How to Change the Default Windows Explorer Folder in Windows 7

Clicking on the folder icon in your taskbar is going to open Windows Explorer so that you can browse for files. Use these steps to change the default folder in Windows 7.

  1. Navigate to the folder to use as the Windows Explorer default.
  2. Right-click the folder and choose Properties.
  3. Highlight the file path at the top of the window, then copy it.
  4. Note the folder name at the top of the window.
  5. Hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard, right-click the Windows Explorer icon, then click Properties.
  6. Click inside the Target field at the center of the window and paste the copied file path.
  7. Type “\your folder name” after the pasted path, but enter the folder name from step 4 instead of the “your folder name” part.
  8. Click Apply, then click OK.

Our article continues below with additional information and pictures of these steps.

Windows Explorer is the tool on your computer that is commonly used to browse to files and folders. it is possible to open this application in a variety of ways but, if you open Windows Explorer directly, then it will always open in the same location. In many cases this will be your user profile or your document folder.

But you might prefer to open it to your pictures, documents, or downloaded folder, or another important folder that you have created on your desktop, for example.

Fortunately it is possible to change the default Windows Explorer folder location in Windows 7 to any folder of your choosing.

Windows 7 includes a “Windows Explorer” icon in the task bar at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to access your computer’s file system through one click, from any screen. However, the default folder that opens when you click the icon may not be as helpful for you as it could.

Our guide below will show you how to change the default Windows Explorer folder in Windows 7.

How to Open Windows Explorer to a Different Location in Windows 7

The steps below will change the default folder for Windows Explorer. This will affect any instance where Windows Explorer is opened directly, such as the taskbar, or through the All Programs menu. It will not affect Windows Explorer when you double-click a file or folder on your desktop, or in any other way that you typically browse your computer’s files.

Step 1: Browse to the folder that you want to set as your default Windows Explorer folder.


Step 2: Right-click the folder, then click “Properties.”
Open the Windows Explorer Properties menu
Step 3: Highlight the file path, right-click the highlighted path, then click “Copy.” Take note of the folder name at the top of the window, as you will need to append that to the path. The pictured example would require you to add “\Downloads” to the end of the path.
Copy the URL of the desired folder
Step 4: Hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard, right-click the “Windows Explorer” icon, then click “Properties.”
Hold shift to access proerties menu
Step 5: Click inside the “Target” field at the center of the window, press “Ctrl + V” to paste your copied file path, then type “\your folder name” after the pasted path. Make sure to replace “your folder name” with the actual name of the folder that you want to set as the default.
Paste your copied URL
Step 6: Click “Apply,” then click “OK.” The Windows Explorer tab will open to your specified folder the next time you click it.
Do you need to find a specific file for a Microsoft Office program, and it’s located in your AppData folder? Learn how you can find the AppData folder in Windows 7 if you are having difficulty with this hidden location. newsletter

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