Shell: folder shortcuts

Shell folder shortcuts can be used directly in the Windows Explorer Address bar:  shell:Desktop

Or from the Start Menu: Start | Run | shell:Desktop

Description Shell: folder shortcut Equivalent System User
Display installed Windows Updates shell:AppUpdatesFolder Control Panel > Programs and Features> Installed updates System folder
Open the user’s Start Menu\Administrative Tools folder (if any) shell:Administrative Tools %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
  User folder
Open All Users Start Menu\Administrative Tools folder shell:Common Administrative Tools %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools\
=C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
System Folder
Open the Public Application Data folder shell:Common AppData %ProgramData%
= C:\ProgramData
System folder
Open the user’s Application Data folder shell:AppData %AppData% = C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\   User folder
Open the user’s Application Data folder shell:Local AppData %LocalAppData% = C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\   User folder
Apps folder shell:appsFolder      
Open the Temporary Internet Files folder shell:Cache %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\iNetCache\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\iNetCache
Internet Explorer User folder
Open the user’s certificates folder shell:SystemCertificates %AppData%\Microsoft\System Certificates\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\System Certificates
  User folder
Open the Client Side Cache Offline Files folder, if supported shell:CSCFolder Client Side Cache, if enabled   User folder
Open the folder where files are stored before being burned to disc shell:CD Burning %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Burn\Burn\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn\Burn
  User folder
Open the user’s Windows Contacts folder shell:Contacts %UserProfile%\Contacts\ = C:\Users\<username>\Contacts   User folder
Open the Internet Explorer Cookies folder shell:Cookies %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\iNetCookies\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\iNetCookies
Internet Explorer User folder
Open the user’s Credentials folder shell:CredentialManager %AppData%\Microsoft\Credentials\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Credentials
User folder User folder
Open the list of Network Connections shell:ConnectionsFolder Control Panel > Network Connections Control Panel
Display the Control Panel shell:ControlPanelFolder Control Panel Control Panel
Open the user’s encryption keys folder shell:Cryptokeys %AppData%\Microsoft\Crypto\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Crypto
  User folder
Open the user’s desktop folder shell:Desktop

