How to Change the Target Folder in Windows 10 File Explorer

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If you have to find or copy files in Windows 10, you'll find yourself in File Explorer, browsing through folders. By default, File Explorer opens to show Quick Access, a list of your favorite and most recently used folders and files. But what if you want to change the target folder it opens to? Here's how.

1. Right click the File Explorer icon in the taskbar and select Unpin from taskbar. If you don't have this icon in your taskbar, you can skip this step.

Unpin from taskbar.

2. Search for explorer.exe in the Cortana / Search box.


3. Right click the explorer.exe icon in results and select Open file location.

open file location

A window opens with the explorer.exe file selected. It is probably located in the C:\Windows directory.

4. Right click on the explorer.exe file in the window and select Create shortcut.

click Create shortcut

5. Click Yes when prompted to put the shortcut on the desktop.

Click Yes

A shortcut appears on the desktop.

6. Right click on the new explorer.exe shortcut and select Properties.

right click explorer.exe

7. Enter the path to your desired folder in the Target field, right after the "C:\Windows\explorer.exe." and click Ok.

enter path after explorer.exe

8. Drag the explorer.exe icon onto the taskbar to pin it there.

pin to taskbar

From now on, clicking the File Explorer icon in your taskbar will take you to the folder you designated. However, if you open File Explorer some other way -- by clicking Windows Key + E, for example -- you'll still end up at the Quick Access list.

Customize Windows 10

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Rakesh Kathuria Says:

    Hi! Can I customize the File Explorer to open "This PC" or what traditionally it used to be called "My Computer"?

    I have tried using "C:\Windows\explorer.exe This PC" in the Target field, but then it opens This PC > Documents. I don't know from where does it take that shortcut, but I want when I press "Win" key + "E", it should open the folder at This PC level.

    Please suggest.

  • Brian Mobo Says:

    This worked great for me and all of my explorer windows all nest in the same icon.

  • Richard Plotner Says:

    clicking on the pinned shortcut icon opens explorer with another instance on the taskbar. It does not combine/hide it. Once it is opened in the other spot, then further instances will be hidden in that new one. Rather not what I want. I want my pinned programs to STAY pinned in one spot and combine separate instances.

  • joe blow Says:

    This is a hack. The icon repeats itself when you envoke it. This is not consistent with Windows 10 behavior. Please apologize and give correct answer before more dumbass people copy your page and spread mis-information.

  • Chuck Says:

    Right now my path is:
    C:\Windows\explorer.exe C:\Google Drive

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