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.

3 Answers 3


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. Nov 7, 2018 at 17:22

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! Nov 7, 2018 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, 2018 at 17:12

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



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