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Sometimes, when accessing documents from within programs on Windows, you have this popup:

image of dialog

How can I change the locations that appear on the left side of this popup?

(I say sometimes because other times you have a slightly different popup with more easily customisable options displayed as a list.)

(I'm running Win8 (hence , but I realise the solution may be cross-compatible, so I've also tagged .)

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Are you asking this for an application you're developing, or in general? – Rowland Shaw Nov 4 '12 at 20:20
@Rowland In general, as a user, not developer – ACarter Nov 4 '12 at 20:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There was a tool: TweakUI. It works in Windows XP.

As far as I know there was no such tool developed for Vista/7/8.
I'm quite sure this compatibility mode Open/Save dialog can be customized in Vista+ by changing the same registry values.

  1. Start Registry Editor: Windows + R, regedit.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies.
  3. With Policies selected, right-click on empty space in the right pane, and point at New, then click Key. And type comdlg32.
  4. Similarly, with comdlg32 selected, create new Placesbar key.
  5. You can create up to five places – Place0, Place1 .. Place4 – in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\comdlg32\Placesbar:
    1. Right-click on empty space in the right pane, point at New, and click String value.
    2. Type the name: Place0.
    3. Double-click Place0 and type the value: the path to a directory which will be displayed as the first place on the bar.


What version of the dialog you would see depends on the programmer or rather the tools programmer used. Usually applications targeted to Windows XP have this kind of Open/Save dialog.

If you need more info, I can give more details, however programming part of it belong Stack Overflow.

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Editing the registry worked a treat. I didn't even have to restart. Thankyou very much. – ACarter Nov 4 '12 at 21:01

That dialog is an ancient one from XP times. The current Open File Dialog looks like this:

enter image description here

which has at the very top of the bar a “Favourites” section where you can put what you like.

Alas, you'd have to get the application you're using to use the current dialog instead of the old one (and some toolkits/frameworks, e.g. Java or GTK, even insist on redoing the dialog completely, moving further and further from what is usually used on the system).

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