Folder redirection does not work correctly after you restart the computer

This article provides workarounds for an issue where folder redirection doesn’t work correctly after you restart computers.

Applies to:   Windows 10 – all editions, Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:   951049

Problem description

On a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista, folder redirection is enabled. You log on immediately after you restart the computer. In this case, Windows Explorer tries to display the desktop before the Workstation service starts, and you experience one of the following problems:

  • When you try to access redirected folders, you receive the following error message: servername*Username*sharename** is currently unavailable.

  • The Documents, Pictures, Music, and Desktop folders are not visible.


To work around this problem, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Log off, and then log on again

Windows Explorer uses the Well-Known folder cache. The Well-Known folder cache is initialized during logon. When you log off and then log on again, Windows rebuilds the cache. At this point, you can apply Group Policy settings correctly. Additionally, the cache is populated correctly.

Method 2: Wait for 12 minutes

The default update interval for the Well-Known folder cache is 12 minutes. To gain access to the redirected folders, wait for the 12-minute update interval to end.

Method 3: Decrease the update interval

You can change the registry to decrease the update interval for the Well-Known folder cache.

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you’d rather fix this problem yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.

Now go to the “Did this fix the problem?” section.

Let me fix it myself

You can decrease the update interval for the Well-Known folder cache by changing two registry values for the KnownFolderSettings subkey. These values control the intervals that are used to update the Well-Known folder cache, based on the success or failure of queries. By default, there is no KnownFolderSettings subkey. Instead, you must create this subkey. To create the KnownFolderSettings subkey and its values, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

  2. Locate and then click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer

  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.

  4. Type KnownFolderSettings, and then press ENTER.

  5. Right-click KnownFolderSettings, point to New, click DWORD Value, and then type CachetimeoutSuccess.

  6. Right-click CachetimeoutSuccess, and then click Modify.

  7. In the Value Data field, type a value from 0 to 720000 milliseconds (ms).

  8. Right-click KnownFolderSettings, point to New, click DWORD Value, and then type CachetimeoutFailure.

  9. Right-click CachetimeoutFailure, and then click Modify.

  10. In the Value Data field, type a value from 0 to 720000 ms.

Did this fix the problem?

Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this article. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.

More information

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista use the Well-Known folders feature to determine the location of folders in the user profile. By using this feature, Windows redirects Well-Known folders to other locations as needed. Specifically, Windows Explorer queries the Well-Known folder GUID. This query returns the actual folder location, whether on a hard disk drive or on a remote server.

Windows Explorer optimizes Well-Known folder lookups by caching the Well-Known folders and their locations. Queries are performed against the cache, and the location is then returned to the application or to Windows Explorer.

When you use folder redirection, you receive the folder redirection settings from Group Policy. This process cannot occur unless the Workstation service has started. If the Workstation service has not started, the Well-Known folder cache is unavailable. This causes queries for redirected folder locations to fail. Additionally, the cache remains unavailable until the next update. By default, this cache is updated every 12 minutes (after the cache is first initialized and built during logon).


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem.


— Update: 21-03-2023 — found an additional article Folder Redirection Failed? How Can You Fix This Issue? [MiniTool Tips] from the website for the keyword folder redirection failed.

Folder Redirection Failed is an error message you may receive when you configure a new GPO that redirects User folders to a new network share or reset default location under Windows File Explorer or Folder Options. This error always comes with another error message: Failed to build the list of regular subfolders under… Access is Denied.

In this post, we will show you how to get rid of this error in different ways.

Fix Folder Redirection Failed

Take Ownership of the Folder

If you don’t have the permission to access the folder, you will, of course, encounter the Folder Redirection Failed error. Here we will show you a guide on how to take the ownership of folder in Windows. Before doing this job, you need to make sure that you are using the admin account.

1. Right-click on the folder.

2. Select Properties from the popup menu.

3. Switch to the Security section.

4. Click Edit. If you receive a UAC elevation request, click OK to confirm.

5. Select the group or user name on the Permission for work Of you can press Add to add another user or group. Adding an Everyone group is the best choice.

6. Under Permission for Everyone, you need to check Full Control under the Allow column to allow all control permissions.

7. You can also edit other permissions if necessary.

8. Press OK to save the changes.

9. Exit Properties.

Add Authenticated Users or Domain Computers

When you use Folder Redirection, you need to make sure that the Folder Redirection group policy removal option is set as Redirect the folder back to the user profile location when the policy is removed. Then, you need to add Authenticated Users with the Read permission on the GPOs (Group Policy Objects).

Fix Failed to Build the List of Regular Subfolders

Clear Disk Space

If your hard disk is running out of space, it will fail to create a list suddenly. Thus, you can release some space on the disk to see whether this method is helpful.

Try the Find Target route

If you keep receiving the error message: Failed to build the list of regular subdirectories when you try to relocate the folder to the original location, you need to restore it to solve the issue. Here is a guide: Accidentally merged User folders; How to unmerge Downloads folder.

Change Ownership/Reset Defaults for all user folders

When you receive a similar error message like Failed to build the list of regular subfolder under “X:System Volume Information”, Access is denied when moving a large number of files from one location to another one, you need to take the ownership of the folder.

This solution has been mentioned in the above content. We will not repeat it here.

Added Information

If you want to restore your files when dealing with different kinds of issues on your computer like access is denied, hard drive is accessible, and more, you can use a dedicated file recovery tool to get them back. You can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to have a try.


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