Desktop merged from %UserProfile%\Desktop + %Public%\Desktop\

Public folder User folder
Open the Public Desktop shell:Common Desktop %Public%\Desktop\
= C:\Users\Public\Desktop
System folder
Opens the user’s AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Protect folder shell:DpAPIKeys %AppData%\Microsoft\Protect\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Protect
  User folder
Open the Public Documents folder shell:Common Documents %Public%\Documents\
= C:\Users\Public\Documents
System folder
Open the user’s downloads folder shell:Downloads %UserProfile%\Downloads\ = C:\Users\<username>\Downloads   User folder
Open the Public Downloads folder shell:CommonDownloads %Public%\Downloads\
= C:\Users\Public\Downloads
System folder
Open the Internet Explorer Favorites folder shell:Favorites %UserProfile%\Favorites\
= C:\Users\<username>\Favorites
  User folder
Open the Fonts folder shell:Fonts %SystemRoot%\Fonts
= C:\Windows\Fonts
System folder
Open the user folder of downloaded Sidebar Gadgets shell:Gadgets   Internet Explorer
Open the default Sidebar Gadgets folder shell:Default Gadgets   System folder
Open the Games folder shell:Games   System folder
Open the user’s Game Explorer folder shell:GameTasks %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer
  User folder
Open the user’s History folder shell:History %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\History\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History
  User folder
Open the HomeGroup folder shell:HomeGroupFolder   System folder
Open the HomeGroup folder for the currently logged-on user (if any) shell:HomeGroupCurrentUserFolder   System folder
Launches Internet Explorer Applets and applications shell:InternetFolder   Internet Explorer
Open the hidden ImplicitAppShortcuts folder shell:ImplicitAppShortcuts %AppData%\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\ImplicitAppShortcuts\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ImplicitAppShortcuts
Internet Explorer User folder
Open the Libraries folder shell:Libraries Libraries Library
Open the Documents library shell:DocumentsLibrary Libraries\Documents Library
Display public libraries, if any shell:PublicLibraries %Public%\Libraries\ = C:\Users\Public\Libraries Library
Display your Music library shell:MusicLibrary Libraries\Music Library
Open the Public Music folder shell:CommonMusic %Public%\Music\ = C:\Users\Public\Music Multimedia
Open the user’s Music folder shell:My Music %UserProfile%\Music\ = C:\Users\<username>\Music   User folder
Open the Sample Music folder shell:SampleMusic %Public%\Music\Sample Music\ = C:\Users\Public\Music\SampleMusic Multimedia
Open the user’s Pictures\Slide Shows folder (if present) shell:PhotoAlbums      
Account Pictures Shell:AccountPictures %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Account Pictures\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Account Pictures
Display your Pictures library shell:PicturesLibrary Libraries\Pictures (previously My Pictures)
= C:\Users\<username>\Pictures
Library User folder
Open the Public Pictures folder shell:CommonPictures %Public%\Pictures\ = C:\Users\Public\Pictures Multimedia
Open the Sample Pictures folder shell:SamplePictures %Public%\Pictures\Sample Pictures\ = C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures Multimedia
Open the Windows Photo Gallery Original Images folder, if installed shell:Original Images   Multimedia
Display your Videos library shell:VideosLibrary Libraries\Videos Library
Open the user’s Links folder shell:Links %UserProfile%\Links\ = C:\Users\<username>\Links   User folder
Open the Computer folder shell:MyComputerFolder "This PC" System folder
Open the user’s Network Places folder shell:NetHood %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
  User folder
Open the Network Places folder shell:NetworkPlacesFolder "Network" System folder
Display links provided by your PC manufacturer (if any) shell:OEM Links   System folder
Open the user’s Documents folder shell:Personal %UserProfile%\Documents\ = C:\Users\<username>\Documents   User folder
Open the user’s printer shortcuts folder shell:PrintHood %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
  User folder
Open the user’s profile folder shell:Profile %UserProfile% = C:\Users\<username>   User folder
Access shortcuts pinned to the Start menu or Taskbar shell:User Pinned %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned
  User folder
Open the user’s \Music\Playlists folder shell:Playlists      
Open the folder holding all user profiles shell:UserProfiles C:\Users System folder
Open the Printers folder shell:PrintersFolder Control Panel > Printers System folder
Open the user’s Start Menu Programs folder shell:Programs %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  User folder
Open the Public Start Menu Programs folder shell:Common Programs %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
=C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
System folder
Open the Control Panel "Install a program from the network" applet shell:AddNewProgramsFolder Control Panel > Get Programs from the network Control Panel
Open the Control Panel "Uninstall or change a program" applet shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder Control Panel > Uninstall or change a program Control Panel
Open the Program Files folder shell:ProgramFiles %ProgramFiles%
= C:\Program Files
System folder
Open the Program Files\Common Files folder shell:ProgramFilesCommon %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\
= C:\Program Files\Common Files
System folder
Display 32-bit programs stored on 64-bit Windows,
or the \Program Files folder on 32-bit Windows
shell:ProgramFilesX86 %ProgramFiles(x86)% = C:\ProgramFiles (x86) System folder
Open the Common Files for 32-bit programs stored on 64-bit Windows,
Or the Program Files\Common Files folder on 32-bit Windows
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Common Files\
= C:\ProgramFiles (x86)\Common Files
Internet Explorer
Open the Public Game Explorer folder shell:PublicGameTasks %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer\
System folder
Open the Users\Public folder (Shared files) shell:Public %Public% = C:\Users\Public Public folder
Open the Quick Launch folder (disabled by default) shell:Quick Launch %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  User folder
Open the user’s Recent Documents folder shell:Recent %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
  User folder
Open the Recycle Bin shell:RecycleBinFolder "Recycle Bin" System folder
Open the Windows Resources folder (themes are stored here) shell:ResourceDir %SystemRoot%\Resources\ = C:\Windows\Resources System folder
Display the user's Ringtones folder shell:Ringtones %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones
  User folder
Open the Public ringtones folder. shell:CommonRingtones %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones\
System folder
Open the Saved Games folder shell:SavedGames %UserProfile%\Saved Games\ = C:\Users\<username>\Saved Games   User folder
Open the saved searches folder shell:Searches %UserProfile%\Searches\ = C:\Users\<username>\Searches   User folder
Open the Windows Search tool shell:SearchHomeFolder Windows Explorer Search box System folder
Open the user’s Send To folder shell:SendTo %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
  User folder
Open the user’s Start Menu folder shell:Start Menu %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
  User folder
Open the Public Start Menu folder shell:Common Start Menu %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
=C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
System folder
Open the user’s Startup folder shell:Startup %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  User folder
Open the Public Startup folder shell:Common Startup %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\
=C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
System folder
Display Sync Centre shell:SyncCenterFolder Control Panel > Sync Centre Windows Sync Centre
Display Sync Centre Conflicts shell:ConflictFolder Control Panel > Sync Conflicts Windows Sync Centre
Display Sync Centre Results shell:SyncResultsFolder Control Panel > Sync Results Windows Sync Centre
Open the Sync Centre Setup options shell:SyncSetupFolder Control Panel > Setup new Sync Partnerships Windows Sync Centre
Open the Windows System folder shell:System %SystemRoot%\System32\ = C:\Windows\System32 System folder
Open the Windows System folder for 32-bit files on 64-bit Windows,
Or \Windows\System32 on 32-bit Windows
shell:Systemx86 %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\ = C:\Windows\SysWOW64 System folder
Open the user’s Templates folder shell:Templates %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates
  User folder
Open the Public Templates folder shell:Common Templates %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Templates\
System folder
Display further user tiles shell:Roaming Tiles %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Roaming Tiles\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\RoamingTiles
  User folder
Display your user tiles (the images you can use for your account) shell:UserTiles %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures\
= C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures
  User folder
Open the Public user tiles folder shell:PublicUserTiles %ProgramData%\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\
= C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\
System folder
Open the user’s Videos folder shell:My Video %UserProfile%\Videos\ = C:\Users\<username>\Videos   User folder
Open the Public Video folder shell:CommonVideo %Public%\Videos\ = C:\Users\Public\Videos Multimedia
Open the Sample Videos folder shell:SampleVideos %Public%\Videos\Sample Videos\ = C:\Users\Public\Videos\Sample videos Multimedia
Open the Windows installation folder (usually \Windows) shell:Windows %SystemRoot% = C:\Windows System folder

