how to tweak windows explorer?

venm11

2[H]4U
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Oct 6, 2004
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Navigating from the default logical directories - that windows thinks I ought to use - to the physical directories that I actually use, is pretty annoying.

When a file dialog opens (open/save) how can I tell windows what directory to default to? Is there any way to use shortcuts or bring back the frequently-used directories that used to be on the left-hand side in XP?

Likewise, is there any way to tell the explorer app what directory to start with when it opens? And perhaps not fully expand the logical desktop\user directory?

Maybe there's an app to tweak or replace explorer. Maybe a collection of registry tweaks?
 

x509

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
2,630
Navigating from the default logical directories - that windows thinks I ought to use - to the physical directories that I actually use, is pretty annoying.

When a file dialog opens (open/save) how can I tell windows what directory to default to? Is there any way to use shortcuts or bring back the frequently-used directories that used to be on the left-hand side in XP?

Likewise, is there any way to tell the explorer app what directory to start with when it opens? And perhaps not fully expand the logical desktop\user directory?

Maybe there's an app to tweak or replace explorer. Maybe a collection of registry tweaks?

All good questions. I don't have answers but I am totally interested to hear what others have to say.
 

tordogs

Gawd
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Mar 25, 2010
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There are many ways to configure Windows Explorer but without knowing exactly what you want to put where and which OS, it is hard to advise. Here is one quick trick to let it know what directory/folder you want it to open in:

http://lifehacker.com/5987400/how-to-change-windows-explorers-starting-location

This article goes into a bit more detail of same:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-change-windows-explorer-default-folder/

This article shows customization of open/save dialog boxes using either regedit or third-party program:

http://www.howtogeek.com/97824/how-to-customize-the-file-opensave-dialog-box-in-windows/

I've been pretty OK with how File Explorer works so haven't spent a ton of time configuring but there are also other registry tweaks, third-party programs and changes to environment variables that can get it to act pretty much as you'd like.
 
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venm11

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There are many ways to configure Windows Explorer but without knowing exactly what you want to put where and which OS, it is hard to advise. Here is one quick trick to let it know what directory/folder you want it to open in:
...
I've been pretty OK with how File Explorer works so haven't spent a ton of time configuring but there are also other registry tweaks, third-party programs and changes to environment variables that can get it to act pretty much as you'd like.

Dude. Thanks! That worked. I also discovered that you can add shortcuts to the "favorites" folder at the top of explorer and file dialogs, which does the same thing as the "places bar" without totally sacrificing the browsing tree.

One question --- in the mydigital life article they have commas between parameters... shouldn't this follow the command-line format?

Code:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, C:\MyFolder\

Kudos to you on your direct and comprehensive answers, tordogs. Those did exactly what I'd hoped. So many times I ask questions people will respond along the lines of "why do you want to do that?" or "let me tell you what you actually want".
 

tordogs

Gawd
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Mar 25, 2010
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Each reference I find has the commas between the parameters so have to presume that is the correct syntax. i.e.:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...explorer/a5eb21ab-e2a8-4918-92ae-770cf9c57992

Haven't done this particular tweak so can't speak from experience. Did have to do something similar to get the start screen programs on Windows 10 tech preview to open in a new file explorer folder then pinned it to the taskbar. That took a bit more exploration! Much easier to use than the linear profile displayed in the start menu. Requires searching out some GUID values.
 
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venm11

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Oct 6, 2004
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i was hoping they were going to undo all the windows 8 ui crap, in 10. sort of like they repaired all the vista crap in 7.
 
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