How to Change WinKey + E Shortcut Target in Windows 10?

The WinKey + E keyboard shortcut opens Quick access view by default, which you can change to This PC using Folder Options – General tab. However, the user interface provides no option to set a custom destination for WinKey + E keystroke, but you can do it using a registry hack without breaking any other setting.

Change WinKey + E and File Explorer Shortcut Target

1. Copy the following code to Notepad, and save the file as launch.vbs in a safe and protected location.

WScript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell").Run "C:\MyFolder&quot

winkey+e shortcut target

2. Then open Regedit.exe and create the following registry branch.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{52205fd8-5dfb-447d-801a-d0b52f2e83e1}\shell\opennewwindow\command

Note that the key {52205fd8-5dfb-447d-801a-d0b52f2e83e1} doesn’t exist by default and you’ll need to create the key & its sub keys manually. Alternately, you can use the REG file method mentioned in the next paragraph, to create the key/values automatically.

3. .. Set the (default) value data as:

wscript.exe d:\launch.vbs

(Assuming launch.vbs is saved in d:\ drive.)

4. And create a REG_SZ value named DelegateExecute setting its value data empty.

5. Exit the Registry Editor.

Automate the above steps using REG file

Here is the REG file for the above settings.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{52205fd8-5dfb-447d-801a-d0b52f2e83e1}\shell\opennewwindow\command] @="wscript.exe d:\\launch.vbs" "DelegateExecute"=""

After applying the above registry setting, the entry should look like this in the Registry Editor.

winkey e shortcut target





Quick Tip: You can even type an application with full path, if you want to invoke the application using WinKey + E.

As you may have noticed, the File Explorer Pinned taskbar shortcut target can’t be modified via Properties, as it’s a special shortcut with the Target field grayed out or read-only.

File Explorer shortcut

The above registry tweak changes the default target path for WinKey + E as well as the special File Explorer shortcut in Windows 10.

Windows 8

The above tweak works partially in Windows 8, where the File Explorer shortcut on the Taskbar respects the registry setting but WinKey + E doesn’t. However there is another way to change the WinKey + E target in Windows 8 and earlier Operating Systems, but it breaks the Open in New Window option in Folder context menu. If you don’t use Open in New Window often, then you may implement the above registry hack in the following branch (additionally) in Windows 8.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\opennewwindow\command

That changes the shortcut target for WinKey + E and File Explorer.

Why is a Script necessary?

Because inputting explorer.exe <folderpath> in the above registry key would create separate explorer.exe process each time you use WinKey + E. And the additional instances of Explorer.exe remain open even after closing the folder.

winkey+e shortcut target

The script method prevents this problem.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com 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.

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