Relocate the Microsoft User Data Folder

I'm pretty picky about how my data is organized. For example, in the Documents folder on my Mac, I like to have...well...documents. Not random bits of data that other applications rudely decide to store there without my permission. This has long been an annoyance with the Microsoft User Data Folder and when I decided to sync my documents folder to Dropbox, also created a problem in that it was hogging valuable Dropbox space for unnecessary items.  I was looking for a way to remove the Microsoft User Data Folder form my Documents folder.

I found a simple solution on Danny Chang's blog for this problem.

  1. Close any open Microsoft Office applications
  2. Move the Microsoft User Data folder from the Documents folder to ~/Library/Preferences (note this is the Preferences folder inside your user folder)

This may not work with all versions of Microsoft Office for Mac, but it works with my version of Office 2011.