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 Command Description
shell:AccountPictures Account Pictures
shell:AddNewProgramsFolder The "Get Programs" Control panel item
shell:Administrative Tools Administrative Tools
shell:AppData Same as %appdata%, the c:\user\<username>\appdata\roaming folder
shell:Application Shortcuts Opens the folder which stores all Modern apps 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: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 Public Ringtones folder
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 in Windows 8
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 Retail edition. Maybe it works with OEM Windows 8 editions.
shell:Original Images Not functional on Windows 8
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:ProgramFilesCommonX86 C:\Program Files (x86)\Common 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 Recycle Bin
shell:ResourceDir C:\Windows\Resources where visual styles are stored
shell:Ringtones C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones
shell:Roamed Tile Images Is not implemented yet. 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:SearchHomeFolder Windows Search UI
shell:SendTo The folder with items that you can see in the "Send to" menu
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: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 Not implemented yet. Reserved for future.
shell:UserProgramFilesCommon same as above
shell:UsersFilesFolder The current user profile
shell:UsersLibrariesFolder Libraries
shell:VideosLibrary Videos 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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