How can I reopen a recently closed File Explorer window in Windows 10? I sometimes close a File Explorer window by mistake and I want to reopen it, but it is deeply buried in list of folders. It is a pain to reopen it.

I took a look at Windows 10 Quick Access. It has frequent folders and recent files, but no recent folders.

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Is there a way to reopen accidentally closed windows explorer? (All internet browsers allow this, so why can't Windows allow this?)

Note: I am not asking to reopen Internet Browser tab.


There are all sorts of recent items in Explorer.

Recent folders 1

Previously opened folders in Windows Explorer are available via the little down arrow to the right of the path information field.

Recent folders 2

A. Make a shortcut

To make a shortcut to it, right-click on the Desktop, select New > Shortcut, then enter as location the following string

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{22877a6d-37a1-461a-91b0-dbda5aaebc99}

Give it a meaningful name.

B. Add to Quick access

Go to one folder short of it in File explorer, so that's %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows, right-click on Recent items and select Pin to Quick access.

Recent items

This is found in %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent and you may use it in one of the above methods.

Third-party add-ons to Explorer

If the above methods are not enough, you need an add-on that might do better than Microsoft in displaying recent folders.

Here are a couple of such add-ons. I never used any of them and so cannot recommend one.

  • Thank you for the detailed reply. I really appreciate it. I created a 'Recent Folders' shortcut. Unfortunately, it does not keep up with the folders that I close. To test it out, I just opened bunch of folders. Open few files in them. Then closed both files and folders. Then Open Recent Folders shortcut from Start. It did not have those folders listed. – Cricrazy Nov 7 '18 at 17:22
  • The above are all the methods I know in Explorer. Maybe an add-on will help, so I added a couple that manage recent folders. – harrymc Nov 7 '18 at 17:50

You should be able to do the following to mitigate that problem:

  1. Create a desktop shortcut to %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ and name it Recent Items
  2. Copy that shortcut to %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  3. Right-click the shortcut on the All Apps list and select Pin to start
  4. Utilize that shortcut and sort by the Date modified field

Source: How Do You Get the “All Recent Files” List Back in Windows 10?

  • I tried it, it works good, except, it won't list any files or folders from a shared drive. We have some shared drive for our team, but I can't see those folder shortcuts. Bummer! – Cricrazy Nov 7 '18 at 17:06
  • That's rather strange, because it shows those type of items when I navigate to a mapped network drive on my Windows 10 machines here at work. – Run5k Nov 7 '18 at 17:12

Quick Access Popup has "Recent Folders" feature, it works with Windows Explorer and other software.


  • I wish they had come up with better website (app name), it looks awfully spammy. – Cricrazy Nov 14 '18 at 14:47
  • @Cricrazy It's developed by a single person, you can give suggestions in their website. – Doggo Nov 15 '18 at 18:50

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