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How To Customize the Windows Explorer Views in Windows XP

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This article was previously published under Q307856
SUMMARY
This step-by-step article describes how to use the Windows Explorer command-line switches in Windows XP.

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More Information

You can use the command-line switches either to customize the default view that Windows Explorer uses when it starts, or to specify the view when you start Windows Explorer from a command prompt.

You can use the following switches with the Explorer.exe command.

SwitchResult
/n Opens a new single-pane Window for the default selection.
This is usually the root of the drive on which Windows is installed.
/eStarts Windows Explorer using its default view.
/e, <object>Starts Windows Explorer using its default view with the focus on the specified folder.
/root, <object>Opens a window view of the specified object.
/select, <object>Opens a window view with the specified folder, file or
program selected.


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Run Windows Explorer from a Command Prompt

To run Windows Explorer from a command prompt:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type Explorer, and then click OK.
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Examples

The following examples describe the use of Windows Explorer switches.
  • Explorer /n
    This command opens an Explorer window using the default setting. This is usually the root of the drive on which Windows is installed.
  • Explorer /e
    This command starts Windows Explorer using the default view.
  • Explorer /e,C:\Windows
    This command starts Windows Explorer using the default view, with the focus on C:\Windows.
  • Explorer /root, C:\Windows\Cursors
    This command starts Windows Explorer at the C:\Windows\Cursors folder. This example uses C:\Windows\Cursors as the "root" directory for Windows Explorer.

    NOTE: Note the comma after the "/root" switch in the command.
  • Explorer /select, C:\Windows\Cursors\banana.ani
    This command starts Windows Explorer with the "C:\Windows\Cursors\banana.ani" file selected.

    NOTE: Note the comma after the "/select" switch in the command.
The Windows Explorer switches can be combined in a single command. The following example shows the combination of the Windows Explorer command-line switches.
  • Explorer /root, \\server\share, select, Program.exe
    This command starts Windows Explorer using the remote share as its "root" folder, along with the Program.exe file selected.
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Change the Windows Explorer Default Startup Folder

To change the default startup folder for Windows Explorer:
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then right-click Windows Explorer.
  2. On the menu that appears, click Properties.
  3. In the Target box, append the "/root" command-line switch to the "%SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe" command, using the startup location that you want. For example, if you want Windows Explorer to start at the root of drive C, edit the command to the following:
    %SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /root, C:\
  4. Click OK.
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explorer view default change
Properties

Article ID: 307856 - Last Review: 07/14/2004 19:00:02 - Revision: 1.4

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbenv kbhowtomaster KB307856
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