Show Full Path in the Address Bar for Special Folders in Windows 10

Quick access contains links to Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos folders by default. When you access one of those special folder links via Quick access, the address bar shows the location as This PCDocuments, This PCDesktop etc, instead of the absolute path to the Documents or the Desktop folder.

show full path in address bar for special folders windows 10

And, when you click on the address bar or press Alt + D, only the folder name – e.g., Desktop appears instead of its absolute path.

show full path in address bar for special folders windows 10

The same happens to other shell folders such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Downloads, etc.,

You may be wondering how to make Windows 10’s File Explorer show the full path of the shell folders. And, this article tells you how to accomplish that using the Windows Registry.

Show Full Path in the Address Bar for Special Folders

To show the full path for user shell folders in the address bar, follow these steps:

  1. Open Notepad and copy the following contents into it.
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    ;Desktop
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{754AC886-DF64-4CBA-86B5-F7FBF4FBCEF5}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
    ;Local Documents
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{f42ee2d3-909f-4907-8871-4c22fc0bf756}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
    ;Local Downloads
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7d83ee9b-2244-4e70-b1f5-5393042af1e4}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
    ;Local Music
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{a0c69a99-21c8-4671-8703-7934162fcf1d}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
    ;Local Pictures
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{0ddd015d-b06c-45d5-8c4c-f59713854639}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
    ;Local Videos
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}]
    "ParsingName"=-
    
  2. Save the file with .reg extension — e.g., shell_folder_full_path.reg

    For more information on working with .reg files, see the article How to use .REG files (Registration Entries) in Windows?

  3. Double-click the .reg file to apply its settings.
  4. Logoff and login back for the changes to take effect. Alternately, you can restart the Explorer shell process.

After applying the settings, here is how the address bar looks when you access a shell folder via Quick access:

show full path in address bar for special folders windows 10

Clicking on the address bar now shows the full (absolute) path to the shell folder.

show full path in address bar for special folders windows 10

Important: Note that the above workaround doesn’t help if:



  • You’ve redirected the shell folder(s) to OneDrive
  • You’re accessing the shell folder via This PC instead of Quick access

Tip: Disable Breadcrumbs in the Address Bar

To always show the full path instead of breadcrumbs in the address bar, use Open Shell, which is a fork of the excellent Classic Shell

If you don’t want to install the Classic Start menu component, you can disable it during setup and select only Classic Explorer.

classic shell installer options

Once installed, launch Classic Explorer Settings via the Start menu and enable the checkbox for Disable breadcrumbs option.

classic shell disable breadcrumbs

Lastly, if you don’t want the Classic Shell (Open Shell) Explorer toolbar, you can dismiss it by right-clicking on it and unchecking the Classic Explorer option.

How to Undo the above setting (Reset the Windows default)

To reverse the above registry edit in order to restore the default settings, use this .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Desktop
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{754AC886-DF64-4CBA-86B5-F7FBF4FBCEF5}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641}"

;Local Documents
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{f42ee2d3-909f-4907-8871-4c22fc0bf756}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{d3162b92-9365-467a-956b-92703aca08af}"

;Local Downloads
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7d83ee9b-2244-4e70-b1f5-5393042af1e4}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{088e3905-0323-4b02-9826-5d99428e115f}"

;Local Music
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{a0c69a99-21c8-4671-8703-7934162fcf1d}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{3dfdf296-dbec-4fb4-81d1-6a3438bcf4de}"

;Local Pictures
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{0ddd015d-b06c-45d5-8c4c-f59713854639}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{24ad3ad4-a569-4530-98e1-ab02f9417aa8}"

;Local Videos
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}]
"ParsingName"="shell:::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\\::{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}"

;User Profile Home folder
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{f3ce0f7c-4901-4acc-8648-d5d44b04ef8f}]
"ParsingName"="::{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}"

The above workaround to enable full path in the Explorer address bar applies to any Windows 10 build. It has been last tested under Windows 10 v1903 and verified to work.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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