Set Default Folder When Opening Explorer in Windows 10 - E – mail tips and tricks

June 27, 2019
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Set Default Folder to This PC

To change the setting, open Explorer, click on File and then click on Change folder and search options.

In the dialog that pops up, you should already be on the General tab. At the very top, you’ll see Open File Explorer to where you can select from This PC and Quick Access.

Just pick whichever folder you prefer and you’re good to go! Now when you open Explorer, you should see it open to This PC selected instead of Quick Access.

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

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

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

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

Set Any Folder as Default for Explorer

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

For example, if I wanted to use the Pictures folder as my default folder, I would right-click on it, choose Send to and then click on Desktop (create shortcut). Next, we need to copy that shortcut into a special location in Windows. First, let’s 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 might see shortcuts to several programs here, but you should always see a File Explorer shortcut.

Now go ahead and drag the shortcut that we just created from your desktop into the special folder you have open in Explorer. Now we have to do one last thing. Go ahead and delete the File Explorer shortcut and rename the Pictures Shortcut to File Explorer. If you chose a different folder than Pictures, then change whatever the name of that shortcut is to File Explorer.

That’s about it! Now open File explorer from your taskbar and you should be viewing the contents of whichever folder you chose to be the default folder.

It’s worth noting that this little trick will only work when you click on the Explorer icon on your taskbar. If you open Explorer by double-clicking on This PC on the desktop or by clicking on Start and then File Explorer, you’ll either see This PC or Quick Access, depending on which option is chosen in the settings.

If you want to undo what we just did above, all you have to do is right-click on Explorer in the taskbar and choose Unpin from taskbar. After that, 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’ll work normally.