Shell commands in Windows 8.1

Shell Commands

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 Command What will open
shell:AccountPictures Account Pictures
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder Add New Programs folder
shell:Administrative Tools Administrative Tools
shell:AppData C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming
shell:Application Shortcuts C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts
shell:AppsFolder The virtual folder which stores all installed Modern apps
shell:AppUpdatesFolder The "Installed Updates" Control panel item
shell:Cache IE's cache folder (Temporary Internet Files)
shell:Camera Roll Camera Roll
shell:CD Burning Temporary Burn Folder
shell:ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder The "Uninstall a program" Control panel item
shell:Common Administrative Tools The Administrative Tools folder for all users
shell:Common AppData The C:\ProgramData folder (%ProgramData%)
shell:Common Desktop Public Desktop
shell:Common Documents Public Documents
shell:Common Programs All Users Programs, which are part of Start menu. Still used by the Start screen
shell:Common Start Menu All Users Start Menu folder, same as above
shell:Common Startup The Startup folder, used for all users
shell:Common Templates Same as above, but used for new documents templates, e.g. by Microsoft Office
shell:CommonDownloads Public Downloads
shell:CommonMusic Public Music
shell:CommonPictures Public Pictures
shell:CommonRingtones CommonRingtones
shell:CommonVideo Public Videos
shell:ConflictFolder The Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Conflicts item
shell:ConnectionsFolder The Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network Connections item
shell:Contacts Contacts folder (Address book)
shell:ControlPanelFolder Control Panel
shell:Cookies The folder with IE's cookies
shell:CredentialManager C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Credentials
shell:CryptoKeys C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Crypto
shell:CSCFolder This folder is broken in Windows 8/7, provides access to the Offline files item
shell:Desktop Desktop
shell:Device Metadata Store C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore
shell:DocumentsLibrary Documents library
shell:Downloads Downloads folder
shell:DpapiKeys C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Protect
shell:Favorites Favorites
shell:Fonts C:\Windows\Fonts
shell:Games The Games Explorer item
shell:GameTasks C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer
shell:History C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History, IE's browsing history
shell:HomeGroupCurrentUserFolder The Home Group folder for the current user
shell:HomeGroupFolder The Home Group root folder
shell:ImplicitAppShortcuts C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\ImplicitAppShortcuts
shell:InternetFolder This shell command will start Internet Explorer
shell:Libraries Libraries
shell:Links The "Favorites" folder from the Explorer navigation pane.
shell:Local AppData C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local
shell:LocalAppDataLow C:\Users\<username>\AppData\LocalLow
shell:LocalizedResourcesDir This shell folder is broken since Windows 8 RTM
shell:MAPIFolder Represents the Microsoft Outlook folder
shell:MusicLibrary Music Library
shell:My Music The "My Music" folder (not the Library)
shell:My Pictures The "My Pictures" folder (not the Library)
shell:My Video The "My Videos" folder (not the Library)
shell:MyComputerFolder Computer/Drives view
shell:NetHood C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
shell:NetworkPlacesFolder The Network Places folder which shows computers and devices on your network
shell:OEM Links This shell command does nothing on my Windows 8.1 RTM
shell:Original Images Same as above
shell:Personal The "My Documents" folder (not the Library)
shell:PhotoAlbums Saved slideshows, seems to have not been implemented yet
shell:PicturesLibrary Pictures Library
shell:Playlists Stores WMP Playlists
shell:PrintersFolder The classic "Printers" folder (not 'Devices and Printers')
shell:PrintHood C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
shell:Profile The User profile folder
shell:ProgramFiles Program Files
shell:ProgramFilesCommon C:\Program Files\Common Files
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX64 C:\Program Files\Common Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesCommonX86 C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesX64 C:\Program Files - for Windows x64
shell:ProgramFilesX86 C:\Program Files (x86) - for Windows x64
shell:Programs C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs (Per-user Start Menu Programs folder)
shell:Public C:\Users\Public
shell:PublicAccountPictures C:\Users\Public\AccountPictures
shell:PublicGameTasks C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer
shell:PublicLibraries C:\Users\Public\Libraries
shell:Quick Launch C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
shell:Recent The "Recent Items" folder (Recent Documents)
shell:RecordedTVLibrary The "Recorded TV" Library
shell:RecycleBinFolder The Recycle Bin folder
shell:ResourceDir C:\Windows\Resources where visual styles are stored
shell:Ringtones C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones
shell:Roamed Tile Images Does not work. Probably reserved for future.
shell:Roaming Tiles C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\RoamingTiles
shell:SavedGames Saved Games
shell:Screenshots The folder for Win+Print Screen screenshots
shell:Searches Saved Searches
shell:SearchHistoryFolder C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\ConnectedSearch\History
shell:SearchHomeFolder Windows Search UI
shell:SearchTemplatesFolder C:\Users\winaero\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\ConnectedSearch\Templates
shell:SendTo The folder with items that you can see in the "Send to" menu
shell:SkyDrive The SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDriveCameraRoll The Camera Roll images folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDriveDocuments The Documents folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:SkyDrivePictures The Pictures folder inside the SkyDrive folder
shell:Start Menu C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu (Per-user Start Menu folder)
shell:Startup Per-user Startup folder
shell:SyncCenterFolder Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center
shell:SyncResultsFolder Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Sync Results
shell:SyncSetupFolder Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Sync Center\Sync Setup
shell:System C:\Windows\System32
shell:SystemCertificates C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SystemCertificates
shell:SystemX86 C:\Windows\SysWOW64 -Windows x64 only
shell:Templates C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates
shell:ThisPCDesktopFolder The Desktop folder
shell:User Pinned Pinned items for Taskbar and Start screen, C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned
shell:UserProfiles C:\Users, the users folder where the user profiles are stored
shell:UserProgramFiles C:\Users\winaero\AppData\Local\Programs
shell:UserProgramFilesCommon C:\Users\winaero\AppData\Local\Programs\Common
shell:UsersFilesFolder The current user profile
shell:UsersLibrariesFolder Libraries
shell:VideosLibrary Videos library
shell:Windows C:\Windows

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!

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.

2 thoughts on “Shell commands in Windows 8.1”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Exit mobile version
Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.