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How to Open File Explorer Using Command Prompt on Windows 10

ritulsingh profile image Ritul Singh ・2 min read

While there are quicker ways to open File Explorer, you can use Command Prompt to open the file manager in the current directory (or any other directory) in Windows 10. Here’s how.

Open File Explorer Using Command Prompt

To begin with, open Command Prompt on your PC by opening the "Start" menu, composing "cmd" in the Windows Search bar, at that point choosing "Order Prompt" from the list items.

CMD

Command Prompt will now open. Here, run the following command to open the File Explorer:

cmd

The . in the command represents the current directory in the command prompt. This command will open the folder in File Explorer that reflects that directory.
To open the parent folder of the current directory, run this command instead:

start ..

CMD

The parent folder of the current directory will now open in File Explorer.

You can keep going back in the directory by appending a backslash and two periods. For example, we’re currently in the “C Program” folder in Command Prompt. Running start .... will open the “D drive” folder in File Explorer—a folder two levels up from the current directory in Command Prompt.

cmd

Open a Specific Folder in File Explorer Using Command Prompt

You can change directories in Command Prompt by using the cd command and running the start . command once in the desired directory to open that folder in File Explorer. However, you can also open any folder in File Explorer by running the start command, followed by the path of the folder you’d like to open.

For example, in our current directory, C:\Users\Ritul Singh, we want to open the Documents folder in File Explorer, which is just one level down. To do so, we’d run the following command:

start Documents

cmd

Discussion (1)

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leob profile image
leob

Used this trick a lot long ago back when I used Windows ... the equivalent on Mac (OSX) is to type "open ." on the command prompt :-)