The full list of shell commands in Windows 8

Earlier, we have covered the most comprehensive list of shell locations by their Class ID which you can use to create a shortcut to the specific shell location for quick access. Today I am going to share the list of shell commands using their friendly name. Although these are implemented by the same ActiveX objects, you will notice that not every shell location with a CLSID has a user friendly alias. For example, 'Devices and Printers', the one with the shell:::{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A} CLSID has no friendly-name equivalent.

In the general case, a shell command looks like this:

shell:Friendly Folder Name

For example,

  • shell:SendTo - the folder with items that you see in the "Send to" menu
  • shell:Desktop - the Desktop folder, and so on.

Read the the full list below of such commands in Windows 8.


Shell CommandDescription
shell:AccountPicturesAccount Pictures
shell:AddNewProgramsFolderThe "Get Programs" Control panel item
shell:Administrative ToolsAdministrative Tools
shell:AppDataSame as %appdata%, the c:\user\<username>\appdata\roaming folder
shell:Application ShortcutsOpens the folder which stores all Modern apps 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: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:CommonRingtonesPublic Ringtones folder
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 in Windows 8
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 Retail edition. Maybe it works with OEM Windows 8 editions.
shell:Original ImagesNot functional on Windows 8
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:ProgramFilesCommonX86C:\Program Files (x86)\Common 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:RecycleBinFolderRecycle Bin
shell:ResourceDirC:\Windows\Resources where visual styles are stored
shell:Roamed Tile ImagesIs not implemented yet. 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: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: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:UserProgramFilesNot implemented yet. Reserved for future.
shell:UserProgramFilesCommonsame as above
shell:UsersFilesFolderThe current user profile
shell:VideosLibraryVideos Library
shell:Windows C:\Windows


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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.

2 thoughts on “The full list of shell commands in Windows 8”

  1. shell:SystemCertificates – Instead of “C:\Users\winaero\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SystemCertificates” it should be “C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SystemCertificates”

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