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I often use Win+E to pop up Windows Explorer, then I usually have to navigate down into a few network folders to find my primary directory. Is there a way to set this folder as the default so that W.E. always opens to this folder?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

edit the following registry subkey:


If you change this subkey's default value to [ExploreFolder("yourNetworkDrive", yourNetworkDrive, %S)], you force Windows Explorer to start at the drive you specify.

Replace yourNetworkDrive with the drive you want. if the drive is mapped as S:, the string would be: [ExploreFolder("S:\", S:\, %S)].

To present a single-pane Windows Explorer view, you can change ExploreFolder to ViewFolder.

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+1 for point the Right One Molly :-) –  joe Nov 13 '09 at 18:10
this doesn't seem to work for Windows 7 –  kenwarner Dec 1 '10 at 3:17

To change the default setting so that all top–level drives and folders are shown, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, then Accessories, then right–click Windows Explorer, and click Properties.
  2. Under Target field, which reads %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe, add to make the line read %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\
  3. Click OK.


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I clicked your answer as accepted, then realized I have no shortcut for Windows Explorer in my Accessories menu, so I'm sorry I had to take it away. Now, could you please direct me towards the location of the Windows Explorer shortcut that is activated when I hit the Win+E keys? Thanks a lot. –  NoCatharsis Nov 13 '09 at 17:43
I guess you must happy with Molly answer :-) –  joe Nov 13 '09 at 18:10
additional info related to this approach - mydigitallife.info/… –  kenwarner Jan 31 '12 at 1:32

I actually use a utility called WinKey to do something similar to this, without rerouting Win+E. I'm sure AutoHotkey could do the same thing. In fact, having said that, I think I just made some work for myself. :)

In WinKey (or soon, in AutoHotkey) I mapped Win+W to open a Windows Explorer window rooted at my standard "workspace" (thus, +W). This way I retain the standard Win+E, which I also use extensively, and right beside it is the hotkey to open my workspace.

OK, work's done. Here's a simple AutoHotkey script I'm now using for Win+w to open my workspace:

#w:: ;; Win+w
 Run C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /n`, /root`, C:\workspace\

The command's commas are escaped with a backquote. Replace C:\workspace\ with whatever folder you want to view. Replace "/root" with "/select" if you want two-pane instead of single-pane.

Another example of autohotkey script here

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I believe an AHK script is the only solution for making Win+E launch Explorer at a specified folder in Vista+. –  Karan May 20 '13 at 15:33

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