How to set a default launch location for File Explorer on Windows 10 [Guide]

File Explorer can open two locations by default; This PC, or Quick Access. If you like to use Quick Access but also frequently open This PC, you can pin This PC to the taskbar and get a quick way to open it. If there’s a folder that you often need to access and you want the same one-click access to it that you get with This PC and/or Quick Access, you can set a default launch location for File Explorer that maps to that folder.

Launch location for File Explorer

This trick has one limitation that we’ve explained at the end. In order for this trick to work, you must have File Explorer pinned to the Taskbar, If you don’t know how to do that, open any folder of your choice, right-click its icon on the taskbar, and select Pin to taskbar from the context menu.

Navigate to the folder that you want File Explorer to open. Right-click on it and select Send to>Desktop (create shortcut). Go to your desktop and edit the name of the shortcut so that it’s File Explorer.

Open File Explorer and paste the following in the location bar. This will open File Explorer to the location where pinned taskbar items are saved. Cut and paste the shortcut you created for your folder and paste it in the folder with the pinned taskbar items.

%APPDATA%MicrosoftInternet ExplorerQuick LaunchUser PinnedTaskBar

Close all File Explorer windows, and then click the File Explorer icon in the taskbar. This will open File Explorer to the folder you selected.

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If you ever need to change File Explorer’s location back to normal, right-click the File Explorer icon that’s pinned to the taskbar and from the menu that opens, right-click the File Explorer option. From the context menu, select Properties.

The Properties window will open to the Shortcut tab. This tab has a field called Target that you can edit. Paste the following in the target field, and click Apply. Close all File Explorer windows, and then click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar. It will open to either This PC or Quick Access, whatever your settings are.


We mentioned this little trick has limitations. It only works via the taskbar icon. Other shortcuts that open File Explorer will still open This PC or Quick Access. You can try replacing other shortcuts that open File Explorer but not all shortcuts can be replaced or their target folders edited.

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