Windows

Customize the Places bar in Windows XP

You can customize the Places bar by editing the local group policy with the Group Policy Editor. Here's how.

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When you save or open a file in an application that uses Windows XP's common dialog box, chances are that you use the Places bar on the left side of the dialog box to speed up your navigation.

By default, the Places bar contains the following five locations:

  • My Recent Documents
  • Desktop
  • My Documents
  • My Computer
  • My Network Places

While these locations are generally helpful, you may want to customize this list with your own folders/locations. To do so, you simply edit the local group policy with the Group Policy Editor. Follow these steps to learn how:

  1. Launch the Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc)
  2. Go to User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer | Common Open File Dialog.
  3. Double-click the Items Displayed In Places Bar setting.
  4. In the resulting dialog box, select the Enabled option.
  5. Type the paths to your custom folder locations in the Item 1-5 text boxes and click OK.

Keep in mind that once you enable this setting, you must manually specify all five locations. If you want to keep some of the default locations or specify other common locations, in addition to your custom items, you must use one of the following special shortcuts:

  • CommonDocuments
  • CommonMusic
  • CommonPictures
  • Desktop
  • MyComputer
  • MyDocuments
  • MyFavorites
  • MyMusic
  • MyNetworkPlaces
  • MyPictures
  • Printers
  • ProgramFiles
  • Recent

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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