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Make Windows Explorer Open to a Location Other than Libraries

Windows Explorer opens to Libraries by default in Windows 7 and 8. If you’re not a fan of that behavior you can make it open to a different location on your system, and it’s easy to do. Here’s how to set it up, and some suggestions for groovy locations to have it open to.

Here you can see the default location for Windows Explorer opens to Libraries.

File Explorer Libraries

Change Open Location in Windows 8

To make Windows Explorer open to a more useful location for your needs, right click the Win Explorer icon on the Taskbar. Then right click File Explorer and select Properties.

File Explorer Properties

The File Explorer Properties window opens in the shortcut tab. In the Target field, you’ll see it’s set to open in Libraries, and you can change that. You might want to take note of this path or copy it somewhere so you can change it back if you need to.


Here I am going to change it to open to my Documents folder. Open the Documents folder, click the path so it changes from the Breadcrumbs to the path location and copy it.

My Documents

Go back to the File Explorer Properties windows and paste it into the Target field, then click OK.

chang target

Now when you click the File Explorer icon, it will open to my Documents folder (or whatever location you pick).

Opens to Documents

You can essentially select any location to have it open to. For instance here I am having it open to my SkyDrive folder, which comes in handy on a Microsoft Surface with limited storage and with your Office docs saving to it by default.

SkyDrive Location

Changing Windows Explorer Open Location in Windows 7

The process of changing the location in Windows 7 is essentially the same. Right click the Windows Explorer icon, right click Windows Explorer and select Properties.

Win7 Win Explorer

Then just like with Windows 8, change the Target path. Like I said, you can choose virtually any location you want. Here I added the path to my Documents folder on Windows Home Server.

Win7 Server Path

If you’re a fan of Dropbox, you can make it Windows Explorer open there too. Depending on what you want to do, you can go as deep into locations as you want. For example, here I’m setting the default to open in a folder inside Dropbox.


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