In Windows, there are dialogs for saving files with no address bar, like the following from notepad++ Save As dialog without address bar

As opposed to something like from mspaint Save As dialog with address bar

I suppose the dialog from the first screenshot is also Windows standard and not something the notepad++ dev wrote, just that the dev can pass what kind of dialog Windows should show.

For the second one it‘s easy to get the path for the currently selected folder. Is there also one for first? I have a file opened somewhere and normally I choose the Save As… option and then Ctrl+L, Ctrl+C to get the path and open in. I don’t want to open this deeply nested folder structure again folder by folder.

So my question: is there a way to get the path or open the explorer at the currently selected folder for this kind of Save As dialog? This question is not exclusive for notepad++, I guess there are easy ways in notepad++ to get the path for the current file. It was just the first program I had open when I was looking for a solution for this. I would like to have a general solution.

My solution for now is this: I have Listary installed and just bring up the Listary dialog and search for the folder name. Might be annoying though if there are many matching folders and I’m not too happy with this solution.

1 Answer 1


The first dialog you show is indeed standard; it's the "traditional" Open/Save dialog template used since Windows 95, only with slight extensions over time – e.g. Windows 2000/XP added the sidebar. (Meanwhile the second dialog is the "modern" template used since Windows Vista. There's even the historical Windows 3.11 dialog still available somewhere.)

Starting with Windows 98, the file area in this dialog is already a mini Explorer window; you can perform any operations such as renaming files, copying or moving them (both within the dialog or even into/out of the dialog), etc.

Right-clicking a file, or empty space in icon/list views, will give you the same context menu as Explorer would – with a "Properties" item among others. And if you open the Properties page of any item, you'll be able to copy the path of its parent folder:

"Open file" dialog in Windows 2000, showing the context menu of empty folder area A folder's "Properties" dialog in Windows 2000, with its "parent location" highlighted

But it's easier to just go upwards one level, and right-click the folder you just came from: its context menu will always contain an option to open it in a full-size Explorer window, usually labelled Open in new window in new Windows versions. (In older systems, both Open and Explore are suitable.)

Context menu of a folder in Windows 2000, showing "Open" and "Explore" menu items among others Context menu of a folder in Windows 2012, showing "Open in new window" among other menu items

Finally, on Windows Vista and later, you can directly Shift+right-click any file or folder and get a hidden "Copy as path" menu item which gives you the full path to that object.

Extended context menu of a file in Windows 2012, with the "Copy as path" menu item highlighted

Oh, and after you save a file, most programs will automatically have it appear as a shortcut in "Recent Items". Open that folder through Start → Run → shell:recent and sort by date; if you see the shortcut to your brand new file, right-click and select "Open file location".

Context menu of a shortcut within the Windows "Recent Items" folder, showing "Open file location"

  • Such a simple solution. I knew about all the “tricks” but didn’t put them together. Also +1 for the additional history lesson.
    – bugybunny
    Feb 4, 2019 at 14:07
  • For keyboard people who don’t have a context menu key: Shift+F10 also brings the extended menu with the Copy as path action. I was just asking myself, how I get this extended menu when I already need to press Shift for the context menu.
    – bugybunny
    Feb 4, 2019 at 14:17

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