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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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  • +1

    • Dirk Strauss

      Thank you Mike

  • Thanks for this – I don’t make use of the Library function so it was nice to be able to point the shortcut in the taskbar to a more useful location.

  • Mohamed

    many thanks Dirk Strauss , it very nice

  • Rob

    Excellent. Been trying to do this for so long! Thanks

    • Dirk Strauss

      You are welcome Rob. I’m glad the article helped! 🙂

  • K E Decilon

    Did not work for me until I entered the string in the “Start in” dialog, not the “Target” dialog.

    Excellent tip, thank you!

  • Vin

    Thanks so much!!! I was going crazy after wasting about 30 minutes – finally found your blog!!

    • Dirk Strauss

      Hey Vin. I’m really happy that the post helped you out. 🙂

  • Ed

    Wonderful, thanks for this. Using Windows 8 isn’t as bad as everyone says it is, but it really does need to be taught how to behave sometimes!

    • Dirk Strauss

      Hi Ed. You’re welcome. Personally, I am enjoying Windows 8… but you’re right. A tweak here or there is needed so that I can get it just the way I like it 🙂

  • adnan

    nice trick
    I was looking for

    • Dirk Strauss

      You’re welcome!

  • Thanks, i use this in windows 7 because windows 8 is like a teen girls cell phone. SMH

  • Shorter more human-readable version, put this into the Target box:

    explorer shell:mycomputerfolder

  • Dirk Strauss

    Thank you for the fantastic tip Shawn!

  • pavan bangaram

    great information.. Good Trick.. But, Windows8 is not popular rather than windows7.. Thanks for the post.. Short and best..!