Changing the default Library Folder View in Windows 7

[An earlier version of this blog entry was published here at Scot’s Newsletter Forum.  AG]


By default, the Windows Explorer icon on the Taskbar opens the Libraries folder view. If you want to open another folder, instead, you can change this by performing the following:

  1. Hold down the Shift key and Right-click on the Windows Explorer icon in the Taskbar.
  2. Select Properties from the context menu that pops up.
  3. In the Target: field, change the value of “%windir%\explorer.exe” to a different value. Some possible options include:
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}” to open the Computer View of all disk drives and network shares
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}” to open the Documents folder
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}” to open the Network folder
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{7007acc7-3202-11d1-aad2-00805fc1270e}” to open Network Connections
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{2227a280-3aea-1069-a2de-08002b30309d}” to open the Printers folder
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” to open the Recycle Bin
    • enter “explorer.exe ::{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}” to open Internet Explorer (or just use the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar)

You can also specify “explorer.exe {path specification}” to open a specific directory, where “{path specification}” is the path to the directory, such as “explorer.exe C:\ProgramData“. Environment variables are also supported, such as “explorer.exe %HOMEPATH%“.

And if, of course, you ever wish to restore the default view of the Libraries folder, you can do so by changing the value back to “%windir%\explorer.exe”.

NOTE: In all of the examples above, the quotation marks (” “) are actually not entered.

Advanced tip: The long hex strings above are actually the CLSIDs for those objects. It’s possible that there are quite a few others which work as well. If you come across additional ones, please share!


Aryeh Goretsky

1 Comment

Filed under Computers and Internet

One response to “Changing the default Library Folder View in Windows 7

  1. Pingback: Adding the “Run” command to a Start Menu Toolbar under Windows 8 « Aryeh Goretsky

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