7 Ways to Bookmark Your Favorite Folders in Windows

Dan Price Updated 19-06-2020

The Windows file system can be complicated, with folders scattered all over the place and even buried deep under other, hidden folders. If you need quick access to a variety of folders scattered across your file system—or you just want easier access to one or two folders you frequently use—there are a variety of ways you can bookmark your favorite folders and make them more easily accessible.


Windows gives you different ways to do this, and that’s without even counting third-party file managers that offer their own ways to quickly access files. So, let’s look at a few different ways to bookmark folders on Windows 10.

1. Add Folders to Quick Access

quick access win 10

The easiest way to bookmark folder is by using the Quick Access feature in File Explorer. Locate the folder you want to bookmark, then either drag and drop it into the Quick Access section in the left-hand panel or right-click and select Pin to Quick Access.

You can rearrange your bookmarked folder by dragging and dropping them. To delete a bookmark, right-click on the listing and select Unpin from Quick Access.

Unfortunately, the Quick Access section starts to become inconvenient if you want to keep track of a large number of folders, as you can’t create subfolders to organize the list. The inability to pin files to the list is also inconvenient; it feels like an oversight on Microsoft’s part.


2. Use Windows Libraries

win 10 libraries

The Libraries feature was popular in Windows 7 and 8. Although it’s now a less prominent part of the operating system, the feature is still there and works the same way as always.

For those who don’t know, Libraries allow you to combine multiple folders into a single view. You can add new folders to the default libraries or create your own custom libraries containing as many folders as you like. This can be a good way to organize related folders in a single place.

To make Libraries visible in File Explorer, open the app and go to View > Navigation Pane > Show Libraries.


3. Pin Files and Folder to the Taskbar

excel pin file

The jump list feature in Windows allows you to “pin” recently used documents to an application’s taskbar icon, thus acting as an effective way to bookmark a file.

To pin a folder, drag and drop it onto the taskbar. You can also right-click the File Explorer shortcut on your taskbar, hover over a recently used folder, and click the pin icon to bookmark a folder.

When you want to access a pinned file or folder in the future, right-click the on the app’s icon on your taskbar and select the folder you want to access. This works whether the app in question is open or not.


4. Pin Items to the Start Menu

start folders win 10 settings app

For easy access to a folder, you could pin it to the Windows Start menu. It will appear in the list of tiles just as a Windows desktop application would.

To pin a file or folder to your Start menu on Windows 10, right-click on it and select Pin to Start from the context menu.

You can also choose which of the default Windows Library folders appear on the Start menu by heading to Settings > Personalization > Start > Choose Which Folders Appear on Start.


5. Create Shortcuts

create shortcut win 10

You could also keep track of your important folders by creating shortcuts to them. Just right-click the folder you want to create a shortcut of and select Create Shortcut. Double-clicking the shortcut will take you to the folder associated with the shortcut.

This approach can be useful if you just need easier access to a folder or two—you could create shortcuts and dump them in your user folder so they’d be easily accessible along with your documents, downloads, and other standard folders.

If you have more folders, you could create a hierarchical structure for all your shortcuts. In other words, you could have a Shortcuts folder containing subfolders for shortcuts related to Development, Communications, Games, and so on.

6. Download a Third-Party File Manager


Some third-party file managers have a bookmark menu for files and folders. They allow you to pin as many files/folders as you need and arrange them into different categories, or subfolders.

Some of the best third-party file managers for Windows 10 include XYplorer, Explorer++, and Directory Opus. To learn about the three apps in more detail, as well as some other options, make sure you check out our article on the best File Explorer alternatives and replacements The 7 Best Windows File Explorer Alternatives and Replacements Windows File Explorer isn't a great file manager for Windows. This article lists the best Windows File Explorer alternatives. Read More .

7. Bookmark Files and Folders in Your Browser

browser file explorer

If you’re like most people, you probably spend most of your computer time in a browser. You could, therefore, bookmark your favorite folders directly in your browser, so they’d be accessible from your browser toolbar.

You could even store shortcuts to your folders in your bookmark folders along with your bookmarked websites.

To start browsing your C: drive, type file:///c:/ into Chrome or Firefox’s address bar, and press Enter. You’ll see a special view where you can browse your file system.

You can’t do much with this by default—just view your files in your browser. If you want to add a folder to your browser bookmarks, navigate to it using the special view then add a bookmark in the usual way (CTRL + D in Chrome).

Other Ways to Manage Files and Folders in Windows 10

Keeping your data organized has lots of benefits. It’ll save you time, will place less strain on your computer’s power, and will make it easier to create backups.

Using bookmarks, shortcuts, and pinned items are only a few of the ways you can manage your files and folders in Windows 10. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep everything under control, make sure you check out our other articles on apps that can automatically organize your files for you and our list of ideas for managing all the files on your computer effectively Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas for Managing Your Computer Files It's frustrating isn’t it when you can’t find that file? When you’ve searched every folder imaginable on your computer, and somehow it got lost….or worse, deleted. Now, there are excellent search tools for Windows that... Read More .

Related topics: File Explorer, File Management, File System, Windows 10, Windows Tips.

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  1. Ben L
    February 24, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Didn't know about the IE tab extension! I like being able to manage files in the browser. Reminds me of Bookmark OS

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  23. Sastry Durvasula
    January 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks Chris, for your tips

  24. brparsley
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    Thanks. I've been looking for a way to do this for months.

  25. Passerby
    July 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Nice! I have been wondering for a while now about how to change the default folder of windows explorer in the task bar. I don't use library so it's kinda useless to have windows explorer point to it.

  26. Ellen O
    July 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for this! I did not know you could add stuff to Windows Explorer (which seems to be called "My Computer" on my desktop - maybe my computer guru renamed it that when he set up my system so that I'd know what it was!) Anyway, I just dragged my main "user" folder over to "Favorites" and voila - no more having to minimize everything to access it from the desktop or going through the whole decision tree starting with "C:" and moving on down. Plus I moved some stuff into the picture and music libraries.

    Seriously - it took me about five minutes to implement some of your suggestions and those five minutes will save TONS of time! THANKS!

  27. Adrian
    July 15, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I use the Taskbar Jump List a lot. But, in Windows 8.1 dragging a folder to the explorer icon on the taskbar no longer works. Hopefully this is a bug that will be fixed in the release version of 8.1.

  28. Victor O
    July 14, 2013 at 1:49 am

    If you put "explorer.exe" in front of a folder path, windows 7/8 allows you to pin it directly to the taskbar.

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    July 13, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Organization is KEY! I keep my computer tidy.

  30. Joe Perrin
    July 13, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I use an application called Listary for system wide, fast, easy access to favorite folders, applications and websites.

    It's worth a look.

    I'm not affiliated with Listary in any way. Just a very happy user of it :)

    • Midrik
      July 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Wow! Listary is awesome, thanks for the tip :)

    • Anton
      January 28, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      You guys should definitely try FilesMarker. You will be surprise enough, trust me ;)

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        Can't find Filesmarker, Listary is just awesome.