Change the launch directory to root in Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer starts in the Libraries folder

One of the most obvious differences between Microsoft Windows 7 and the previous versions of the operating system is the concept of libraries. In Windows 7, files are stored a library folder, which is essentially a folder that references other available folders. The idea is that you don't have to worry about the actual physical folder that houses the file in question because it is referenced in your library - let the operating system worry about where it actually sits.

However, there are times when you actually want to get to a file in its actual physical location. To help facilitate this, many users find it useful to use Windows Explorer to follow the folder path to the file location is question. But, by default in Windows 7, the typical Windows Explorer shortcut starts in the Libraries folder and not in the system root directory. We can change that fairly simply.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.