I want to have an icon in Windows 8.1 Taskbar that opens Windows Explorer in a specific folder and does not create a second icon when I click the first.

I tried several approaches to do this:

  1. Pin Windows Explorer to Taskbar and Shift+Right Click > Properties.

    Windows Explorer properties

    As you can see in the image the Target location, Target, and Start in fields are non-editable. So I cannot specify folder where to start.

  2. I tried to go C:\Users\myuser\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar , Right-Click > Properties and those fields are also non-editable.

  3. Moved that lnk file to another folder and the same situation continues to happen.

  4. I went to the folder above the one I wanted to create the link. Then I selected the folder I wanted for the link, Right-Click > Send to > Desktop (create Shortcut). Finally, I closed all Windows Explorer windows, and in the newly created shortcut at the Desktop, I did: Right-click > Pin to Start. I went to the Start Screen and Right-click > Pin to taskbar.

After that, I see in the taskbar an icon that is not the one of Windows Explorer, but the Folder icon. If I Click on that icon, I will see the folder I want, but I noticed in the taskbar there was an added icon for Windows Explorer, which only serves to inconveniently occupy space.

If I recall correctly, I could do this easily in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

  • Any idea with Windows 10?
    – niico
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:11

7 Answers 7


This should work in Windows 8.1/10/11:

  1. Pin File Explorer to the taskbar.
  2. Create a shortcut of File Explorer: go to C:\Windows, right click on explorer.exe and choose Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).
  3. On the desktop, right click on the shortcut, choose Properties and add /n, YourPath to the Target field. For example, it should read something like C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n, D:\MyFiles. Apply and close.
  4. Cut and paste your shortcut from the desktop to the folder C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar.
  5. Delete the existing File Explorer shortcut in this folder.
  6. Rename your shortcut to "File Explorer" (even if your OS is in a different language; thanks to the user in the comments).
  7. Close all copies of File Explorer. Click on File Explorer in the taskbar. It opens to your chosen path and does not cause another icon to appear in the taskbar.
  • 2
    Please note that in the step 5 you must rename the shortcut to exactly "File Explorer", even if you use a different language then english
    – Spotlight
    May 7, 2016 at 17:00
  • 2
    Perfect - also works in Windows 10. Only solution I've found!
    – niico
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:28

If it's space you want to conserve can you not just drag from your explorer window to the Task Bar to pin the location?

Add Folder location to Pinned section of Explorer Context Menu

Drag location to Explorer on the Task Bar (will show Pin to File Explorer) release to add the location into your Pinned locations that appear when you right click on the Task Bar Explorer icon.

  1. Click and drag from icon in the address bar Click and drag from icon in address bar

  2. Drag to the Explorer icon on the Task Bar
    Drag location to task bar

  3. Release to Pin to context menu of the Explorer Task Bar icon.
    Pinned location

  • I think you don't understood. I tried that and it is not doing what I want. When I click the taskbar icon, I want to open the Windows Explorer in the folder I specify.
    – sergiol
    Mar 6, 2014 at 19:14
  • @sergiol All I have to go off is what you post you mentioned you tried pinning your shortcut to the task bar (that will create a separate instance when clicked). You didn't say you had tried actually pinning a location on to the "existing" explorer link that is usually on the task bar by default. Adding to the "pinned" section of the context menu is completely different to what you described and doesn't require making your own shortcuts or messing with program properties.
    – user692942
    Mar 6, 2014 at 21:30

You can hide "libraries". This would make the default "This PC".

  1. In File Explorer, select the View tab and click the Options button.
  2. In the General tab, under Navigation Pane, uncheck "View Libraries"
  3. Click OK, then restart File Explorer.

As stated by @cathoo

  • 1
    Excaliber's solution worked for me, but you do loose the functionality of the library feature. The other workarounds mentioned would still enable usage of the libraries features if you desire to use it while changing its default startup directory.
    – Guts80
    Jan 7, 2016 at 18:13

I did not yet find a way to get the windows 8 (not 8.1) behaviour back. In plain windows 8, you could change the start-in directory (what you're refering to) to anything you'd like. My current workaround is not perfect, if anyone has further suggestions, i'd be thankful.


Create a batch file somewhere on the system, for example at

C:\Users\user\explorer-starter.bat with the contents

explorer C:\Users\user\any-path-you-want

You can't pin a batch file, so we need a little two-step-trick:

  1. Create a Shortcut to this batch file, for example by Alt-Dragging it somewhere. But you can't pin this shortcut, either

  2. Edit the properties of the freshly created shortcut. Make the following change to target:

    cmd.exe /C C:\Users\user\explorer-starter.bat

    NOW we get to pin that shortcut. Thank you very much.

    originally found here

After pinning that shortcut, you can delete it, but don't delete the .bat file. You can also change the icon of the newly pinned shortcut.

Disadvantages of the current approach:

  • the shortcut is not connected to active explorer instances. i.e. it will always create a new explorer instance, even if one is already running.
  • a cmd.exe window will be visible for a very short time. This could be avoided by using a vbs or other scriptfile, but was not important to me.

I found this works pretty well for Windows 8.1:

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Right-click any folder >> Send To > Desktop (Create Shortcut)
  3. Right-click the new shortcut on the Desktop >> Properties
    • The Target field should read: C:\path\to\some\folder
  4. Change the Target field to: explorer "C:\path\to\desired\folder" (quotes included)
  5. Unpnin the current File Explorer taskbar shortcut
  6. Drag the new shortcut to Pin it to the taskbar
  7. Done!
  • I tried this, but this also appends a new explorer icon on the Taskbar when opening the folder. It is surely not I was been asking for. Thanks anyway.
    – sergiol
    Jul 11, 2014 at 17:00
  • Yeah, it seemed to work the first time around, but then after a restart, this stopped working. Strange.
    – jiminikiz
    Sep 15, 2014 at 16:40
  • after ^ that, in file expolorer, pick view menu, click options, in general tab in navigation box, check "automatically expand to current folder" Apr 14, 2015 at 23:28
  1. Go to:

    C:\Users\ your user name \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

  2. Right click "explorer" -> Properties.

  3. Target: C:\Windows\explorer.exe /e, "path to your folder"
  4. Click "OK"



I found a way.
First you pin folder you want to Start Menu, then go to Start Menu, right click on it and select pin to taskbar. Folder is now in taskbar. Remove shortcut from Start Menu and thats it!

  • 2
    Could you please use English and not textspeak in your answer?
    – DavidPostill
    Jul 18, 2015 at 11:23
  • I do not have option "Pin to Taskbar" in its Start menu icon. The options are: {Unpin from Start, Open File Location, Resize}
    – sergiol
    Jul 20, 2015 at 9:57
  • And if I run the program from that Start icon, then I choose "Pin this program to taskbar" on its Taskbar icon's right-mouse button menu, te nesxt time in run it, it opens in the Libraries Folder :(
    – sergiol
    Jul 20, 2015 at 9:57

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