This is old info but I needed to refer to it after my Windows reinstall so I’ll just put it here for easy reference.
Explorer [/n] [/e] [(,)/root,<object>] [/select,<object>] /n Opens a new single-pane window for the default selection. This is usually the root of the drive Windows is installed on. If the window is already open, a duplicate opens. /e Opens Windows Explorer in its default view. /root,<object> Opens a window view of the specified object. /select,<object> Opens a window view with the specified folder, file or application selected. Examples: Example 1: Explorer /select,C:\TestDir\TestApp.exe Opens a window view with TestApp selected. Example 2: Explorer /e,/root,C:\TestDir\TestApp.exe This opens Explorer with C: expanded and TestApp selected. Example 3: Explorer /root,\\TestSvr\TestShare Opens a window view of the specified share. Example 4: Explorer /root,\\TestSvr\TestShare,select,TestApp.exe
Here it is explained in a slightly different way:
This page was lifted from http://cpcug.org/user/clemenzi/technical/WinExplorer/CommandLineOptions.htm.
separated by commas. Many combinations are allowed, but only a few examples are
Explorer.exe c:\ Open directory as a single pain of icons
Explorer.exe /e,c:\ Explore drive as 2 lists –
directories on left & files on right
Explorer.exe /e,/root,c:\ Explore drive without showing other drives
Explorer.exe /n,/e,/select Opens showing only drives
Explorer.exe /e,/idlist,%I,%L From Folder\..\Explore in the registry
%I – ID number
%L – Long filename
|List (explorer) view, Show large icons if missing (Open view)
|Sets the top level folder.
|Specifies that the directory should be selected without displaying its
|Do not open the selected directory, no effect on NT
|Expects an ID/handle. May help with cacheing. By itself, opens the
desktop as icons.
|Stops display of window (I don’t know why this is useful)
Windows Explorer contains 7 icons. In 95 and NT, the 3rd and 4th are
I have not found a single reference explaining all the options. Some
parameters were found by searching the registry, some are from the sources
below, and a few are from browsing the executable.
- C:\WINDOWS\TIPS.TXT (95 only)
provides basic command line help. Search for explorer.
- Additional notes are provided here.
Author: Robert Clemenzi – mailto:email@example.com?subject=WinExplorer