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Change the Default File Explorer Startup Folder in Windows 8

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The Libraries view is the default view when you open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 or File Explorer in Windows 8. If you want to open a different folder when you open Explorer, it’s easy to change in Windows 8, and we’ll show you how.

NOTE: The following is the path used to access the Libraries. You can use the following path, replacing “<username>” with your username, to set the default location, or folder, back to the Libraries.

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries

To select a custom folder as the default location to be opened in File Explorer, open File Explorer, navigate to the desired folder, and click in the address bar to select the full path. Copy the path.

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Right-click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, bringing up the jump list. Right-click on the File Explorer option on the jump list and select Properties from the popup menu.

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Highlight the current path in the Target edit box and paste in the full path you copied from File Explorer. Click OK to accept your change.

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Now, when you open File Explorer, it opens your custom folder by default.

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You can also use a GUID (Globally Unique Identifiers) to specify a certain location, such as My Computer. For example, entering the following in the Target field will open My Computer every time you open File Explorer.

C:\Windows\explorer.exe :: {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

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See our article about enabling the secret “How-To Geek” Mode (which is actually just God Mode) for more GUIDs you can use as your default location in File Explorer. That article uses the GUIDs to create shortcuts, but the same ones can be used to specify the default location in File Explorer.

For more information about File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer) in Windows 8, see our articles listed below.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 03/14/13

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