General Change Folder to Open File Explorer to by Default in Windows 11


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File_Explorer_banner.png

File Explorer opens to Home (Quick access) by default in Window 11, but you can change File Explorer to open to This PC, OneDrive, or Downloads instead.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22593, Quick access is now called Home. The name Quick access has been repurposed for the pinned/frequent folders section and Pinned files is now called Favorites to align with Office and OneDrive. Recent and pinned files displayed in Home are now searchable using the search box in File Explorer even if they are not local files, so you can find Office files recently shared with you.

Home (Quick access) shows your pinned and frequent folders and recent files.
  • Quick access (Frequent folders) = Displays up to 11 folders that you pinned or frequently opened on the system.
  • Favorites = Pinned files.
  • Recent (Recent files) = Displays up to 26 files that you most recently opened.
This PC displays your Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music. Pictures, and Videos folders in addition to the usual devices and drives (hard drives, optical drives, and removable devices) and network locations.

OneDrive can sync files between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere - your computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

Downloads opens to your account's Downloads folder.

This tutorial will show you how to set File Explorer to open to either This PC, Home (Quick access), OneDrive, or Downloads by default for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Change Folder to Open File Explorer to by Default in Folder Options
  • Option Two: Change Folder to Open File Explorer to by Default using REG File


EXAMPLE: Open File Explorer to "Home", "This PC", "OneDrive", or "Downloads" by default

File_Explorer_Home.png
File_Explorer_Quick-access.png

OneDrive.png
File_Explorer_Downloads.png





Option One

Change Folder to Open File Explorer to by Default in Folder Options


1 Open Folder Options.

2 In the General tab, select Home (Quick access - default), This PC or OneDrive in the Open File Explorer to drop menu for what you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

OneDrive is only available starting with Windows 11 build 22593.



Folder_Options.png






Option Two

Change Folder to Open File Explorer to by Default using REG File


1 Do step 2 (Home), step 3 (This PC), step 4 (OneDrive), or step 5 (Downloads) below for what you would like to do.

2 To Open File Explorer to Home by Default

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Open_File_Explorer_to_Home.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"LaunchTo"=dword:00000002

3 To Open File Explorer to This PC by Default

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Open_File_Explorer_to_This_PC.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"LaunchTo"=dword:00000001

4 To Open File Explorer to OneDrive by Default

OneDrive is only available starting with Windows 11 build 22593.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Open_File_Explorer_to-OneDrive.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"LaunchTo"=dword:00000004

5 To Open File Explorer to Downloads by Default

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 6 below.​

Open_File_Explorer_to_Downloads.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"LaunchTo"=dword:00000003

6 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

7 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

8 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

9 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • File_Explorer.png
    File_Explorer.png
    5.6 KB · Views: 66
  • Open_File_Explorer_to_Downloads.reg
    646 bytes · Views: 14
  • Open_File_Explorer_to_Home.reg
    646 bytes · Views: 16
  • Open_File_Explorer_to_OneDrive.reg
    646 bytes · Views: 13
  • Open_File_Explorer_to_This_PC.reg
    646 bytes · Views: 19
Last edited:

BunnyJ

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Thanks
 

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Brink

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:shawn:
 

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Wynona

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When Windows update gave me Windows 11, I had already changed Quick Access to My PC in Windows 10. Windows 11 picked up all my settings (for the most part), and this was among them.

I don't like Quick Access, but I know that some do. It's good that we have this choice. Aaaaannnnd, I may at some point need this tutorial . . . who knows . . .
 

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    That's all Folks!
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Brink

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Tutorial updated for Windows 11 build 22593.

Quick access renamed to Home.
You can now select to open File Explorer to OneDrive.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

greg1704

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Hi,

Thanks for the registry file to direct File Explorer direct to the downloads folder, very useful, Should I ever want to disable this function, is there a way to do this through another registry file or another option?

Thanks

Greg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11

Brink

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Hi,

Thanks for the registry file to direct File Explorer direct to the downloads folder, very useful, Should I ever want to disable this function, is there a way to do this through another registry file or another option?

Thanks

Greg

Hello Greg, :)

I'm not sure this setting can be disabled.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

greg1704

New member
Local time
8:25 PM
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9
OS
Windows 11
Hi Brink,

Thanks for your reply.

I just played around with the registry entry provided and noticed it can be amended as follows by modifying the value:

0 and 2 - both go direct to Quick Access
1 - goes direct to This PC
3 - goes direct to Downloads

Thanks

Greg
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
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