How to Create Custom Shortcuts in Windows File Dialog Box

One of the commonly used feature in Windows is the File Dialog box. It is mainly used when you Open and/or Save any file through a program in Windows operating system. The File dialog box comes in two different forms in Windows. The first one has the nice tree view with all locations like Favorites, My Computer, Network Locations etc. And the other type is kinda traditional which has only five selected location in the Places bar; they are Recent Places, Desktop, Libraries, My Computer and Network. The interesting thing is that you can add shortcut to your suitable folders’ location at the Places bar. Here is how to add custom shortcuts to File Dialog Box in Windows.
Windows-default-file-dialog-box

Adding Custom Shortcuts in File Dialog Box

Before you start, make sure to keep a fresh backup of the Windows Registry, as this tutorial is about to deal with registry keys and values. Any mistake or misconfiguration may result in unresponsive or corrupted system.
Adding the custom shortcuts in the traditional Windows file dialog box is fairly easy. All you need is to create some new keys and string values in your registry file through the Windows inbuilt registry editor.
To open the Registry Editor, press Win + R and type “regedit” without the quotes in the run command box and hit the Enter key.
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-run-command
Once it opens the Registry Editor, navigate to the following path from the left sidebar of it.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-policies
Now, it is time to create couple of nested keys under the Policies folder in order to place custom shortcuts in Places bar of Windows File Dialog Box. Right-click on the Policies key and select “New” from the context menu and give the name of the new key as “comdlg32”.
file-dialog-box-custom-shortcut-create-new-key
Similarly, right-click on the newly created “comdlg32” key and create another key with the name of “Placesbar”. Keep the latest created key selected. This is what you see in your Registry editor.
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-Placesbar-key
Now, you need to create new strings in order to place the shortcuts. To do so, right-click on the empty space at the right pane and choose New > String Value from the context menu.
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-create-new-string-value
Give the name of the new string value as “Place0”. The number in the name suggests that it will be the first shortcut in the traditional file dialog box.
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-new-string-name-place0
Now, you need to enter the path of your folder for the shortcut. Double-click the newly created string value and put the folder patt at the “Value data” box, for instance “D:\myFolder” (without the quotes).
file-dialog-box-custom-shortcut-add-value-data-for-place0
You can add as many shortcuts as you like in the File Dialog box by this manner. You can see that we have created another string value named as “Place1” with the “Value data” as “F:\myImportantFiles”. Hence the respective path of the folder appears as the second shortcut in the file dialog. You are free to create as many string value as you wish and put respective paths for the shortcuts.
file-dialog-custom-shortcut-new-string-name-place1
Once you’re completed with the above tasks, all the old shortcuts will be removed with the new ones. Here is how does it look like in my computer.
Add-custom-shortcuts-in-Windows-File-Dialog-Box
That’s it.

How to Revert Windows File Dialog Box to its Default Mode

Reverting to the default File Dialog Box is much easier than the above task. Just delete the newly created keys from the registry and you’re done.
Hope this simple registry hack helps you manage your important locations in fewer clicks. Have anything to add to this story? Do share with us in the comment section.

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