How to Change Windows Explorer Default Folder

Your Windows 7 computer uses an organizational structure that consists of files that are stored within folders. This serves the purpose of making it simple to reference the location of a specific item so that you can locate it as easily as possible. The program that you use to browse through your folders and files is called Windows Explorer. While Windows Explorer will open whenever you open a folder on your computer, it will open to a specific file when you click the Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, or run Windows Explorer on its’ own. If you have not made any changes to your computer, the default for the Windows Explorer icon is the Libraries folder of the user that is currently signed in. While this location does have its’ benefits, it might not be the most ideal option for you. Fortunately you can adjust this setting to have Windows Explorer open to a folder of your choosing.

 

How to Set Windows Explorer to Default On a Folder

 

For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to assume that you have a Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. However, if you have deleted that item or it was never there to begin with, then you can locate Windows Explorer by clicking the Start button at the bottom-left corner of your screen, clicking All Programs, then clicking Accessories.

Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, then right-click the Windows Explorer icon (either the one in the Accessories folder or the one on your taskbar.) This will bring up a shortcut menu that looks like the image below.

open the Properties menu of the Windows Explorer taskbar icon

 

Click the Properties option at the bottom of the shortcut menu. At the center of this window is a Target field that contains a string of text identifying the current setting for your Windows Explorer default folder. Replace the existing text with this:

%windir%\explorer.exe C:\Users\YourUserName\YourFolder

But replace the YourUserName segment with the user name of the profile you are using and replace YourFolder with the folder name that you want the icon to open to. For example, in the image below, I have set the Windows Explorer taskbar icon to open to the Downloads folder on the Matt profile.

change the target value for the windows explorer taskbar icon

 

Once you have specified your desired folder path, click the Apply button at the bottom of the window, then click the OK button to close the window. The next time you click the icon it will open to the folder that you just selected.

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