I'm getting strange behavior when I access My Documents via navigation from My Computer, versus accessing it from a shortcut.

When I open My Computer and navigate to C:\Users\Foobar\Documents\, the location is displayed as Computer > DriveName (C:) > Users > Foobar > Documents.

However when I create a shortcut to C:\Users\Foobar\Documents\ and open it, the location is written as a shortened version instead: Foobar > Documents.

Annoyingly, the "parent folder" (up arrow) button has different behavior between the two ways of accessing My Documents. If I click the "Up Arrow" button twice from the shortcut, it brings me to C:\Users\Foobar\Desktop\ instead of C:\Users\, and greys out the parent folder button.

My Documents will also have two different folder views/columns that don't carry over to the other way of accessing the folder, which is mildly annoying as well.

I've found that I can open My Documents as a full path if I open explorer.exe in a command prompt, like so: > explorer.exe C:\Users\Foobar\Documents, but this has the downside of creating another explorer.exe process just to access one folder.

If I use the internal command Start, i.e. > start C:\Users\Foobar\Documents, it has the same behavior as opening the shortcut.

Also, this behavior seems to be the same for any folder or subfolder starting with the currently logged in person's User folder (so the same thing happens with Foobar\Pictures, but not Barfoo\Documents).

I would like a way to create a shortcut to C:\Users\Foobar\Documents\ that opens the "full path" version that has the same behavior as if I navigated there from My Computer, but without creating another explorer.exe process.


Go to C:\Users\your_user\ and create a shortcut for your Documents folder. Right click the shortcut, properties and in the target field (where is the full path) set your full path between double quotes.

Like this:

Target Field: "C:\Users\your_user\Documents\"

  • Thank you for answering. However, the shortcut I was using in the question also has the target C:\Users\Foobar\Documents (it's the default target when I create a shortcut to My Documents). This is happening whether I run from cmd start C:\Users\Foobar\Documents, or open a shortcut targeting C:\Users\Foobar\Documents, so I think it's something happening under the hood. – user1939421 Feb 28 '18 at 9:09
  • It was about the double quotes, not the path. – User552853 Mar 2 '18 at 5:52
  • Sorry I wasn't clear. It's still happening whether there are quotes or not, and Windows is automatically removing the quotes on paths without spaces. Unfortunately at this point I don't think there's any way to change the behavior (unless someone with knowledge of Windows Policies could chip in). – user1939421 Mar 3 '18 at 11:12

Okay I managed to solve (or workaround) this in a strange, but functional, manner.

I created a symlink with Link Shell Extension of my user folder "C:\Users\Foobar" at "C:\Users\Foobar2".

Doing start C:\Users\Foobar2 opens the folder with the behavior that I wanted in the question, so I updated anywhere I wanted that behavior to happen (e.g. shortcuts and hotkeys to my Documents/Pictures folders) with Foobar2 instead of Foobar, and now it works just fine.

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