Configure Windows 10 File Explorer to Open This PC Instead Of Quick Access

Windows 8 File Explorer was different in the way that it would open Libraries instead of the default This PC. Windows 8.1 changed this and it opened This PC when opening File Explorer by default. Microsoft has changed the default behavior once again in Windows 10.

In Windows 10, when you click on the File Explorer in task bar, it opens quick access items by default. Quick items consist of frequent folders and recently opened files. This may seem a good option if you open the file explorer for frequently opened items.

But my preference is to open This PC when I open File Explorer as I can open the frequent folders and recent files from the left hand pane right within the same Windows Explorer. If you are running Windows 10 and want to change the default behavior of Windows File Explorer, you may follow the steps below.

There are two ways to change the settings of Windows 10 File Explorer to open This PC instead of Quick Access. For normal users, the first method should be fine and for techies the second method should also work as it involves registry editing.

Method 1: Using Folder Options

The option of changing the File Explorer default from Quick Access to This PC can be accessed from Folder Options. To open Folder Options, follow the steps below:

  1. Open File Explorer (Windows key + E) and go to View tab
  2. Select Options from the ribbon
    Opening Folder Options in Windows 10
  3. Change Open Explorer to value from Quick Access to This PC
    Changing File Explorer opening to This PC

Method 2: Using Windows Registry

You can change the same setting as mentioned above using the Windows Registry. This is especially useful for System Administrators who want the same setting to be distributed across the network.

  1. Open Registry Editor and go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  2. From the right hand pane, double click LaunchTo entry to edit and change its value from 2 to 1
    Changing LaunchTo Registry value

The setting is instant and you don’t need to restart Windows Explorer for the setting to take effect.