Set the default folder when you open Explorer in Windows 10

After recently upgrading to Windows 10, I realized that whenever I opened Explorer it always showed me quick access. I like the new quick access feature, but I preferred to have Explorer open on this PC.

For me, being able to access different drives on my computer and my network devices was much more important than accessing frequently used folders or recently opened files. It’s a useful feature, but I don’t mind having to click once to access it.

In this post, I will show you how to change the default folder Quick access a This PC when you open Explorer. In addition, I will also show you a trick by which you can set any folder as the default folder when you open Explorer in Windows 10.

Set the default folder on this computer

To change the settings, open Explorer and click File and then click Change the search and folder options.

In the dialog that appears, you should already be in the file General card. At the top, you’ll see it Open File Explorer in where you can select This PC i Quick access.

Just choose your preferred folder and you’re ready to go. Now, when you open Explorer, you should see it open on this selected PC instead of Quick Access.

If you need to do this on many machines in a corporate environment, please be aware that there is a registry entry that also controls this setting. Just go to the following key:


On the right, look for a DWORD key called Launch a. 1 means this PC and 2 means quick access.

Finally, let’s talk about how we can configure Explorer to open in any folder as the default folder.

Set any folder as the default for Explorer

Since there really is no official way to do this, we have to hack Windows to get it to do what we want. I’ve tried it and it seems like the process works fine. To get started, browse to the folder and create a shortcut to the desktop folder.

For example, if you want to use the Images folder as the default folder, right-click on it, choose Send to and then click Desktop (create shortcut). Next, we need to copy this shortcut to a special Windows location. First, we open Explorer and go to this special location. Simply copy and paste the following path into the address bar of another Explorer window:

%APPDATA%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar

Be sure to press Enter after pasting the path to Explorer. Depending on what you notice on the taskbar, you may see shortcuts to various programs here, but you should always see File Explorer shortcut.

Now go ahead and drag the shortcut we just created from your desktop to the special folder you have open in Explorer. Now we have to do one last thing. Go ahead and delete the File Explorer shortcut and rename it Photos Shortcut a File Explorer. If you chose a different folder from the images, rename the shortcut File Explorer.

That’s all! Now open File Explorer from the taskbar and you should see the contents of the folder you chose to be the default folder.

Needless to say, this little trick will only work when you click the Explorer icon on the taskbar. If you open Explorer by double-clicking This Computer on the desktop or by clicking Start, and then in File Explorer, you’ll see This Computer or Quick Access, whichever option you choose.

If you want to undo what we just did above, just right-click Explorer on the taskbar and choose Unpin the taskbar. Then simply drag the This Computer icon from the desktop and drop it back to the taskbar. This will create a new Explorer shortcut and run normally.

Secure folders to quick access

If you don’t like either of the above two options, you have another option in Windows 10. You can use the new fixed folders feature associated with Quick Access. When you open Explorer, you’ll see a drop-down icon next to multiple folders in Quick Access.

The desktop, downloads, documents, images, this computer, and music folders are set to Windows 10 by default. If you want to remove any, just right-click and choose Unsets fast access.

However, if you want to one-click access to any folder on your computer, go to that folder and right-click Quick Access and choose Set the current folder to Quick Access.

As you can see, this is how I set up the Program Files folder in my Quick Access section. With this method, you will not have to resort to any hacks and you can also quickly access any folder on your system with two clicks.

Finally, you can also quickly access this fixed folder by simply right-clicking the File Explorer icon on the taskbar and choosing the fixed folder, which will appear in the full list.

So, in short, if you want to change the default folder to the whole system, you can only choose between This computer and Quick access. If you are using the second method that involves shortcut cutting, you will need to use the taskbar shortcut.

Finally, if you only need quick access to a folder, try using the option to set to Quick Access, as it will also be system-wide and will be on the left even while browsing other folders. If you have any questions, please post a comment. Enjoy!

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