Windows Explorer Always Opens in Libraries View in Windows 7, How to Change Target Folder?

That's one of the big annoyance present in Windows 7. By default, Windows Explorer in Windows 7 opens Libraries folder. I'm sure almost all Windows users want it to open My Computer window instead.

This annoyance becomes a big problem when you disable Libraries in Windows 7 using a simple Registry tweak which can be found at following link:

How to Disable "Libraries" Feature in Windows 7?

Since we disable the whole Libraries feature in Windows, the Windows Explorer shortcut stops working and it does nothing when you click on Windows Explorer icon present in Taskbar, all programs menu, etc.

The problem can be fixed if we could change the target folder of Windows Explorer shortcut. If we set the target folder to a drive, a folder or My Computer, the Windows Explorer shortcut will start working again.

Whether you have disabled Libraries feature in Windows 7 or not, today's tutorial will definitely help you.

Today in this tutorial, we'll tell you how to change Windows Explorer's startup folder in Windows 7 so that it can open your desired folder or My Computer at launch.

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. First you'll need to open Windows Explorer shortcut Properties. If you want to change the target folder of Windows Explorer shortcut which comes pinned to Taskbar in Windows 7, press "SHIFT" key and right-click on the icon in Taskbar. It'll open the old Windows XP/Vista style context menu where you need to select "Properties" option.


Alternatively, you can right-click on the icon which will show the jumplist. Now again right-click on "Windows Explorer" entry present in jumplist and select Properties option:


For other Windows Explorer shortcuts like shortcut present in all programs menu or at Desktop, you'll not need to press SHIFT key. Just right-click on the shortcut and select Properties option.

2. Once you open shortcut Properties, you'll see %windir%\explorer.exe text written in Target text box. You just need to change this text string to customize Windows Explorer shortcut target folder.

To open My Computer when you click on Windows Explorer shortcut, simply add a blank space and double-quotes ("") at the end of the text present in Target text box as shown in following screenshot:


So the whole text string would become %windir%\explorer.exe ""

That's it. Now whenever you'll click on on Windows Explorer shortcut, it'll open My Computer window instead of default Libraries view.

3. If you want to set the target to a desired drive or folder, don't add the double-quotes. Simply add the path at the end. For example, if you want to open C: drive, set the target text string to %windir%\explorer.exe C: or if you want to open a folder for example D:\Setup, then set the target text string to %windir%\explorer.exe D:\Setup

You can see its very simple and easy to change startup folder of Windows Explorer shortcut in Windows 7.

NOTE: You can also use environment variables to change the target folder to Documents folder, Profile folder, etc. You can get the complete list of all environment variables here.

PS: If you want to restore Windows Explorer shortcut functionality and want to open Libraries again, simply remove the newly added text strings in Target text box and set it to %windir%\explorer.exe again.

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7

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  • It's a neat trick, but I assume the fact that the explorer always start in the libraries view is not annoying but instead a feature of windows 7 because all the folders are available in this mode, highlighting the most important folders: documents , images, music and videos.

    Why do I need to open "My Documents" folder since that is already there?

    Anyway is a neat trick.

  • Thank u so much VG. Very helpful.

  • Only drawback is: if you changed win7 folder options to open every folder (and explorer) as a separate process you get a new explorer process staying in task manager after closing every time you use this shortcut :(

  • For it to default to My Computer

    change target to:

    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /E,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

  • ^^ Why should I use your long string when only "" is working as told by VG?

  • superb!!!
    Also, as said by Tim above, changing the target to SystemRoot has one issue.
    The drives always open in a separate window (Folder options is of no help), which is a bit annoying.
    So, I find this trick much more better!
    Thanks VG...

  • Hey, i found out something, actually, a new explorer.exe is being created everytime we open a folder/My computer, using this trick.
    And, the explorer.exe remains persistent even if the window is closed.
    So, over a period of time, there maybe a case of several instances of explorer.exe running in the memory.

  • try to open it and close it multiple times (like 5 or more times) and then look at your processes in task manager you'll see more than 1 explorer.exe running...

  • Thanks...!!

  • Thanks for this! However, if I sue the Windwos+E key, explorer opens in the libraries folder! Any suggestions please how I can change Windows+E to open a differnt folder? Many thanks.

  • I always make a separate shortcut to the root, i.e. ;

    target: c:\windows\explorer.exe /e,c:\
    start in: c:\windows

    Then browse: %SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll to find a shortcut icon.

