How to Change File Explorer’s Default Start Folder on Windows 10?

The File Explorer is a convenient way to reach anywhere on the system, and many users haven’t discovered that its default start folder can be changed. It opens to Quick access by default, which is a section where you can place shortcuts to your favorite locations.

If you don’t like the Quick access feature and prefer to default to “This PC”, Downloads, or any other custom folder, read this page to learn how to do it.

How to Open File Explorer to This PC or Quick Access?

1. Open File Explorer (by right-clicking the Start button and selecting File Explorer), and click the “File” menu.

2. Click “Folder and search options”.

3. In the Folder Options dialog box that opens, choose “This PC” from the drop-down box, and click “OK”.

You can also choose “Downloads” to default to by editing the registry, which Microsoft doesn’t tell you.

How to Open File Explorer to the Downloads folder by Default?

To set File Explorer to open “Downloads” folder every time you press WinKey + E or click the File Explorer shortcut on the Taskbar, you need to make some changes in the Registry.

The Folder Options settings “Open File Explorer to:” is saved in the registry key below:


Value name: LaunchTo

Data: 1, 2 or 3

1 – File Explorer opens to “This PC”
2 – File Explorer opens to Quick access
3 – This is the undocumented stuff. If the value data is set to 3, File Explorer defaults to the “Downloads” folder.

Open the Registry Editor and go to the obove key:

Set the “LaunchTo”value data to 3 and quit the Registry Editor.

How to Open File Explorer to Another Location?

For example, to Desktop folder:

1. Copy the code below to Notepad, and save it as “launch.vbs” in a safe and protected location.

WScript.CreateObject(“Wscript.Shell”).Run “shell:desktop”

2. Open the Registry Editor and create the registry branch below:


3. Set the value data as:

wscript.exe d:\launch.vbs

4. Create a string value named “DelegateExecute” setting its value data empty.

5. Quit the Registry Editor.


You must be logged in to post a comment.