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I often use Win + E to pop up Windows Explorer, and 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 Windows Explorer always opens to this folder?

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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
it doesn't work in windows 10 either – Björn Lindqvist Aug 20 '15 at 23:20

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 -… – 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

I used Windows Explorer settings:

Open any folder, click on view settings and in General window change "Open File Explorer to".

It contains only two settings in my case, but it got me rid of quick access.

Enter image description here

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This does not work for Windows 7 (no "Open File Explorer to" option) Please add the Windows version(s) this answer is applicable to. – DavidPostill Apr 22 at 10:21

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