Using GUIDs to Open Shell Folders in Windows Explorer

A GUID is a string of 32 hexadecimal digits enclosed within braces, hyphens separating the digits into groups of eight, four, four and twelve – like this

{nnnnnnnn-nnnn-nnnn- nnnnnnnnnnnn}

Windows XP uses GUIDs to identify all kinds of objects, including certain system folders. The following GUIDs can be opened in Windows Explorer.

{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} My Network Places
{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} My Computer
{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} Printers and Faxes
{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} Recycle Bin
{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E} Network Connections
{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} Scheduled Tasks

One useful use for knowing these GUIDs is for example to make Windows Explorer open on My Computer, instead of my documents. This can be done by creating a shortcut with either of the following command strings:

explorer.exe /e, :: {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

or

explorer.exe::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

The first of these opens Windows Explorer with the folders bar in place.

To use these command strings in scripts or batch programs, put a space after the word explorer and then two colons.

explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

If you use one or more of the optional switches (for example, /root,), follow the last character in the string with a space, then two colons, then the GUID, like this:

explorer.exe /root, ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

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