Change Places Bar Items in File Dialog in Windows 10

How to Change Places Bar Items in Common File Dialog in Windows 10

The common open file dialog is one of the classic controls available in Windows 10. It implements Open, Save, Import, and Export dialog boxes for plenty of apps, including built-in apps like Regedit.exe, and for a number of third-party apps.

Starting in Windows Vista, Microsoft has implemented a new version of the Open/Save dialog, along with a modern folder browser dialog. See the screenshot.

Modern Open Dialog

However, there are plenty of apps, both old and modern, which utilize the classic dialog. Even the built-in Registry editor is using it.

Places Bar

The classic Common File Dialog includes a Places bar on the left that allows quickly accessing the locations like Desktop, Quick Access, Libraries, This PC etc. If you worked with Windows XP, you must be familiar with such dialog boxes.

Unfortunately, the classic file dialog doesn't allow customizing the Places bar with the GUI. Having the ability to replace its default location could make it more useful. Luckily, this can be done with either Registry tweak or Group Policy.

There is a variety of items you can specify as a Common Places Bar location, e.g.

  • A file or a folder,
  • A network location like a \\shared\folder,
  • And even a shell command!

Here is the default places bar items in Windows 10:

Windows 10 Default Common File Dialog

These I have added manually:

Windows 10 Custom Common File Dialog

Let's see how it can be done.

To Change Places Bar Items in File Dialog in Windows 10,

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\comdlg32\Placesbar.
    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click. If you do not have such a key, then just create it.
  3. Here, create five string values named Place0, Place1, Place2, Place3, or Place4. Item numbers (0-4) correspond the Places Bar icons in order from top to bottom, respectively.
  4. Set the values to the path to new locations you want to have in the Places bar.Windows 10 Change Common File Dialog Locations
  5. To restore a single default item, remove the appropriate Place0, Place1, ..., Place4 value.
  6. To restore all the default locations, remove all the PlaceX values from the Registry.
  7. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in again to your user account.

You are done!

If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.

Disable Places Bar in File Dialog using Group Policy

  1. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:
    gpedit.msc

    Press Enter.Windows 10 run gpedit

  2. In Group Policy Editor,  go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer > Common Open File Dialog.Group Policy Places Bar 1
  3. Enable the policy option Items displayed in Places Bar.Common File Dialog Policy
  4. Under Places to display, specify the new locations from 1 to 5 items to show in the Places Bar. Windows 10 Customize Common File Dialog Policy
  5. Click Apply and OK.

You are done!

To undo the changes you made, just set the mentioned policy to Not configured.

That's it!

3 thoughts on “Change Places Bar Items in File Dialog in Windows 10

  1. Zero

    Thanks for the info. I have a question: If I want another location like “D:\Downloads” would it be like that, or do I have to put it another way?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You can directly type D:\Downloads as the location path.

      Reply
      1. Zero

        Thanks, I never use those accesses when the classic dialog comes out, except the desktop.

        Reply

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