How to Make Windows Explorer Open the Way You Want

It is possible to create a shortcut that will open Windows Explorer headed by whatever folder you wish. This is a trick that has been useful ever since Windows 95 and it comes up frequently.

Windows XP

In Windows XP, the default setting is for Windows Explorer to start with “My Documents” at the head. Here is how to get Windows Explorer to start at the C: drive.

  1. Right-click on an empty spot on the Desktop.
  2. In the context menu, choose “New- Shortcut”.
  3. In the space labeled “Type the location of the item”, enter:
       explorer.exe /root,c:
    The syntax must be exact so watch the commas and spaces.
  4. Click “Next” and give the shortcut a name.
  5. Click “Finish”.

Put the shortcut on the Quick Launch Bar or wherever it is convenient.

Windows 7

In Windows 7, the default is to open Windows Explorer at “Libraries”. The same procedure given above can be used to create a shortcut to open at the C: drive.

Open in (My) Computer

If you prefer that Windows Explorer start with (My) Computer, change step 3 above to:

3.  In the space labeled “Type the location of the item”, enter:
       explorer.exe /root,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Be very careful to copy the above exactly. Copy and paste is the safest way to go.

Open Anywhere

If you prefer still another location, then use:
   explorer.exe /root,your-folder

Note that “your-folder” generally requires the full pathname, drive and all.

A tip related to this was suggested by Robin.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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