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Windows 8 Tips Part 10 – Launch File Explorer with Drive List

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The default behavior when clicking on the File Explorer shortcut in the Windows task bar is to open with the libraries view shown as default. If you are like me (in other words, fussy), I prefer to see My Computer when clicking on the shortcut. Luckily you can easily modify this behavior by following the quick steps as outlined below. As a side note to this article, be sure to see the comment left by Shawn Keene below in the update. Visit Shawn’s blog for more excellent content.

Your shortcut is located on your Windows task-bar as indicated by the screenshot below.

Windows 8 Taskbar File Explorer

If I click on the shortcut in the task-bar, I see my Libraries which is the default option. This is what I want to change.

Windows 8 File Explorer Libraries

To change this behavior, right click the shortcut.

Windows  8 Right Click on File Explorer

From the context menu, right click the “File Explorer” item and select Properties from the context menu.

Windows 8 File Explorer Properties

In the Properties window, replace the Target with the following string:

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

Windows 8 File Explorer Properties screen

Apply this change and the next time you click on your shortcut in the task-bar, it will open in My Computer. How cool is that?

Windows 8 File Explorer My Computer

File Explorer Update

Shawn Keene also commented:

Shorter more human-readable version, put this into the Target box: explorer shell:mycomputerfolder

Having My Computer displayed when I click on the shortcut gives me (personally) more control over my desktop experience. This allows me to navigate to certain sections of my PC faster. While I know that others use Libraries extensively, and in doing so provide fast navigation between computer locations, for me My Computer is preferred. Thanks for the great feedback Shawn!

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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