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@planetWayne
Last active Apr 3, 2019
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Windows Shell Folders

Windows Shell: Folders

I went searching, as I have done many times, to find the name of the common startup folder to add my own shortcuts to run programs at logon. This time, I decided to compile this list below and store it somewhere I'll remember for next time.

This is a copy of the 'meat' (read 'less the adverts') from a TechRadar site that had a reasonably comprehensive list of Windows Shell folder shortcuts. Each of these shell folders can be used in the Windows 'Run' window to open the contents or, if prefered, used as a destination to a custom shortcut.lnk to make it a clickable item. To use just simply copy the corresponding Shell Folder from the section you are after from the tables below.

A lot of these will also work on Windows Server OSs as well as the desktop OSs. At some point I'll update the 'applicable to' list to include newer OSs. I've not had an issue with Windows 10 and Server 2016 with the key ones but YMMV.

Hopefully this will help others, if theres is any omissions or additions, drop me a note and I'll update the list.

Internet Explorer
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:Cache Open the Temporary Internet Files folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Cookies Open the Internet Explorer Cookies folder XP, Vista, 7,
shell:Favorites Open the Internet Explorer Favorites folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:InternetFolder Launches Internet Explorer XP, Vista, 7, 8
Applets and applications
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder Open the Control Panel and "Install a program from the network" applet Vista, 7, 8
shell:Administrative Tools Displays shortcuts to the applets in your Control PanelAdministrative Tools folder (if any) XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder Open the Control Panel "Uninstall or change a program" applet Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Administrative Tools Displays shortcuts to the Public applets in your Control PanelAdministrative Tools folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:ConnectionsFolder Open the list of Network Connections Vista, 7, 8
shell:ControlPanelFolder Displays Control Panel Vista, 7, 8
shell:Default Gadgets Open the default Sidebar Gadgets folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Gadgets Open the user folder of downloaded Sidebar Gadgets Vista, 7, 8
shell:Immersive Application Shortcuts Displays shortcuts to the apps on your Metro screen (not regular shortcuts, but still interesting to explore) 8
shell:ProgramFiles Open the Program Files folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:ProgramFilesX86 Displays 32-bit programs stored on 64-bit Windows, or the Program Files folder on 32-bit Windows Vista, 7, 8
shell:ProgramFilesCommon Open the Program FilesCommon Files folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 Open the Common Files for 32-bit programs stored on 64-bit Windows, or the Program FilesCommon Files folder on 32-bit Windows Vista, 7, 8
shell:SearchHomeFolder Open the Windows Search tool Vista, 7, 8
Multimedia
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:My Music Open the user Music folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CommonMusic Open the Public Music folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:SampleMusic Open the Sample Music folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:My Pictures Open the user Pictures folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CommonPictures Open the Public Pictures folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:SamplePictures Open the Sample Pictures folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:SamplePlaylists Open the Sample Playlists folder Vista
shell:Original Images Open the folder containing the original versions of images tweaked by Windows Photo Gallery, if installed XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:PhotoAlbums Open the user PicturesSlide Shows folder (if present) Vista, 7, 8
shell:Podcasts Open the user Podcasts folder (if Zune is installed) XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:My Video Open the user Videos folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CommonVideo Open the Public Video folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:SampleVideos Open the Sample Videos folder Vista, 7, 8
Windows Sync Centre
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:ConflictFolder Displays Sync Centre Conflicts Vista, 7, 8
shell:SyncCenterFolder Displays Sync Centre Vista, 7, 8
shell:SyncResultsFolder Displays Sync Centre Results Vista, 7, 8
shell:SyncSetupFolder Open the Sync Centre Setup options Vista, 7, 8
System folders
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:AppUpdatesFolder Displays installed Windows Updates Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common AppData Open the Public Application Data folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Desktop Open the Public Desktop XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Documents Open the Public Documents folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CommonDownloads Open the Public Downloads folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Programs Open the Public Start Menu Programs folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CommonRingtones Open the Public ringtones folder. This should contain some sample files. 7, 8
shell:Common Start Menu Open the Public Start Menu folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Startup Open the Public Startup folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Common Templates Open the Public Templates folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Fonts Open the Fonts folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Games Open the Games folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:HomeGroupFolder Open the HomeGroup folder 7, 8
shell:HomeGroupCurrentUserFolder Open the HomeGroup folder for the currently logged-on user (will disappear immediately if you don't have a homegroup) 8
shell:MyComputerFolder Open the Computer folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:OEM Links Displays links provided by your PC manufacturer (if any) XP, Vista, 7
shell:NetworkPlacesFolder Open the Network Places folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:PrintersFolder Open the Printers folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Public Open the UsersPublic folder for quick access to public Music, Downloads, Pictures and more Vista, 7, 8
shell:PublicGameTasks Open the Public Game Explorer folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:ResourceDir Open the Windows Resources folder (themes are stored here) XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:RecycleBinFolder Open the Recycle Bin XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:System Open the Windows System folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Systemx86 Open the Windows System folder for 32-bit files on 64-bit Windows, or WindowsSystem32 on 32-bit Windows Vista, 8
shell:UserProfiles Open the folder holding all user profiles Vista, 7, 8
shell:Windows Open the Windows installation folder (usually Windows) XP, Vista, 7, 8
Libraries
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:DocumentsLibrary Open the Documents library 7, 8
shell:Libraries Open the Libraries folder 7, 8
shell:MusicLibrary Displays your Music library 7, 8
shell:PicturesLibrary Displays your Pictures library 7, 8
shell:Podcast Library Displays your Podcasts library (if Zune is installed) 7, 8
shell:PublicLibraries Displays public libraries, if any 7, 8
shell:VideosLibrary Displays your Videos library 7, 8
User folders
Shell Folder Description Applicable to
shell:AppData Open the user Application Data folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:CD Burning Open the folder where files are stored before being burned to disc XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Contacts Open the user Windows Contacts folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:CredentialManager Open the user Credentials folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Cryptokeys Open the user encryption keys folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:CSCFolder Open the Client Side Cache Offline Files folder, if supported XP, Vista, 7
shell:Desktop Open the user desktop folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Downloads Open the user downloads folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:DpAPIKeys Opens the users AppDataRoamingMicrosoftProtect folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:GameTasks Open the user Game Explorer folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:History Open the user History folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:ImplicitAppShortcuts Open the hidden ImplicitAppShortcuts folder 7, 8
shell:Links Open the user Links folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Local AppData Open the user Application Data folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:NetHood Open the user Network Places folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Personal Open the user Documents folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Playlists Open the user MusicPlaylists folder Vista, 7
shell:PrintHood Open the user printer shortcuts folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Profile Open the user profile folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Programs Open the user Start Menu Programs folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Quick Launch Open the Quick Launch folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Recent Open the user's Recent Documents folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Ringtones Display the user's Ringtones folder 7, 8
shell:SavedGames Open the Saved Games folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:Searches Open the saved searches folder Vista, 7, 8
shell:SendTo Open the user Send To folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Start Menu Open the user Start Menu folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:Startup Open the user Startup folder XP, Vista, 7, 8
shell:SystemCertificates Open the user certificates folder Vista, 7
shell:Templates Open the user Templates folder XP, Vista, 7
shell:User Pinned Access shortcuts pinned to the Start menu or Taskbar 7
shell:UserTiles Displays your user tiles (the images you can use for your account) 8
shell:PublicUserTiles Open the Public user tiles folder 8
shell:Roaming Tiles Displays further user tiles 8

Enjoy!

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