How to Start Windows Explorer with Different Options

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.

Windows Explorer Command-Line Options

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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

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Here it is explained in a slightly different way:

This page was lifted from http://cpcug.org/user/clemenzi/technical/WinExplorer/CommandLineOptions.htm.

Parameters are

separated by commas. Many combinations are allowed, but only a few examples are

given.

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

Explorer.exe /e,DriveOrDirectory

Explorer.exe /e,/root,directory,sub-directory

Explorer.exe /e,/root,directory,/select,sub-directory

/e

List (explorer) view, Show large icons if missing (Open view)

/root

Sets the top level folder.

/select

Specifies that the directory should be selected without displaying its

contents.

/s

????

/n

Do not open the selected directory, no effect on NT

/idlist,%I

Expects an ID/handle. May help with cacheing. By itself, opens the

desktop as icons.

/inproc

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

different. Use

    C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SHELL32.DLL
for more options.


References

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:clemenzi@cpcug.org?subject=WinExplorer

– CommandLineOptions.htm

URL: http:// cpcug.org / user / clemenzi / technical / WinExplorer

/ CommandLineOptions.htm

One Comment

  1. […] Put Windows Explorer in the Quicklaunch toolbar and change the startup options target to “%SystemRoot%explorer.exe /e,c:aaa”. More examples. […]

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