Whenever users run and launch Windows Explorer or File Explorer (in Windows 10), the GUI shell for Windows operating system, the File Explorer or Windows Explorer will open in default folder which is current user’s “My Documents” (in Windows XP or earlier) or “Documents” (in Windows Vista and Windows 7) or “Favorites” (in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 or “Quick Access” (in Windows 10).

The default folder opened by Windows Explorer and File Explorer is the same for all users of same version of Windows operating system, and Microsoft does not provide any easy way to change Windows Explorer or File Explorer to open at another specific directory instead of the predefined folder that Microsoft assumes most users will make use of the folder to manage their documents and files,

If you’re using another folder as the working folder and need to access different folder which saves most of your files more often, rather than the default location assigned by Microsoft when using File Explorer or Windows Explorer, it’s possible to assign another folder as the default folder so that whenever Windows Explorer or File Explorer is started, it will display the contents of another different folder.

How to Change Default Folder of Windows Explorer or File Explorer

  1. Click on Start button, then go to All Programs, and finally Accessories.
    If you’re using Windows Explorer shortcut at other location, such as Quick Launch bar or Desktop, skip this step. In addition, in Windows 10, you must create a separate shortcut for File Explorer (or explorer.exe) for this trick to work (Properties of File Explorer in Start menu brings you to System Properties instead).
    To create a shortcut to File Explorer in Windows 10, search for explorer.exe. Then, right click the explorer.exe icon in the search results and select Open file location. Next, right click on the explorer.exe file and select Create shortcut. Click or tap on Yes to place the shortcut on Desktop.
  2. Right-click on Windows Explorer or File Explorer (or its shortcut) and then click Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, click on Shortcut tab if you’re not already there.
  4. The text box after “Target” by default will shown the value as below:



    Both of the above is the same, and can be used interchangeably.

    Change the Target text box parameter to the following:

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, <New Path>

    where <New Path> represents the full path to the new different folder that you want Windows Explorer or File Explorer to open as default folder on launch. The spaces must not be omitted.

    For example, if you want Windows Explorer to run and show C:\ folder, the Target path should be like this:

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, C:\

    Or you if you want Windows Explorer to go directly to C:\Tech Journey\ directory, the line should read as below:

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, C:\Tech Journey\

    Open Windows File Folder at Different Specific Target Folder

    A special case is to change the default setting so that all top–level drives and folders are shown. To show this folder view, use the following as Target shortcut so that when Windows Explorer is opened, you can choose from all the folders and drives, not just My Documents:

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\ 

    The above syntax for the Target with “/select” to open parent folder of the destination folder so that you can “select” from all folders (or drives) that are available on the same level of directory structures.

  5. Click OK.

The trick works on most Windows operating system, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.