Unless indicated otherwise, all the shortcuts above work in all versions of Windows from Vista upwards.

Command Line

From the command line shell: shortcuts can be passed to Explorer.exe:
C:\> explorer.exe shell:desktop

You can also pass a variable or string:

C:\> explorer.exe %ProgramFiles%

The START command also accepts shell: shortcuts with spaces but they have to be quoted like so:

C:\> start "" "shell:my music"

C:\> start "" %UserProfile%\Music\

In PowerShell:
Where 'MyVideos' may be any of the constants defined under: [Enum]::GetNames([System.Environment+SpecialFolder])


To create a shortcut to any of the shell folders above: Right click the Desktop > New Shortcut and set the location/target to explorer.exe followed by the shell:option
For example:

  explorer.exe shell:PrintersFolder

Alternatively you can use a variable/string:

  explorer.exe "%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\"

Non admin users will find it difficult to create a Shell: shortcut directly on the Task bar, it can be done but requires creating the shortcut in: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
It can then be dragged into the taskbar.

Create a 'God mode' shortcut (a full set of Control Panel options) by setting the shortcut target to:

%WinDir%\explorer.exe shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

“You go away for a long time and return a different person - you never come all the way back” ~ Paul Theroux

Related commands:

EXPLORER - Open Windows Explorer.
User Shell Folders - Profile, Start Menu - Location of user profile folders.
ms-settings - Shortcuts to settings.
Env. Variables - List of environment variables.
RUN commands Start | Run commands.
Remove sidebar folder shortcuts from “This PC” on Windows 10 -

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