Set default folder when opening Explorer in Windows 10

After upgrading to Windows 10 recently, I noticed that whenever I open Explorer, it always shows me Quick Access. I love the new Quick Access feature, but I want to open Explorer for This PC instead.

To me, being able to access different drives on my computer and network devices is much more important than accessing frequently used folders or recently opened files. It’s a useful feature, but I don’t mind having to click once to access it.

In this post, I will show you how to change the default folder from Fast access arrive This PC when opening Explorer. Also, I will also show you a trick whereby you can set any folder as default folder when opening Explorer in Windows 10.

Set Default Folder for This PC

To change settings, open Explorer, click File and then click Change folder and search options.

change directory search options

In the dialog that pops up, you’re on Shared navigation. At the top you will see Open File Explorer to where you can choose from This PC and Fast access.

Windows 10 folder option

Just choose any folder you like and you’re good to go! Now, when you open Explorer, you will see it open for This PC selected instead of Quick Access.

Windows 10 this computer

If you need to do this on multiple machines in a corporate environment, you’ll be happy to know that there is a registry entry that also controls this setting. Just navigate to the following key:


On the right side, look for the DWORD key named Launch to. 1 means This PC and 2 means Quick Access.

registry editor window

Finally, let’s talk about how we can configure Explorer to open to any folder as the default folder.

Set any folder as default for Explorer

Since there isn’t really any official way to do this, we have to hack Windows to make it do what we want. I have tested it and the process seems to work fine. To get started, find your folder and create a shortcut to it on your desktop.

create desktop shortcut

For example, if I wanted to use the Pictures folder as my default folder, I would right click on it, select Send to and then click Desktop (create shortcut). Next, we need to copy that shortcut to a special location in Windows. First, open Explorer and go to that special location. Just copy and paste the following path into the address bar in another Explorer window:

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

Make sure to press Enter after you paste the path into Explorer. Depending on what else is pinned to your taskbar, you may see shortcuts for some programs here, but you will always see Data management program shortcut.

drag shortcut

Now go ahead and drag the shortcut we just created from your desktop to the special folder you opened in Explorer. Now we have to do one last thing. Go ahead and remove the File Explorer shortcut and rename it Image Shortcut arrive Data management program. If you choose a folder other than Pictures, change the shortcut’s name to Data management program.

file explorer window

That’s about it! Now, open File Explorer from your taskbar and you will see the contents of whatever folder you choose as the default folder.

image folder window

It should be noted that this little trick will only work when you click on the Explorer icon on your taskbar. If you open Explorer by double-clicking This PC on the desktop or by clicking Start and then clicking File Explorer, you’ll see This PC or Quick Access, depending on the option selected in the settings.

If you want to undo what we just did above, all you have to do is right-click Explorer on the taskbar and select Unpin from taskbar. Then just drag the This PC icon from your desktop and drop it onto the taskbar again. This will create a new Explorer shortcut and it should work properly.

Pin folders for quick access

If you don’t like any of the above two options, you have another option in Windows 10. You can use the new pinned folders feature associated with Quick Access. When you open Explorer, you’ll see a pin icon next to some folders in Quick Access.

Pinned folders

The Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, This PC and Music folders are pinned by default in Windows 10. If you want to delete any of them, just right-click and select Unpin from Quick Access.

However, if you want one-click access to any folder on your computer, navigate to that folder, then right-click Quick Access and select Pin current folder to Quick Access.

quick access folder pins

As you can see, this is how I pinned the Program Files folder to my Quick Access section. Using this method you don’t have to resort to any hacks and you can also quickly access any folder on your system with just two clicks.

Finally, you can also quickly access that pinned folder by simply right clicking on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar and selecting your pinned folder, which will show up in the jump list .

adventure jump list

So in a nutshell, if you want to change the system-wide default folder, you can just choose between This PC and Quick Access. If you use the second method which involves a shortcut hack, then you must use the shortcut from the taskbar.

Finally, if you only need quick access to a folder, try using the pinned to Quick Access option as that option will also be system wide and will remain on the left side even if you browse through. other folders. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Interesting!

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