RAW Computing

Weird things you can search for in Windows

In Windows 7, click the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen and it displays the Start menu. At the bottom of the menu is a search box. In Windows 8 pressing any key on the Start screen jumps to the search facility.

In both cases it is actually more than a box for entering search terms and you can type all sorts of things into it. What sort of things, well, suppose you want to see what is in the Windows temporary files folder and clear it out. Just click Start and type %temp% in Windows 7 or simply type it into the Start screen in Windows 8. Windows Explorer opens and displays the Windows Temp folder. Try typing shell:CommonMusic and Explorer opens and displays the C:\Users\Public\Music folder. There are lots of these weird commands and here are a few more to try.

shell:Libraries
shell:MusicLibrary
shell:VideosLibrary
shell:OtherUsersFolder
shell:Device Metadata Store
shell:RecordedTVLibrary
shell:UserProgramFiles
shell:DocumentsLibrary
shell:User Pinned
shell:PublicSuggestedLocations
shell:SuggestedLocations
shell:UsersLibrariesFolder
shell:PicturesLibrary
shell:Common Programs
shell:GameTasks
shell:UserProfiles
shell:MyComputerFolder
shell:SyncSetupFolder
shell:DpapiKeys
shell:ImplicitAppShortcuts
shell:UserProgramFilesCommon
shell:Ringtones
shell:CommonRingtones
shell:SamplePlaylists
shell:Favorites
shell:SyncResultsFolder
shell:LocalizedResourcesDir
shell:Cookies
shell:My Video
shell:SearchHomeFolder
shell:System
shell:CommonVideo
shell:Original Images
shell:CommonMusic
shell:My Pictures
shell:AppData
shell:SyncCenterFolder
shell:My Music
shell:Cache
shell:Downloads
shell:CommonDownloads
shell:ConflictFolder
shell:SavedGames
shell:InternetFolder
shell:Quick Launch
shell:Start Menu
shell:Common AppData
shell:PhotoAlbums
shell:ConnectionsFolder
shell:Administrative Tools
shell:SystemCertificates
shell:Contacts
shell:TreePropertiesFolder
  
shell:Profile
shell:PrintersFolder
shell:Default Gadgets
shell:ProgramFilesX86
shell:Searches
shell:Common Startup
shell:ControlPanelFolder
shell:SampleVideos
shell:SendTo
shell:PrintHood
shell:MAPIFolder
shell:CD Burning
shell:AppUpdatesFolder
shell:Common Start Menu
shell:LocalAppDataLow
shell:Templates
shell:Gadgets
shell:Programs
shell:ResourceDir
shell:ProgramFiles
shell:CredentialManager
shell:Recent
shell:SampleMusic
shell:Desktop
shell:CommonPictures
shell:RecycleBinFolder
shell:CryptoKeys
shell:Common Templates
shell:Startup
shell:Links
shell:OEM Links
shell:SamplePictures
shell:Common Desktop
shell:NetHood
shell:Games
shell:Common Administrative Tools
shell:Playlists
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86
shell:PublicGameTasks
shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder
shell:Public
shell:Common Documents
shell:CSCFolder
shell:Local AppData
shell:Windows
shell:UsersFilesFolder
shell:ProgramFilesCommon
shell:NetworkPlacesFolder
shell:SystemX86
shell:History
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder
shell:Fonts
shell:Personal

Many of these work and open special folders on the disk drive, but some appear to do nothing. Try them and see.

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