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If I want to open or save a file using a program in Windows Vista or higher, the location which is opened by default usually¹ is the "Documents" library. How can I change this default location system-wide?

¹ Most applications behave like this when opening/saving a file for the first time.

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2 Answers 2

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There are a few ways to change this as seen here:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/26559/change-the-default-save-folder-for-windows-7-libraries-to-something-else-like-your-dropbox/

Also note that application also have the power to open up the save dialog to a custom folder. Many just let the OS handle it, though.

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1  
Although that's nice to know, I would like to set a specific folder like %UserProfile% instead of the Documents library to open by default. I am aware that some applications handle the initial directory themselves. But for those who don't, is that possible? –  purefanatic Aug 12 '13 at 19:15
    
According to raymond.cc (raymond.cc/blog/…) it cannot be changed: "I did a little research and found out that it can’t be changed." However, he has a tip to at least add a new folder to the quick save locations dialog. –  th3dude Aug 14 '13 at 14:22
    
That's too bad. So I guess the best approach for me is just to use the favourites to get a faster access. Thank you very much! –  purefanatic Aug 16 '13 at 20:52
    
@purefanatic There is always an answer, it simply depends on how much you're willing to go through to get to that answer. –  user312854 Oct 23 at 15:12

This is for now at least, a partial answer. From http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-libraries-feature-in-windows-7/, this makes it possible to remove the libraries feature which is utterly useless and creates chaos for people trying to organize their files. After applying the following registry changes log off and log back on. The open file dialog will open the My Documents folder (Microsoft now calls it the "user files" because its important to change the reference names to everything every two years to further confuse people). Beyond that I'm not sure offhand how to change the default directory beyond that; I would guess you can look up how to do it in Windows XP or even Windows 98 and determine if that method is still applicable.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Created by Vishal Gupta for AskVG.com

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
"{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}"=-
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