How to Customize Default Places Bar in Windows Common File Dialog Box?

When you open, save or browse for a file, Windows opens a "common file dialog box" containing a few shortcuts in left side pane which is called "Places Bar" and the shortcuts are called "Places".

DefaultCommonPlaces.jpg

As you can see in the above screenshot, My Recent Documents, Desktop, etc are the default places. Many times we want to customize those shortcuts so that we can add our desired shortcuts there.

In this tutorial, I'll tell you how to customize these default places. So here we start the tutorial without wasting our time:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\

2. Now right-click on "Policies" key and select "New -> Key". It'll create a new key, give it name "comdlg32". Now again right-click on this new "comdlg32" key and select "New -> Key" and give the new key name "Placesbar". So the final key path would be:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\comdlg32\Placesbar

3. Now select "Placesbar" key and in right-side pane, create a new String value "Place0" and set its value to your desired path. You can set it to a drive like C:\ (make sure you put a slash "\" at last) or you can set it to a particular folder like D:\Wallpapers. You can also use some predefined values to put system elements in Places Bar:

MyComputer
MyDocuments
MyMusic
MyPictures
MyNetworkPlaces
MyFavorites
CommonDocuments
CommonMusic
CommonPictures
Desktop
Printers
Recent
ProgramFiles

You can set upto 5 places. So to change other default places, create new String values Place1, Place2, Place3 and Place4 and set their value to your desired path.

CustomizingCommonPlacesListUsingReg.jpg

4. That's it. Now you'll see your desired places in common file dialog box:

CustomCommonPlaces.jpg

PS: You can also use "TweakUI" to change the default places. Download it from here and run it. Now navigate to "Common Dialogs -> Places Bar" and in right-side pane, you can change them:

CustomizingCommonPlacesListUsingTwe.jpg

NOTE: This tutorial will work in all Windows versions. Windows Vista uses a new file dialog box which is easy to customize by right-click in the Favorite Links pane and select "Open Favorite Links Folder". It'll open the folder where you can add / remove any shortcut. A few applications still use old common file dialog box in Vista, so this tutorial will work for them.





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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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Comments

  • Yes!!! working! Thanks so much!
    No more delving into deeply hidden folders any more EVERYTIME I want to save in Photoshop CS 5.5! THANKS A MILLION. (I use W7 64bit)

  • VG

    ^^ You are welcome. :)

  • Thanks, Helped a lot

  • Many thanks Vishal - very easily explained article, that will make my life a little bit easier! Thanks.

  • I would like to increase the number of places past 5. is there a way?
    thanks

  • VG

    ^^ I dont think so but you can try to create more Registry keys such as Place5.

  • Hi, somehow the predefined values are not working for me. I tried "Desktop" and "MyComputer", but it only showed the one with the absolute path.

  • Thank you, it works, awesome!!

  • Thanks for this.

  • Great this method works in Windows 8.1 (not pro) where the Group policy editor is missing. Thanks Vishal!

  • I use a small program PlacesBar.
    myexpa.com/places-bar/
    See link at the bottom of the page.
    PlacesBarENG - English
    PlacesBarRU - Russian

  • Has anyone taken a look at DocCommander? It allows for modification of the open - save as dialog box throughout Windows by removing any of the default locations and you can add as many new locations as you want. It is a shell app that works over the regular app. It does everything I want and then some. Just a bit of info if anyone wants to check it out. Cheers.

  • Thanks Vishal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very useful

  • Thank you for this tip. I had customized the places bar for Office 2000, but could not find out how to do it for other programs.

  • How do I set this for all users? Currently it just works when I logon... I want it to happen to all users who logon to this computer

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