You probably know that you can change the Windows Explorer start directory.

The reason why most people never change it is because they don’t want to do the research on how to change the Explorer start folder.

It is pretty simple actually. If you don’t already have a Windows Explorer shortcut on your desktop, do this:

  • click on the Start button
  • go to “All Programs”
  • then select “Accessories”
  • right-click “Windows Explorer”
  • from the context-menu, select “Send to”
  • select “Desktop (Create shortcut)”

That results in a new Windows Explorer shortcut on your desktop. Now right-click that icon and select “Properties”.

Change the Windows Explorer start directory

Make sure that you have the “Shortcut” tab selected. In the “target” field you will probably find something that will look like this:


At the end of that, add ” /n, /e, c:startfolder” (without the quotes). Please make sure to add a blank space before the “/n” or it will not work.

Also, replace “c:startfolder” with the actual drive and directory where you want your Windows Explorer to start. For instance, when you want your Explorer to start in the “music” directory on your d: drive, the complete entry of the target field would read:

%SystemRoot%explorer.exe /n, /e, c:music

After you have changed the target field in the properties dialog, click the ok button and test your Windows Explorer icon by double-clicking it. It should open in the desired directory now, instead of the default “My Documents” folder.

After you change the Windows Explorer start directory, you may want to drag the Windows Explorer shortcut icon from your desktop to your Quick Launch Toolbar.
(To find out more about customizing your Quick Launch Toolbar, visit

Not many people know how to change the Windows Explorer start directory. Most find it very useful, because in reality, a lot of people prefer to work in other directories than the default “My Documents” folder.

Please, feel free to also check out the Windows XP tips and tricks homepage.