Shell commands in Windows 8.1

There are lots of shell commands in Windows, that you can access by typing shell:<SomeFriendlyName> into the "Run" dialog or the Start menu/screen's search box. In most cases, these shell commands open some system folder or Control panel applet. For example, you can access the Startup folder quickly, if you type the following in the Run dialog:


These commands can also show some hidden secret features like the two so called "God Mode" folders  - All Tasks and All Settings. Today I would like to share with you the exclusive list of the shell commands in Windows 8.1 RTM. It is the most complete list and includes every single command that exists in Microsoft's latest OS. 


Shell CommandWhat will open
shell:AccountPicturesAccount Pictures
shell:AddNewProgramsFolderAdd New Programs folder
shell:Administrative ToolsAdministrative Tools
shell:Application ShortcutsC:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts
shell:AppsFolderThe virtual folder which stores all installed Modern apps
shell:AppUpdatesFolderThe "Installed Updates" Control panel item
shell:CacheIE's cache folder (Temporary Internet Files)
shell:Camera RollCamera Roll
shell:CD BurningTemporary Burn Folder
shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolderThe "Uninstall a program" Control panel item
shell:Common Administrative ToolsThe Administrative Tools folder for all users
shell:Common AppDataThe C:\ProgramData folder (%ProgramData%)
shell:Common DesktopPublic Desktop
shell:Common DocumentsPublic Documents
shell:Common ProgramsAll Users Programs, which are part of Start menu. Still used by the Start screen
shell:Common Start MenuAll Users Start Menu folder, same as above
shell:Common StartupThe Startup folder, used for all users
shell:Common TemplatesSame as above, but used for new documents templates, e.g. by Microsoft Office
shell:CommonDownloadsPublic Downloads
shell:CommonMusicPublic Music
shell:CommonPicturesPublic Pictures
shell:CommonVideoPublic Videos
shell:ConflictFolderThe Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Conflicts item
shell:ConnectionsFolderThe Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network Connections item
shell:ContactsContacts folder (Address book)
shell:ControlPanelFolderControl Panel
shell:CookiesThe folder with IE's cookies
shell:CSCFolderThis folder is broken in Windows 8/7, provides access to the Offline files item
shell:Device Metadata StoreC:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore
shell:DocumentsLibraryDocuments library
shell:DownloadsDownloads folder
shell:GamesThe Games Explorer item
shell:HistoryC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History, IE's browsing history
shell:HomeGroupCurrentUserFolderThe Home Group folder for the current user
shell:HomeGroupFolderThe Home Group root folder
shell:ImplicitAppShortcutsC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\ImplicitAppShortcuts
shell:InternetFolderThis shell command will start Internet Explorer
shell:LinksThe "Favorites" folder from the Explorer navigation pane.
shell:Local AppDataC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local
shell:LocalizedResourcesDirThis shell folder is broken since Windows 8 RTM
shell:MAPIFolderRepresents the Microsoft Outlook folder
shell:MusicLibraryMusic Library
shell:My MusicThe "My Music" folder (not the Library)
shell:My PicturesThe "My Pictures" folder (not the Library)
shell:My VideoThe "My Videos" folder (not the Library)
shell:MyComputerFolderComputer/Drives view
shell:NetHoodC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
shell:NetworkPlacesFolderThe Network Places folder which shows computers and devices on your network
shell:OEM LinksThis shell command does nothing on my Windows 8.1 RTM
shell:Original ImagesSame as above
shell:PersonalThe "My Documents" folder (not the Library)
shell:PhotoAlbumsSaved slideshows, seems to have not been implemented yet
shell:PicturesLibraryPictures Library
shell:PlaylistsStores WMP Playlists
shell:PrintersFolderThe classic "Printers" folder (not 'Devices and Printers')
shell:PrintHoodC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
shell:ProfileThe User profile folder
shell:ProgramFilesProgram Files
shell:ProgramFilesCommonC:\Program Files\Common Files
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX64C:\Program Files\Common Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesX64C:\Program Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesX86C:\Program Files (x86) - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramsC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs (Per-user Start Menu Programs folder)
shell:Quick LaunchC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
shell:RecentThe "Recent Items" folder (Recent Documents)
shell:RecordedTVLibraryThe "Recorded TV" Library
shell:RecycleBinFolderThe Recycle Bin folder
shell:ResourceDirC:\Windows\Resources where visual styles are stored
shell:Roamed Tile ImagesDoes not work. Probably reserved for future.
shell:Roaming TilesC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\RoamingTiles
shell:SavedGamesSaved Games
shell:ScreenshotsThe folder for Win+Print Screen screenshots
shell:SearchesSaved Searches
shell:SearchHomeFolderWindows Search UI
shell:SendToThe folder with items that you can see in the "Send to" menu
shell:SkyDriveThe SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDriveCameraRollThe Camera Roll images folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDriveDocumentsThe Documents folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDrivePicturesThe Pictures folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:Start MenuC:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu (Per-user Start Menu folder)
shell:StartupPer-user Startup folder
shell:SyncCenterFolderControl Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center
shell:SyncResultsFolderControl Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Sync Results
shell:SyncSetupFolderControl Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Sync Setup
shell:SystemX86C:\Windows\SysWOW64 -Windows x64 only
shell:ThisPCDesktopFolderThe Desktop folder
shell:User PinnedPinned items for Taskbar and Start screen, C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned
shell:UserProfilesC:\Users, the users folder where the user profiles are stored
shell:UsersFilesFolderThe current user profile
shell:VideosLibraryVideos library

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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