How To Change Windows Explorer Icon To Open A Diffierent Folder In Windows XP And Vista



By default when opening Windows Explorer from the Accessories Program group, the folder My Documents (Windows XP) or Documents (Windows Vista) opens. What if you wanted to have the icon open to a different folder? You can always navigate to the folder after Windows Explorer opens, or you just click on a number of other icons scattered around the desktop or Start menu.

Instead of navigating around, Windows Explorer includes command line switches that can be used to change the path and views when opening the default Windows Explorer icon or for creating custom shortcuts.




The default command for Windows Explorer icon in the Accessories Program group is:


If you wanted to open the folder mp3files on the C:\ drive. You would enter the command:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe c:\mp3files

NOTE: Screen shots are from Windows XP


On XP, regardless of how Windows Explorer views have been set, this will open the folder in a single window view, while Vista retains the view settings, which may display a left and right window panes. If you wanted the folder to open with two Window panes on XP, enter the following command:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,c:\mp3files


In the above screen shot, notice how the focus is on the parent folder – mp3files in the left window pane and the right window pane display the contents of mp3files folder.

If you wanted to open the mp3files folder, but have the focus on a sub-folder under it, you can enter the following command:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,/root,/select,c:\mp3files\software

Where /root opens the root folder (in this case the C:\mp3files) and /select,c:\mp3files\software tells Windows Explorer to open the software directory.


You are not limited to just opening up folders on your C:\ drive. You can also use other drive letters as well as network drives. If no network drives are mapped, you can use the UNC path – \\servername\share using the following command:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,/root,/select,\\server01\software

The default Windows Explorer icon is not the only location that can be modified, you can also create shortcuts that can open different folders on your Computer or on remote Computers. Also these command can be enter directly in a Command prompt window or in the Run command.

Windows Explorer command line switches:

EXPLORER.EXE [/n][/e][,/root,<object>][[,/select],<sub object>]

/n: Opens a new window in single-paned (My Computer) view for each item
selected, even if the new window duplicates a window that is
already open.

/e: Uses Windows Explorer view. Windows Explorer view is most similar
to File Manager in Windows version 3.x. Note that the default view
is Open view.

/root,<object>: Specifies the root level of the specified view. The
default is to use the normal namespace root (the
desktop). Whatever is specified is the root for the

/select,<sub object>: Specifies the folder to receive the initial
focus. If "/select" is used, the parent folder
is opened and the specified object is selected.

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Dylan Austin


Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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