With appropriate command line switches, shortcuts can be
created to open Windows Explorer in a variety of starting folders and formats.
Some useful examples are given here.
On a previous
, I discussed the mechanics
of how to create new shortcuts. Here, I will give some specific examples
of shortcuts that make using Windows Explorer more efficient. With appropriate
command line switches, shortcuts can be created to open Windows Explorer
in a variety of starting folders and formats. The default for Windows XP
is to open with My Documents
at the top and expanded in the right
pane. I personally prefer to have either My computer
or the C:
to be expanded. Whatever your preference, here are the commands to achieve
it. The syntax
a Windows Explorer command is:
EXPLORER.EXE [/n][/e][,/root,<object>][[,/select],<sub object>]
Note that the syntax must be exact; misplace a space or comma and it won't
work. The commas are easy to overlook when combining several switches.
This somewhat fearsome looking expression will be clearer with some explanation
and examples. The table below explains the purpose of the different switches.
Role of different switches and their parts
|Determine which view style is used
||Single-pane My Computer style view
||Double-pane Explorer view
|Specify and expand a specific drive or folder
||Opens two-pane view with the drive or folder given by <object> expanded
in both the right and left panes. The left pane has Desktop as
|Determine the top level or root of the display
||Starts the view at a given drive or folder specified by <object>.
Expands <object> in the right-pane if the "/e" switch
is used to give two-pane view.
|Specify the drive or folder that is to be the focus
||Opens parent of <subobject> and highlights <subobject> .
If "/e" switch is also used, the left-pane view will have "Desktop" as
the root and the right-pane will have expanded view of parent with <subobject> highlighted.
The large number of possible switch combinations can become bewildering.
The next table lists the commands for some specific useful examples with
an explanation of what they do. We will concentrate on two-pane views.
The X: drive is used throughout to stand for any drive. Folders and subfolders
can also be used in commands.
Examples of useful ways to open Windows Explorer
|Contents of left pane
||Contents of right pane
|Whole computer with Desktop as top level. Home Drive (usually
C:) is expanded
||Home Drive (usually C:) expanded
|Whole computer with Desktop as top level . X: drive is expanded.
||X: drive expanded
|Whole computer with Desktop as top level. X:
\MyFolder is expanded.
|Whole computer with Desktop as top level. My Computer is
||Same as My Computer but with X: drive highlighted.
|X: drive is top level and is expanded. Rest of the computer is not
||X: drive expanded
|X:\MyFolder is top level folder and is expanded. Rest of
the computer is not listed.
The best way to use these suggestions may be to copy the command of interest
and paste it into the shortcut window shown below. Be sure to edit and
replace X: or MyFolder with the appropriate value for your
computer. Do not be concerned if your system tacks the environment
variable %windir% onto the front of the command.
Dialog box for creating shortcuts