  • Thx, very useful.

  • Awesome...Very Helpful trick..

  • Thanks VG, Nice Tute.....

  • thanks!

  • Thank you so much! :)

  • Thank You very much. I was mad with this libraries thing but now I'm cool. :)

  • Thanks for this post, i will try that.

  • If I open a folder, and I want a new window with the same path, I do Ctrl+N.
    But, If I Shift+clicking (or middle click) on its taskbar button, so a new window of Windows Explorer would be open (path = Libraries).
    I want that when I Shift+clicking (or middle click) on a folder taskbar button, a new window with the same path would be open, as if I did Ctrl+N.

  • VG

    ^^ I dont think its possible as the path is hardcoded in the shell.

  • THANK YOU!!! I was having so many problems and searched everywhere but found no solution until I came here.

    You are the BEST!

  • Thank you ..

  • Does this trick work in Windows 8 & Windows Vista as well?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. It should work.

  • finally found really helpful thread.
    Many threads i've googled had solution with "/e,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}", which cuts folder names after dot, here i found simple "". Thanks

  • This solution does the trick but open one more instance of explorer.exe each time you open it. So, this is not the solution I'm expecting.

  • This doesn't work for me either. All the previously created shortcuts boot to library view which still gives me the insanely frustrating explorer refresh problem.

  • I want to launch at the c: drive. Setting the Start In box to %windir%\explorer.exe c: works ok for the shortcut pinned to the taskbar, but not for the shortcut on the desktop.

    On the desktop, after hitting OK (or Apply), the OS adds quotes to the Start In string causing it to read "%windir%\explorer.exe c:" which then causes it to open in My Computer rather than the c: drive.

    Any remedy?

  • VG

    ^^ Put the command in Target field instead of Start in field.

  • Simple as hell and works great :) ... thx for the help ... was looking for a long time for this :) ...

  • Simple as hell and works great :) ... thx for the help ... was looking for a long time for this :) ...

  • @Araldo @yethz
    Yes but they disappear in Task Manager 55 seconds after closing the Explorer Window.
    So anything is fine :-)

  • @Tim
    Exactly what I need, thanks.

  • Thanks a lot sir for this wonderful solution. was fed up of library

  • A command line option, which is what this is, doesn't help when using any of the office products. Is there a registry key option instead?

  • Thanks a lot..

  • This worked for me


  • This is cool

    alert(XSS by F007573P)

  • A simpler way is to just create a shortcut to My Documents or My Computer or whichever folder you want and drag that shortcut to the QuickLaunch toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Then when you click on that icon, it will open the desired location immediately.

  • yes this is what I'm looking for, I'm looking for a way to open the default folder location when the first time I open windows explorer in windows 7
    thank you very much, very helpful

  • I wasn't going to write this to you yesterday -- but I've changed my mind since I've just sighted more ostracizing of Windows XP users on the web by many more web sites and services. I'll make this short. I am a Windows XP user -- one of millions worldwide -- and I intend on continuing to be so. For one reason -- it just so happens that I despise Windows 7 -- I despise the GUI and I despise the increased patronizing behavior of that operating system designed by Microsoft which is more or less "Oh -- let US do that for you!" Let's NOT! For one thing, my attitude is that when I buy a piece of software -- it's MINE! It belongs to me! I can do with it as I please -- for my own use and purposes. If I want to tear it apart, change it's functions -- whatever -- that is MY decision. For me -- I AM IN CONTROL OF MY SOFTWARE -- NOT the other way around! This view is certain to clash with software developers -- but I have no regrets for that. Furthermore, never in my life have I ever felt this kind of pressure from capitalists to control our lives. No on can come into my house and tell me what furniture I should have, how I must decorate my home; no one has ever told us what cars to buy, what TVs to buy, what stereos to buy, what clothes to wear, and on and on. But nowadays, it seems that life is intricately enmeshed with the internet -- in many cases, one can't buy or sell certain things without it, or transact certain services either. This almost smacks of the "mark of the beast" -- "666" -- and all that -- doesn't it? The software industry and the internet providers and participants have FAR too much control over our lives. And it must stop! I am not alone. The last I heard, 70% of computer users were still using Windows XP (in 2011, I think it was). I'm sure that at least 50% remain XP users today. I am at the end of the road with Microsoft. We've spent enough time in life together -- we're done.

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