With directories you can right click ->
Open in new window, however I would like to know whether there is an easier shortcut, because this is an action that I perform all the time.
in shortcut properties, the type target is 'Folder', and this open in same window, to change behavior put parameter and path in field 'Target':
C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n, "C:\Users\USER-NAME\Downloads"
C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n, C:\Users\USER-NAME\Downloads
this change target type to application located to explorer then explorer.exe get's parameter N to open your custom path to folder in new window.
You can change the settings for Windows Explorer so that it always opens folders in a new window. To do this, start by going into the View tab and then click Options:
When you click on Options, a "Folder Options" window will open. You can then click "Open each folder in its own window" and then click OK or Apply to save the settings:
Once you've done this, every time you double-click on a folder it will open in a new window. You can always change this setting back by doing the same thing and selecting "Open each folder in the same window".
Selecting the folder on the left, ctrl + n, alt + tab, enter.
Just in case anyone else stumbles open this post: I just use ctrl + n with nothing selected to open a new window of the current window, and then I click the sidebar folder I would like to open. Alternatively, you could use Auto Hot Key to map a few shortcuts to common folders (for example, I like to use ctrl + windows key + d for documents).