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Restoring Open Folders on Restart

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 by | Filed Under: Windows Explorer

What was I doing? This is a question all too often facing me when I fire up the computer (or get up from the couch, start the car, or…well, you get the picture). Unfortunately, only a solution to the computer thing was found, so confusion still reigns on the other issues.

Windows offers a method to automatically return to a location in the computer on restart, reopening folders from earlier work sessions. Of course, this can also be a help to those not suffering from memory lapses, but who just want to return to where they were at the end of their last session. A couple of keystrokes and mouse clicks is all it takes to set it up.

Open Windows Explorer. A quick way to do that is to hold the Windows key and tap the E key (Win+E). Or, just click on Documents, Computer, etc. from the Start menu.

From the Tools menu at the top of the Explorer window, select Folder Options. In Vista or Windows 7, if the Tools menu isn’t visible, tapping the Alt key will bring it up temporarily. If you’d like Windows to permanently display this menu, please take a look at the tip, Setup Classic Menus in Vista and Windows 7.


Under the View tab, scroll down to Restore previous folder windows at logon and add a check mark.


Now, any folders that are open when the computer is shut down will reopen on startup. However, the following is an example (one of many) of “don’t do what Kevin does”. I have always manually closed everything before shutting down the computer. So, in testing this, restarting the computer didn’t reopen folders because, by force of habit, they’d been closed prior to shutting down. At first, I thought maybe a step had been missed. After a few minutes, the light bulb clicked on, and I realized that was not the case. Occasionally, stuff processes pretty slow with me, which may be why I so often find myself wondering, “What was I doing?”.


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