Go away, Microsoft. Remove annoying “Microsoft User Data” Folder.

Lots of Designers use Mac as their work machine, and lots of designers are a bit clean freak like me. Therefore, it’s really hard to swallow when Microsoft try to put an useless “Microsoft User Data” Folder in Documents Folder.(Usually it’s where we put our projects in).

Therefore, today I decided to research for the solution on this. (to fix this annoying problem since years ago)

This is the window you usually see when you have Microsoft 2008 or 2004 installed. The “Microsoft User Data” Folder will always be there no matter how many times you have removed it. It will be automatically recreated every time you open an Microsoft product on your mac. It’s VERY VERY annoying.

Thankfully, this is the solution. Simply move “Microsoft User Data” folder from “Documents” to Users/ (YOUR USER NAME)/Library/Preferences/

DONE!! You will never see that annoying folder again in your Documents Folder. Thank god. :p

90 thoughts on “Go away, Microsoft. Remove annoying “Microsoft User Data” Folder.

  1. Dear Danny Chang,
    Thank you so much for posting such a valuable tip. Enough is enough with Microsoft intrusive practices. The Documents folder belongs to the user, not to Microsoft. I have no choice but to use their products because my institution cannot get rid of them. The least they could do as they enter the Mac users world is to have some respect for the prevailing practices within that community.
    Again, thank you so much. Wishing you good luck with your studies.

  2. I can not thank you enough for solving this annoying problem that I’ve dealt with for years! My CDO (OCD in alphabetical order) couldn’t handle it!

  3. danny,
    i never would drop a single line in a forum ever – this tip however solves a bummer !

    I can do little but add my thankfulness to the already astonishingly long list.

  4. Thank you. Can’t believe the sneaky MS guys to put their annoying useless stupid crap folders into the documents folder reserved for the user!!!! What were they thinking?

  5. Thank you so much for this. One of the principal reasons that I switched to a Mac was because I got tired of the entire system being a giant mess. I had to install Office 2011 and naturally it had explosive diarrhea all over my machine. I’ve been working for days to clean it up and your tip was extremely helpful.

  6. Hiding the folder is an option (using setflag -a V is also another option). But pretty much that doesn’t remove the fact that the folder should be at Preferences instead of documents. Autodesk does the same with its folders, adding extra folders on Documents and User folder, but with Autodesk the only option is to hide the folder. at least Microsoft User Data can still be moved.

    For Mac OSX Lion it does work, but remember that on Lion the Library Folder of the User directory has been hidden on Finder, so to get access to the {User Folder}/Library/Preferences you need to use Shift+Cmd+G and Type “~/Library/Preferences” and then copy the folder to there.

  7. Just to make it an even 40. Thanks!

    MS trying to ruin user experiences for Macs too. Leave the shi**y user experiences on your own PCs!

  8. Especially with Dropbox or Google Drive around, having this folder sync.. makes me freak out @_@.
    Thanks for the tip. Love making my directories much more cleaner…

  9. Hey,

    This didn’t work for me. On my mac book pro (version Lion 10.7.4) in the ‘users’ folder, there is no ‘library’. There is a library on the hard drive with a preferences folder, and so i moved Microsoft user data folder there, with Word off. But when i restarted word, the MUD folder was in documents (there is still the previous MUD folder in library/preferences).


    I’d be very grateful!

  10. I found out! It doesn’t work in Mac’s latest version because there is no more library folder in ‘users’, so…

    Open ‘Terminal’ (it’s an application all Macs have)

    Type chflags hidden

    Drag your folder into the Terminal window

    Hit return

    Hey presto! Gone!

  11. For clean freaks designer seem to leave a lot of equally annoying “.DS_Store” files in directories. What about tidying them up too?

  12. THANK YOU!
    As the person above referenced, my OCD (CDO – ha! love it) could no handle this annoying intrusion.
    Such a result!

  13. Epic Win! The thing that drove me nuts was that spotlight searches in my “Documents” folder were swamped with emails. (If I wanted to find an email, I’d look in my email program!) Now, when I search in my Documents folder, I see Documents. Who would have thought?

    Thanks, Danny!

  14. Danny, you are a legend. Plain and simple. Comment boards like this should be forwarded to Micro-gash as sound customer feedback.

    @Abby and all others who cannot get this to work, ready the comments. Specifically @diogo


  15. Outlook runs fine after having moved its folder to the prefs folder, BUT…. the search function does not work in outlook when the user data folder is in the systems folder, which is a major bummer.

    So very nice to get the mails results away from Spotlight results, but still need to find a solution so the search funtion works inside Outlook – any suggestions???


  16. Thanks indeed! Made my day!
    I recently installed a NAS and wanted to put the Documents folder in my personal cloud however the damn Microsoft folder was an obstacle.
    TXS to your solution now I am able to keep my documents updated upon several Macs.

  17. Gotta add my THANK YOU to the long list. By the way, my version of Lion does not display the Library folder in the Finder. I did it on the command line. Open up the Terminal app in your home directory and enter:

    mv Documents/Microsoft\ User\ Data/ Library/Preferences/

  18. Thank you Stan. I’m running X.8.2 and moving the folder to Library/ Preferences didn’t work, it just came back every time I opened MS Office. Your terminal command seems to have done the trick. Nice tidy Documents folder!

  19. Being that others had problems with MS files reappearing and I had other files in the Document folder (Adobe) that I didn’t know if I could move….I just made a new folder: “Document-mine” (you can title it anyway you want)….I put it in the side bar and removed the Document folder from the side bar. Now I don’t have to deal with a messy Document folder.

  20. Doesn’t work, Padre. For us Outlook users, that “useless” folder just, y’know, has all our email in it.
    I need to move mine to another physical drive.

  21. Any idea why when I have Office 2011 installed that the Microsoft User Data folder has a file inside called Office 2008 AutoRecover, and not Office 2011 AutoRecover?? Would be grtateful if anyone knows as its annoying!!!!

  22. This is a stupid solution because Search (follow up, flags) etrc in Outlook no longer work because it relies on spotlight and it won’t search in the Library/Preferences folder

    1. Warren, this has only been an issue since OS 10.8.4 came out. That update broke the Outlook indexing when MUD is in ~/Library/Preferences.

      1. Has anyone come up with a good solution? Moving the MUD to Library is great for cleaning up regular Spotlight searches but renders Outlook searching useless.

  23. Three years later and this still an excellent post. THANK YOU! I’ve simply been using chflags to hide this folder for years, but now that my ENTIRE Documents folder is sync’d with Google Drive, having this folder appear online is obnoxious!

    Thank you again.

  24. Is there perhaps an updated solution to this problem? I tried both moving it to the Library/Preferences and also tried the chflags hidden and no luck. It just comes back into the My Docs folder every time I open Excel

  25. Yeah, having been saddled with a Mac by my employer I find it’s near impossible to use for a work computer. Adding a sub-standard version of MS Office on top has been crushing. An O/S made for children and M$ adding their normal dog piles around. Thanks for this simple and effective fix. I was considering creating a second folder to escape the garbage from outlook, webex, etc…

    I wonder why they never consider the simple value of allowing the user to specify where temp files go? They do on their own precious operating system.

    See… I’ve become bitter… :) Thanks again for the fix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>