Here's what I want to do:

  1. Hit Windows.
  2. Type in a search for a file.
  3. Select the file (arrow keys).
  4. Open the file's containing folder without right-clicking (like in Spotlight with Command + Enter).

6 Answers 6


You could use the menu button on your keyboard, assuming you have one. Replacing your step 4 with the following has what I think is the desired effect:

  1. Menu
  2. Arrow keys to "Open File Location" option. Update: Or just press i - see comments.
  3. Enter

Now, it's hardly a shortcut, but since you're arrowing to the file maybe this isn't too much of an additional chore compared to having to mouse as well?

  • 1
    Looks like this is the best answer I can hope for. Maybe Microsoft will add a shortcut for 'Open file location' in the future. For now you can hit the "Menu" key (if you have one) then press 'i.'
    – jedavis
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 18:41
  • Indeed! I'd obviously completely failed to look at the underline short cuts; "i" is much better than arrowing there!
    – DMA57361
    Commented Jun 17, 2010 at 19:26

Select a file, press Alt+Enter to open the properties, then press Alt+F for "Open File Location".

  • 2
    Probably removed in Windows 10. Does not work.
    – Avatar
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 13:10
  • 4
    Does work in Windows 10
    – Brambor
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 18:52
  • Doesn't work in Windows 10, at least not from W10's Start Menu (as the question asks). Alt-Enter on a Start Menu item will register as "Enter" and merely run the program. This only applies when done from a Windows Explorer folder/window. Commented Apr 30 at 4:40
  • Note: this is due to the Windows Start Menu now being a UWP/XAML app, whereas the Alt-Enter->"Properties" shortcut is a legacy Win32 app function which isn't baked into UWP like the Windows file explorer/traditional apps. Commented Apr 30 at 4:51

In Windows 7 - 10, this combination will open the folder in Windows Explorer. Note that the file must be highlighted before, of course:

≣ Win Menu (opens context menu) → i ("Open file location")

When within the search results, you probably want to open each file's folder in a separate window. Then use shift:

≣ Win MenuShift + i

Screencast (Win Menu shows as "App"):

screencast open file folder

  • This has been my preferred solution. One note though: if your keyboard lacks a ≣ Win Menu key, Shift + F10 will work just as well to open the context menu.
    – Jim Simson
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 19:52
  • What did you use to record this GIF? Handy display of keypresses. Commented Jan 10 at 7:59
  • 1
    Use Carnac Keys, see github.com/Code52/carnac
    – Avatar
    Commented Jan 10 at 11:54

Not really a native Windows shortcut, but I do this all the time with Launchy. It allows you to open any location anytime by just typing:

  1. Alt+Space
  2. Type Address
  3. Enter

Windows 10 has the option to add "Open folder location" to the Quick Access Toolbar in File Explorer.

  1. After performing a search the Search Tools appear in the menu.
  2. Click on this to see options.
  3. Right-click on Open File location icon.
  4. Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.
  5. Button now can be used on selected searched file/folder.
  • Welcome to Super User! This is a creative solution! Since it requires a one-time setup, it will only work for frequently-accessed folders, though.
    – jpaugh
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 23:07
  • 1
    An alternative to assigning to the Quick Access Toolbar is to always have the menu ribbon open which will show the Open File location option and in this way, it's always available for any selected file/folder in a search. The ribbon remains open even when File Explorer is closed and reopened.
    – petlam
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 15:34

(Just another way of thinking inspired by @DMA57361)

If your mouse has some unused buttons, you can create macro for your one of these buttons. The macro can be [Right Mouse Click] + [Delay] + ["i"].

For example, I am using the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, I use the Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse Center to create a macro for my left side button:

enter image description here

Now, you can just use one-button-click to open file location. Good luck!

  • If the macro were to be [Menu Button] + [Delay] + ["i"], that would be even better, as it would not require the mouse to move to hover over the item as long as it has been pre-selected via the keyboard, as the OP prefers to do.
    – jpaugh
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 23:09
  • @jpaugh Yes, that sounds a good idea. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 23:13

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