Changing File Explorer's Default Startup Location

by Barry Dysert
(last updated August 22, 2016)

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When you launch File Explorer, its default startup location is determined by a setting that you control. You can have it start at the Quick Access section, or you can have it start at the This PC section. Which you choose is totally up to you and doesn't affect the way File Explorer works at all.

The way you change the default file location is very easy. First, launch File explorer. Then click the View tab and move to the Options button. Note: don't click the arrow under Options, click right on the work Options: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Preparing to set File Explorer's default startup location.

After you click Options, a dialog box will appear, and at the top of the dialog box will be a drop-down list box with the choices "Quick access" and "This PC". (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Setting File Explorer's default startup location.

Select one of the two options from the drop-down list and click OK. From now on, whenever you launch File Explorer, it will open at the location you designated.

 This tip (11420) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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What is five less than 7?

2016-09-29 05:01:02

Graham Rice

Greater control can be obtained by changing both shortcuts to File Explorer (Desktop and All Programs-Accessories).

Right click for Properties and change the Target path. For example I set mine to open my data files on D: drive, which is :-

%windir%explorer.exe D:Documents
(space between .exe and D:)

NOTE - This was originally set up on a laptop running Windows 7, which was then upgraded to Windows 10. However I assume that it would work if performed directly in Windows 10.


2016-08-22 17:28:34

Max Beran

On my Windows 10 system it doesn't matter where one clicks - below the "word" (that should say, not "work") Options or alongside it. The entire area responds and takes you to the Folder Options dialog box.

Thanks for the tip.


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