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How to Configure Windows 10 File Explorer to Open with This PC View

Posted by Jim Tanous on July 16, 2019
windows 10 file explorer icon

Back in Windows 7 and Windows 8, File Explorer opened by default to the ‘Computer’ or ‘This PC’ view, respectively, giving users an overview of their home folders, local drives, and network locations. This view is still available in Windows 10, but File Explorer now opens by default in the new ‘Quick Access’ view. The Quick Access view is similar to the ‘All My Files’ option in Mac OS,  showing users their frequently accessed folders and documents.

Some users love this type of interface as it makes it easy to quickly find the most recently accessed files and folders, as well as related data. Other users, particularly longtime Windows users, hate it. Good file management obviates the need for Quick Access’s simplistic display of user data, and power users would prefer to get an overview of their current PC—including information about drive formatting, mounted network shares, and available capacity—instead. Further, the This PC view has unique options in its ribbon toolbar, such as shortcuts to map a network drive and view system properties, making it far more useful than Quick Access for many users.

Thankfully, Microsoft has included an option that lets Windows 10 users choose which view File Explorer will use by default. Here’s how to configure File Explorer to open in the This PC view in Windows 10.

Switching Views

The File Explorer in Windows 10 has a number of views that allow you to view your content in the way you want, but you’ll need to know where to look to switch your views.

Step 1: In Windows 10, open a new File Explorer window and click the View tab from the ribbon toolbar.

Step 2: In the View tab, find and click on Options, listed by default on the far right side of the ribbon.

Step 3: In the Folder Options window, make sure you’re on the General tab and then find the drop-down box labeled Open File Explorer To. Click the drop-down menu and select This PC. Click OK to save your changes and close the window.

There’s no need to log out or reboot your PC. Just open a new File Explorer window and you’ll see that it automatically displays the This PC view by default. The Quick Access view is still there and can be viewed at any time, but users who prefer the more detailed This PC view won’t have to acknowledge Quick Access unless they choose to switch. The File Explorer in Windows 10 is an extremely powerful tool that let’s you change how you use your PC—you’ll just need to know where to look.

21 thoughts on “How to Configure Windows 10 File Explorer to Open with This PC View”

Shayne Gardner says:
My Options button is greyed out/not available. Where do I fix that, so that I can fix my File Explorer preview pane?
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Sandee Jacek says:
Printer keeps asking for the property dialogue box saying it can’t communicate with the printer.and to enable the bi directional support,,,,,,,,,any clues ?
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js78749 says:
Keystrokes that can be added to a Macro for opening “This PC” would be:
c:\windows\explorer.exe
Shft Tab
T (might need 2 Ts if there is another folder starting with T.
Enter
( I use these command for X-Keys along with the proper pauses.)
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vc50er says:
Of course clear Privacy boxes.
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Rainer says:
I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out. kek.
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Adrienne Boswell says:
Thank you so much for this. It was driving me crazy. I don’t use the default Windows locations, simply because it is a PITA if you have to create a new user account if and when your user account become corrupt, as mine has, twice. Keeping files in folders not in the Users folder makes them accessible no matter what user, and you don’t have to give yourself permission to view things in the old user account.
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Taha Kazi says:
Many thanks… was getting irritated by quick access
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Graham B says:
Thanks – As a member of the old school I’ve been trying for a year to get a handle on the ‘untidy’/confusing windows 10 default layout. Things are much clear now
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Leonard Osher says:
Thanks ……….
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Nalin Khurb says:
Thanks!
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Brad Smith says:
If ‘Options’ is greyed-out, try File > Folder Options. Screencast tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87vxY20S6Bk
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Umer Farooq says:
But how to remove system properties bar (in the right) in Windows 10? ๐Ÿ™
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Umer Farooq says:
Thank You man! It really helped me.
May Allah bless you. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Yan says:
thank you! this was driving me crazy! XD
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KimE Jay says:
Anyone know how to get file explorer to remain open in Windows 10? I open it and then it crashes, same with One Drive. I can only open files from the App (Word or Adobe) but can not search for a file
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cypherstream says:
Is there a group policy or registry tweak I can use to enforce this for all users across the domain?
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davidebravo says:
I was looking for the same answer: using RegShot the related key is HKCUSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvancedLaunchTo (value 1 is This PC, value 2 is Quick Access)
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TekRevue says:
Awesome, thanks for tracking that down! And sorry, cypherstream, for missing your initial question. I’ve been struggling with a Disqus issue where half of new comments don’t generate an email alert like they’re supposed to.
Bob Burwell says:
Thanks very much for that
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Chris in Vic says:
Does anyone know how to get File Explorer to open at drive C: and not “This PC”?
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TekRevue says:
It’s not a perfect solution, but try this: Open File Explorer and right-click on your C: drive in the sidebar. Select Pin to Start. This will create a tile in your Start Menu that, when clicked, will open File Explorer at C:
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Chris in Vic says:
That’s a very good solution. Thank you!
Hugh Beaumont says:
Cool, daddy-o.
nmharleyrider says:
Tried it but it did not stick after I closed and reopened explorer
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Chris in Vic says:
After you’ve set the view layout the way you like it, close File Explorer in a special way. From the menu or keyboard select File then do a [Shift]-C to close. I seem to remember this [Shift]-C trick from way back when.
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Michael Wilson says:
Doesn’t work me me either.
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Paul Trott says:
Anyone know how to set List view as the default? Instead of large thumbs?
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Paul Trott says:
Found it.
Set view style for a single folder.
Options > View > Apply to Folders
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mikebeintekzs says:
Thanks!

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