How to Add “Explore” to the Desktop Context Menu in Windows

This post shows how to add “Explore” to the desktop right-click menu. This tip is especially for users who hide the desktop icons for a plain desktop but want to quickly access the Desktop folder when required, without toggling the Show Desktop Icons option in the context menu.

Add “Explore” to the Desktop Right-Click menu

Download, unzip and extract the contents to a folder. Double-click desktop-explore.reg to run it. This adds the Explore option to the Desktop right-click menu, which when clicked, opens Windows Explorer with focus on the Desktop folder.

(Works in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.)

You may also create shortcut with the following target, place it in the Quick Launch toolbar or Pin it to Start menu or Taskbar for easy access.

explorer.exe shell:desktop

(See also: Shell Commands to access special folders)

The above command launches Explorer with the entire Desktop namespace view, thus showing the contents of the Public Desktop and User Desktop.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

2 thoughts on “How to Add “Explore” to the Desktop Context Menu in Windows”

  1. For XP:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  2. Thank YOU , wanted a way to open file explorer from rite click for the longest ! I know , just being petty , but annoying anyway . So thanks again


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