How to Change the Default Windows Explorer Folder in Windows 11

Changing the default Windows Explorer folder in Windows 11 is as easy as a few clicks. When you open Windows Explorer, it typically defaults to the Quick Access or This PC view, which might not be the most convenient for every user. By changing the default folder, you can start from a location of your choice, like a frequently used folder or one that houses your important files. This quick guide will walk you through the process.

After you complete the action, Windows Explorer will open in the new default folder you’ve chosen. This means every time you open a new Explorer window, you’ll immediately land in your preferred location, saving you the hassle of navigating through the directories each time.


Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft, brings with it an array of features designed to enhance user experience. One such feature is the ability to customize the default folder that opens when you launch Windows Explorer. But why is this important? Imagine having a folder that you access multiple times throughout the day – wouldn’t it be convenient if you could jump straight to it every time you opened Explorer?

This simple tweak is not just about saving a few clicks; it’s about streamlining your workflow, so you’re more efficient with your time on the computer. Whether you’re a professional managing a multitude of project files or a student who regularly accesses study materials, this change can make a significant difference in your computing routine. It’s a small adjustment that can lead to a noticeable boost in productivity.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing the Default Windows Explorer Folder in Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s essential to understand what we’re about to do. Changing the default folder in Windows Explorer will customize your experience by opening the directory you choose each time you launch it. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the Windows Explorer Options

To change the default folder, you first need to access the Folder Options dialog.

In this window, you’ll find various settings that control how files and folders are displayed and how they interact with Windows.

Step 2: Change the Open File Explorer To: Setting

Look for a dropdown menu labeled ‘Open File Explorer to:’ and click on it to see the available options.

This dropdown menu allows you to select from two default views, Quick Access or This PC, but we’re going to set a specific folder instead.

Step 3: Choose a New Target Folder

Once you’ve selected ‘This PC’ or ‘Quick Access’, click on the field and type the path of your desired default folder or use the Browse button to navigate to it.

Choosing the correct path is crucial, as any mistake here will result in an error when you try to open Windows Explorer.

Step 4: Apply and OK

After setting the new path, click Apply and then OK to confirm the changes.

Now, every time you open Windows Explorer, it will default to the folder you’ve chosen, streamlining your navigation process.


Increased EfficiencyBy setting a custom default folder, you save time navigating through the file system, making you more efficient.
Customized ExperienceTailoring the default folder to your needs creates a more personalized computing experience.
Better OrganizationWith a default folder, it’s easier to manage your files and maintain a clean and organized system.


Potential for ConfusionNew users or those unfamiliar with the change may be confused when Windows Explorer opens to a different location than expected.
Limited Default OptionsWindows only allows two default views, which could be limiting for users who want more flexibility.
Risk of MistakesIf the wrong path is entered, it could lead to errors or confusion when opening Windows Explorer.

Additional Information

When it comes to working efficiently on your computer, it’s the little tweaks that can make all the difference. Changing the default Windows Explorer folder is a prime example of a small change with a big impact. Not only does it save you time, but it also helps you stay organized by directing you instantly to your most important files.

But what about shared computers? If multiple people use the same device, it’s important to consider whether this change will be beneficial for everyone involved. Communication is key here – make sure all users are aware of the new default folder to avoid any confusion.

Additionally, you may want to regularly update your default folder, especially if the nature of your work changes or you complete a project. This ensures that your setup remains optimized for your current needs. Remember, flexibility and adaptability are just as important as efficiency.


  1. Open the Windows Explorer Options.
  2. Change the Open File Explorer To: setting.
  3. Choose a new target folder.
  4. Apply and OK the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I set the default folder to a network drive?

Yes, as long as you have the correct network path and permissions, you can set a network drive as your default folder.

Will this change affect other user accounts on the computer?

No, this change only affects the user account where the change is made.

What happens if I enter an incorrect folder path?

Windows Explorer will show an error message and won’t open. You’ll need to correct the path in the Folder Options dialog.

Is it possible to revert to the original settings?

Absolutely! Just follow the same steps and choose Quick Access or This PC from the dropdown menu.

Can I set the default folder to an external drive?

Yes, as long as the drive is connected, you can set it as your default folder.


Mastering your Windows 11 experience starts with understanding and utilizing its customization options. Changing the default Windows Explorer folder might seem like a small tweak, but its impact on your daily computing activities can be immense. It’s all about creating a setup that works seamlessly with your workflow, allowing you to access your essential files with ease and efficiency.

So, take a moment to think about which folder would make the most sense for you, and go ahead and make that change. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Happy computing!

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