Change the default folder opened in Windows Explorer

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.


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