Sometimes it's desired to work with one of the special system folders. As discussed on another page, Windows XP system folders can be opened by entering the folder name in the Run line. However, in Vista this procedure does not work. Instead, the folder name has to be preceded with the command "shell:". Although the
Run line can still be used, it is not shown in the default Vista configuration and the Start menu's "Start Search" line can be used instead. For example, to open the "SendTo" folder, enter
shell:sendto Note that there must be no spaces between "shell:" and the command. Also note the
colon. The command is not case-sensitive. Similar considerations hold for Windows 7.
The command prompt can also be used to open special system folders with the shell command. In the command prompt the shell command must be used in conjunction with the "start" command. For example, to open the "Cookies" folder the command would be:
start shell:cookiesThis method of opening system folders is also applicable in
Windows XP or 7.
Below is a list of system folders that can be opened. The list is taken from the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\FolderDescriptions (The list will vary somewhat depending on the version of
Vista.) A similar list applies to windows 7 and it can be found at this related link.
Vista System Folders
Common Administrative Tools
Common Start Menu
ProgramFilesX64 (in 64-bit systems)
ProgramFilesX86 (in 64-bit systems)
ProgramFilesCommonX64 (in 64-bit systems)
ProgramFilesCommonX86 (in 64-bit systems)