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The problem

Not to be confused with Internet Explorer, which allows
users to find information on the Internet, Windows Explorer lets users browse
files on their workstations or the network. When users start Windows Explorer
to find files on their hard drive, Explorer opens the My Documents folder by
default. Although this can be handy when finding files in My Documents itself,
if users are storing data files elsewhere on their workstation or the network,
starting at My Documents can cause them to do a lot of clicking to find what
they’re looking for.

The cause

In earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft made the default
starting folder the root of the C drive, C:\. However, because most users store
files in My Documents, and because of the complicated profile file structure of
Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Microsoft decided it would be easier to have
Windows Explorer start in My Documents rather than in C:\. This may work for
most users, but it might not work for you or the users you support.

The solution

Configuring Explorer to default to a different location is
relatively simple. Just follow these instructions:

  1. Open
    the Start menu and navigate to where the Windows Explorer shortcut is
    located. Normally, this will be Start | All Programs | Accessories. You
    can also find the shortcut in the C:\Documents And Settings directory
    under your profile.

  2. Right-click
    on the Windows Explorer shortcut and select Properties.

  3. On
    the Shortcut tab, edit the Target field so that it reads: %systemroot%\explorer.exe
    /n, /e, x:\folder
    , where x:\folder
    is the path to the folder you want Explorer to open in.

  4. Click
    OK. When you launch Windows Explorer from the Start menu, it will open in
    the folder you’ve chosen.

Additional tips

You don’t have to change the default folder that Windows
Explorer uses just to allow users direct access to the files they want.
Alternatively, you may want to simply create a shortcut directly to the folder
location, and put the shortcut on the workstation’s desktop or in the Start menu.