folder’s default location to get rid of this problem you see the error.  So you can try ignoring the problematic folder by creating another folder, moving the contents into it, and then pointing to the location.


We will detail the steps considering that we are trying to move the Desktop folder in C Drive to E drive. Make changes based on the folder and drive you are trying to move.


1. Open File Explorer (Windows + E). Navigate to the drive to which you were trying to make the folder movement. We have considered E drive here.

2. Click on the New menu item at the top to create a new item in the E drive. Select the option Folder.


2 Drive New Folder Min


3. Name the folder, here we will name it as Desktop.


2 Drive Folder Name Desktop Min


4. Copy the files in the Desktop folder in the C drive that you were trying to move using Ctrl + C.


2 C Drive Desktop Copy All Files Min


5. Go to the newly created folder (Desktop in E drive) and paste the files here using Ctrl + V.


2 E Drive Paste Files Into Desktop Folder Min



6. In the File Explorer’s left pane, below the section named Quick access, you will see the Desktop folder. Right-click on it and choose Properties.


2 Quick Access Desktop Properties Min


7. In the Properties window, go to the Location tab.

8. Click on the Move… button.


2 Desktop Properties Location Move Min


9. Go to the location where the new folder is created. Here the location is E:\Desktop.


2 Select Destination Folder Min


This location will change based on where the new folder was created by you in Steps 1 and 2.

10. Click on Apply and then on OK.


2 Desktop Properties Location Changes Apply Min


11. Reboot your PC. Check whether the folder with the issue is pointing to the correct location.



Fix 3 – Clear Disk Space


1. Use the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialog.

2. Type ms-settings:storagesense to open the Windows System Storage Settings.


Run Ms Settings Storage Sense Min


3. Here, turn on the toggle associated with Storage sense under Storage Management.

4. Then click on Show more categories to view the storage usage and to clear up storage like Temporary files.


System Storage Sense Turn On Show Other Categories Min


5. Click on Temporary Files. It will display the list of files that can be removed.


Select Temporary Files In Storage Usage Min


6. Check the boxes associated with the Temporary Files storage that you want to clear and then click on the Remove files button.


Select Temporary Files And Click On Remove Min


7. In a similar manner, you can free up storage from other categories like Pictures, Mail, Documents, Videos, and so on.

8. Now check if this has helped fix the error.


Fix 4 – Take Ownership of the Folder


1. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.

2. Right-click on the folder that is causing this issue and select Properties.


Download Folder Properties Min


3. Go to the Security tab.

4. Click on the Edit button to change the permissions. Click on Yes if prompted by User Account Control.


Downloads Properties Security Edit Group User Min


5. In the Permissions window, click on Add… to add permissions for another user or group.


Downloads Permissions Click Add Min


6. Click on the Advanced button in the Select User or group window.


Select Users Group Advanced Min


7. In the new window that appears, click on Find Now…

8. Select Everyone in the search result at the bottom. Click on OK.


Select Users Group Find Select Everyone Min


9. You will see Everyone under Enter the object name to select. Click on OK.


Select Users Group Everyone Click Ok Min


10. Under Permissions for Everyone, make sure to check the box next to the option Full control below the Allow column.

11. Click on Apply and then on OK to get the changes into effect.


Permission Allow Full Control Min


12. Check if the problem with the folder has been resolved.


Fix 5 – Unmerge User Folders and Restore to Default


At times, there are situations wherein you may have dragged and dropped a user folder (like Desktop, Documents, etc) into another user folder. In this case, you need to unmerge the folders and then restore them to their default location.


A. Unmerge the User Folders


1. Press Windows + R to open Run.

2. Type regedit and click on OK to open the Registry Editor.


Run Registry Editor Command Min


3. Navigate to the path mentioned below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

4. Once you are in User Shell Folders, you will see a list of items with the same name as the user folders like Desktop, Music, Pictures and so on. Consider that we are having a problem with the Downloads folder.

5. Double-click on the item {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} in the list. This multi-string value is key for the Downloads folder in the Registry.


Registry User Shell Folder Select Downloads Min


6. Make sure the Value data field is set to %USERPROFILE%\Downloads. Click on OK.


Registry User Shell Folder Downloads Edit String Value Data Min


Note: In a similar manner, if you are having this issue with any other user folder, change their existing value data field with the default values indicated in the list below

Desktop – %USERPROFILE%\Desktop

Documents – %USERPROFILE%\Documents

Favorites – %USERPROFILE%\Favorites

Music – %USERPROFILE%\Music

Pictures – %USERPROFILE%\Pictures

Videos – %USERPROFILE%\Videos

7. Reboot your system.

B. Restore to Default Location


1. To open File Explorer hold the Windows + E keys together.

2. Right-click on the Downloads folder in the left pane and choose Properties.


Download Folder Properties Min


3. Go to the Location tab.

4. Click on the Restore Default button.

5. Now click on Apply and then on OK.


Restore Folder After Unmerge Min


6. You will see that the location of the Downloads folder will now be restored.

Thanks for reading.

You must now be able to reset your folder location to the default path without seeing the error message. Comment and let us know the fix that worked for you.