As you might know already, in Windows 10, the File Explorer folder located in the Taskbar opens to Quick Access by default. However, users may prefer to have a custom File Explorer folder set as the destination for the folder in the Taskbar.

That way, they will be able to access a folder of their choice when they click the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar

In this tutorial, we will show you how to replace the default File Explorer folder in Windows 10 with a custom startup folder in a few easy steps.

The process of doing so is risk-free and fairly easy, offering users the ability to have quick access to any folder they choose right from the Taskbar.

Create a custom File Explorer folder shortcut

First of all, you will have to choose which folder you would like to have available from the Taskbar.

Now that you have decided, you have to create a shortcut to the folder of your choice.

Navigate to the folder you want to open by default, but don’t open it. Instead, right-click on it and select “Create shortcut” from the popup menu.

This will create a shortcut to that folder in the same location, which will help us set a new destination.

Press F2 or right-click and select “Rename”, and change the name of that shortcut to “File Explorer”.

Change the icon of the shortcut

Of course, since you are changing the File Explorer shortcut on the Taskbar with a custom folder, you might want to change the icon of the custom folder. To do so, right-click on the new shortcut and select “Properties” from the popup menu.

In the new window, navigate to the “Shortcut” tab and click the “Change Icon…” button. We are going to change the custom folder’s icon to the one the File Explorer has, grabbing it from the explorer.exe itself.

On the Change Icon dialog box, under “Look for icons in this file”, enter the following and press Enter: %windir%\explorer.exe. Then, click on the standard File Explorer icon in the upper-left corner and click “OK”.

Replace the default File Explorer folder

Now you are ready for the final step of the process, which is to replace the custom File Explorer folder with the new custom startup folder. Copy the new shortcut and navigate to the following folder:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

Make sure that hidden system files are shown (Control Panel – Appearance and Personalization – Folder Options – View tab – Advanced settings – Show hidden files, folders, and drives). In the TaskBar folder, you will find the default File Explorer folder.

Before pasting your shortcut, make sure to copy and paste the original folder into another location so you have a backup. After you have the backup in a safe place, paste your shortcut and select “Replace the file in the destination”.


Now, when you click on the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar, File Explorer opens to the folder you chose. If you accidentally delete the custom folder, the following dialog box will display when you click the File Explorer icon on the Taskbar.

You can click “Restore” to move your deleted custom folder from the Recycle Bin to its original location.