Windows Explorer Defaults to Libraries Folder in Windows 7

When you open Windows Explorer in Windows 7, it opens the Libraries folder by default. You can change the default startup folder using the Windows Explorer shortcut properties, as you did in earlier versions of Windows. Note that you cannot change the default start folder if you’re using WinKey + E to launch Explorer.

In Windows 7, right-clicking on the Windows Explorer Taskbar icon will show the Jump Lists. To access the shortcut properties, hold the SHIFT key down, right-click on the shortcut and choose Properties. Rest of the procedure is the same as in other versions of Windows.

To change the startup folder to (My) Computer, use this target path:

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

Where the GUID {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} represents the My Computer folder.

For Documents folder, use this target path:

explorer.exe ::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}

You may also suffix the full path instead of using GUID. For example,

explorer.exe D:\Scripts

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

7 thoughts on “Windows Explorer Defaults to Libraries Folder in Windows 7

  1. All of these solutions result in an extra instance of the explorer.exe process each time the modified shortcut is used, and they accumulate until you logoff.

    A simpler and better solution is simply to replace all of the “Windows Explorer.lnk” shortcuts throughout the system with an ordinary folder shortcut named “Windows Explorer.lnk” that points to whatever folder you’ve chosen.

    Here’s a little procedure that does this for Windows 7 and 8, where the replacement shortcut points to the %USERPROFILE% folder. The standard admonition should you try this is to first make a restore point as a precaution.

    Once unzipped, you can use 7zip to look inside the resulting .exe (which is a 7z SFX) and see what it does and that nothing nefarious is inside.

  2. Note that you CAN change the default start folder if you’re using WinKey + E to launch Explorer. Just go to RegEdit – HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\open\command and change (Default) value to: %SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
    If you want to start from My Computer.

  3. It is much simple than that.
    Simply change %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe by C:\ or D:\MyFolder.

    This has the advantage that it does not create another Explorer process.


  4. dano : This solution is indeed simple, but it still creates a new process everytime you open Explorer… Is there a workaround that doesn’t create a new process?

  5. If holding shift doesnt work, try unpinning explorer from taskbar, creating a new shortcut on desktop with the above path(s) and pinning that shortcut to the taskbar. You can safely delete the shortcut afterwards.

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