I have a dual boot system, with elementary OS & Windows 10.

If I boot into elementary OS, I can see my Windows "Documents" folder on a drive when I open the "Files" app, but the drive & folder are not accessible if I try to open anything from within an app. I want to share the same "Documents" folder across both OSes, until I'm happy to move to Linux.

I can't believe this hasn't been asked before, but I could find it searching on here.

Thanks in anticipation,


1 Answer 1


For the OSes to share common folders, you have to edit the fstab file to mount the Windows partition on boot, then change your default documents folder location.

Mount Windows partition on boot

This steps are taken from this answer which also list terminal-only instructions. Here i will just copy the visual way of doing it, for easy access.

Since the answer was for ubuntu, you have to install the Disks application fist, cause elementaryOS does not come with it.

  1. Open the terminal and run this command to install it:

    sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility

  2. Once opened, on its main window, "Disks" graphically shows you your current partition layout. Now simply choose the NTFS partition of windows that you want to automatically mount on boot, then click on the small gears icon slightly below it. From the menu choose:

    ‘Edit Mount Options…’

  3. From the next window that is shown, move the slider button to the left, next to the ‘Automatic Mount Options’ label, to gain access to the settings. Keep the check-marked option ‘Mount at startup’. Select/Fill the next four options if you wish, like "Mount Point". For example:


Note: $Luser is your elementaryOS user.

  1. Now reboot.

Changing the Documents folder

  1. The locations of every user directory are in "~/.config/user-dirs.dirs". Open this file in scratch:

    scratch-text-editor ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

  2. Search for this line in the file:


  3. Replace "$HOME/Documents" with the path to the Windows Documents folder. So it would be somehing like this:


Note: $Wuser is your windows user.

  1. Now just copy all your files in your old documents folder to the new one, then reboot.
  • I presume when you said "Now just copy all your files in your old documents folder to the new one, then reboot." you meant the old Linux Documents folder? I actually don't have anything in there yet, because if I can't share a single documents folder between both, I'm frankly not going to bother using Linux.
    – Bownsie
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 7:24
  • Can't get the second process to work. I left the Mount Point as: /mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE but can't find out what else to add to the path. The Windows Documents folder is on a second (E:) drive and the only users in the path are default, public and user, none of which seem to contain the Documents folder.
    – Bownsie
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:12
  • Not sure my last comment was clear. I added "/mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE/Documents" to XDG_DOCUMENTS, but this didn't work. I did this as in my Windows setup, ths Documents folder is simply in a folder Documents on the E: drive (with some tinkering, Windows treats it as the default Docs folder), and I reasoned that the mount point for the E: drive is /mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE?
    – Bownsie
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 7:32
  • Since your document's folder is on another partition, you have to make that partition the one that is mounted on boot, not the windows partition itself. Then find the path to the documents folder inside the partition. For example: If the path of the folder is just "E:\Bownsie\Documents" in Windows, the path on elementaryOS will be "mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE/Bownsie/Documents", assuming "/mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE/" is the Mount Point of the E: partition. Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 9:21
  • Thanks Daniel. As the path is E:\Documents, I can't see why "/mnt/ACE20F64E20F31DE/Documents" doesn't work? Will try again, typing more carefully - you never know?
    – Bownsie
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 10:17

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