Operating system Windows How to change the default folder opend by Windows Explorer and create a keyboard shortcut for a folder in Windows?

How to change the default folder when Windows Explorer opend?

Microsoft Windows Explorer, which is accessible through the Start menu, is the tool you use to look through the files and drives on your computer.

All Programs menu expanded to access Windows Explorer on Accessories submenu

When you start Windows Explorer from the Start menu, it opens your My Documents folder by default. However, a My Documents shortcut already exists on your Start menu. You can put the Windows Explorer shortcut to better use by changing it to display all top-level drives and folders on your system. This change will give you a broad, overall view of all your folders and files.

My Computer window showing top-level drives and folders

To change how Windows Explorer opens


Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, right-click Windows Explorer, and then click Properties.

All Programs menu and submenus expanded to access Properties on Windows Explorer shortcut menu


The Target box currently shows %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe
At the end of the line, type the characters /n, /e, /select, C:\
The line should now read %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\
Be sure you insert blank spaces in the correct locations. Then, click OK.

Shortcut tab in Windows Explorer Properties dialog box with OK button selected

Now, when you open Windows Explorer, it will display all of your folders and drives, not just your My Documents folder.

How to create a keyboard shortcut to open a folder?

Do you have a folder that you'd like to be able to open quickly and easily whenever you want? If you create a keyboard shortcut for that folder, you can open it anytime by pressing a key combination, no matter which other programs you have open.

To create a keyboard shortcut to open a folder


Click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.


In Windows Explorer (the program that appears when you open folders such as My Computer, My Documents, My Pictures, or My Music), right-click the folder to which you want instant access, click Send To, and then click Desktop.

Folder selected in My Documents folder, with Send To and then Desktop selected on right-click menu


On your desktop, right-click the new shortcut, and then click Properties.

Shortcut selected, with Properties selected on right-click menu


On the Shortcut tab, click in the Shortcut key box. Now press the letter on your keyboard that you want to use to open the folder.

Note: In the Shortcut key box, Microsoft Windows XP automatically adds CTRL+ALT before the key you press, because to use the shortcut to open a folder, you have to hold down both the CTRL and ALT keys simultaneously, while pressing the letter you chose. This way, your folder won't open every time you type that letter.

The Shortcut to My Pictures Properties page, with the shortcut key shown


Click OK.

The Shortcut to My Pictures Properties page, with the OK button selected


Now test your shortcut. Hold down the CTRL and ALT keys, and then press the letter you chose.

This tip can be applied to folders, programs, and text file shortcuts that are placed on the desktop. For more keyboard shortcuts, read how to use the keyboard shortcut to control windows.

Operating system - Windows