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Easy Access to System Folders in Windows 7 and Vista

Type (or paste) the shell command in the

Start Search or into the Run dialog (Start Menu, Programs, Accessories) and press Enter.

If Windows Explorer is already open, you can type the command in the address bar and press Enter.

The most useful commands for Outlook:

shell:AppData – takes you to the roaming app data folder where you can browse to MicrosoftOutlook. This folder is normally hidden, which makes it difficult to browse to it. It contains Send and Receive settings (srs), Navigation pane (xml), vba project files (.otm). The custom Stationery and Templates that Outlook uses are also in this path (in Microsoftstationery and Microsofttemplates naturally).

Typing shell:AppDatamicrosoft (or shell:AppDatamicrosoftoutlook) will open the folder, but if you want to go directly to the folder, it's easier to type this command:

shell:Local AppData – This is the local appdata folder (also normally hidden). The MicrosoftOutlook folder in this path contains your pst files (Outlook 20007 and earlier), ost files (Exchange cached mode and HotmailLive accounts).  Extend.dat and other files that aren't useful when roaming are also here.  You can also get to the folder by typing

shell:AddNewProgramsFolder – Opens the Install a program from the network location.

shell:Administrative Tools – Opens the Administrative Tools section of the Control Panel.

shell:AppData – Opens the hidden location C:UsersusernameAppDataRoaming

shell:AppUpdatesFolder – Opens the Installed Windows Updates location in Program and Files.

shell:Cache – Opens Internet Explorer’s temporary internet files folder.

shell:CD Burning – Opens the location where files are stored temporarily before Windows Vista burns them.

shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder – Opens Programs and Features in the Control Panel.

shell:Common Administrative Tools – Opens the Administrative Tools section of the Control Panel.

shell:Common AppData – Opens the hidden location C:ProgramDat

shell:Common Desktop – Opens the Public Users Desktop folder location. C:UsersPublicDesktop

shell:Common Documents – Opens the Public Users Documents folder location. C:UsersPublicDocuments

shell:Common Programs – Opens the Start menu shortcuts location.

shell:Common Start Menu – Opens the location of the shortcut links in your Start Menu.

shell:Common Startup – Opens the location where shortcuts to programs that are set to start when Vista boots up are saved.

shell:Common Templates – Opens C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsTemplates

shell:CommonDownloads – Opens the Public Users Downloads folder location. C:UsersPublicDownloads

shell:CommonMusic – Opens the Public Users Music folder location. C:UsersPublicMusic

shell:CommonPictures – Opens the Public Users Pictures folder location. C:UsersPublicPictures

shell:CommonVideo – Opens the Public Users Video folder location. C:UsersPublicVideos

shell:ConflictFolder – Opens the Sync Center Conflicts location.

shell:ConnectionsFolder – Quickly open Network Connections.

shell:Contacts – Opens your username's Contacts folder location.

shell:ControlPanelFolder – Opens the Control Panel.

shell:Cookies – Opens one of the folders where Internet Explorer saves cookies.

shell:CookiesLow – Opens the other folder where Internet Explorer saves cookies.

shell:CredentialManager – Opens the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataRoaming

shell:CryptoKeys – Opens the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftCrypto


shell:default Gadgets – Opens the default Windows Sidebar Gadgets location.

shell:desktop – Opens your personal username's Desktop folder location.

shell:downloads – Opens your personal username's Downloads folder location.

shell:dpapiKeys – Opens the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftProtect

shell:Favorites – Opens your personal username's Favorites folder location.

shell:Fonts – Opens Vista's Fonts folder location.

shell:Gadgets – Opens your user account's Windows Sidebar Gadgets that you saved location.

shell:Games – Opens the Games folder from the left Start menu button location.

shell:GameTasks – Opens the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows

shell:History – Opens Internet Explorer’s history of websites visited.

shell:InternetFolder Opens the 32 bit Internet Explorer.

shell:Links – Opens your personal username's Links folder location.

shell:Local AppData Opens the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataLocal

shell:LocalAppDataLow – Opend the hidden C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalLow



shell:My Music – Opens your personal username's Music folder location.

shell:My Pictures – Opens your personal username's Pictures folder location.

shell:My Video – Opens your personal username's Video folder location.

shell:MyComputerFolder – Opens Computer window.

shell:NetHood – Opens Network Shortcuts folder location.

shell:NetworkPlacesFolder Opens the Network Places location.

shell:OEM Links – Opens the links placed on your computer by your computer manufacturer location.

shell:Original Images – Opens Windows Photo Gallery Original Images folder location.

shell:Personal – Opens your personal username's Documents folder location.

shell:PhotoAlbums – Opens the Slide Show folder location for your username's Pictures folder.

shell:Playlists – Opens the Playlists folder location for your username's Music folder.

shell:PrintersFolder – Opens Printers in the Control Panel.

shell:PrintHood – Opens the Printer Shortcuts location.

shell:Profile – Opens your main username folder location.

shell:ProgramFiles – Opens the Program Files folder.

shell:ProgramFilesCommon – Opens the Common Files folder in Program Files.

shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 – Opens the Common Files folder in Program Files (x86).

shell:ProgramFilesX86 – Opens the Program Files (x86) folder.

shell:Programs – Opens the Start menu's Programs shortcuts location.

shell:Public – Opens the Public User folder.

shell:PublicGameTasks – Opens C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsGameExplorer

shell:Quick Launch – Opens the Quick Launch shortcuts folder location.

shell:Recent – Opens Recent Items location.

shell:RecycleBinFolder – Opens the Recycle Bin folder.

shell:ResourceDir – Opens Vista's Resources folder location.

shell:SampleMusic – Opens the Sample Music folder in the Public Users folder.

shell:SamplePictures – Opens the Sample Pictures folder in the Public Users folder.

shell:SamplePlaylists – Opens the Sample Playlist folder in the Public Users folder.

shell:SampleVideos – Opens the Sample Videos folder in the Public Users folder.

shell:SavedGames – Opens your personal username's Saved Games folder location.

shell:Searches – Opens your personal username's Searches folder location.

shell:SendTo – Opens the Context menu's SendTo folder location.

shell:Start Menu – Opens the location of the shortcut links in your Start Menu.

shell:Startup – Opens the location where shortcuts to programs that are set to start when Vista boots up are saved.

shell:SyncCenterFolder – Opens Sync Center from the Control Panel.

shell:SyncResultsFolder – Opens the Sync Results for the Sync Center.

shell:SyncSetupFolder – Open the Setup new sync partnerships in the Sync Center.

shell:System – Opens the System32 folder location.

shell:SystemCertificates Opens the SystemCertificates folder location.

shell:SystemX86 – Opens the SysWowxx folder location.

shell:Templates – Opens the Templates folder location.


shell:UserProfiles – Opens the "C:Users" location.

shell:UsersFilesFolder – Opens your main username folder location.

shell:Windows – Opens the "C:Windows" location.

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