The EXPLORER command in Windows CMD opens a new instance of the Windows File Explorer. This utility helps users manage files and folders by providing a graphical interface for navigating, opening, and managing filesystem resources. It can be used effectively for automation scripts in system setups, quickly accessing predefined paths, or integrating with other command-line tools to enhance file management.


The basic syntax for the EXPLORER command is as follows:

  • path – Optional. Specifies the path that File Explorer opens to. If no path is provided, File Explorer opens to the default view (usually Quick access).


EXPLORER command comes with various options that help manage its behavior:

  • /n, new_window – Opens a new single-pane window for the default selection. This is usually the root of the drive Windows is installed on.

  • /e, new_window – Opens File Explorer in “My Computer” view with all drives visible.

  • /root, object – Opens a window view at the specified object, which can be any folder or drive.

  • /select, object – Opens a window view with the specified folder or file selected.

These flags can be combined to fine-tune the behavior of File Explorer. Typically, /e and /root are combined to specify a folder that will be expanded upon opening.


Here are a few examples of how to use the EXPLORER command:

  1. Open File Explorer to the Documents folder:

    EXPLORER C:\Users\username\Documents
  2. Open File Explorer in a new window with F drive expanded:

    EXPLORER /e, /root, F:\
  3. Select a specific file in File Explorer:

    EXPLORER /select, C:\path\to\file.txt

Common Issues

  • Path Not Found: If the specified path does not exist, File Explorer will still open, but might show an error or the closest valid directory. Ensure that the paths used in scripts are correct and exist on the system.

  • Incorrect Syntax: Using flags incorrectly can lead to unexpected behavior. Always check the flag syntax if the command doesn’t perform as expected.


EXPLORER can easily be integrated with other CMD commands or scripts to automate tasks. For example, after a batch script creates a report file, it might use the EXPLORER command to open the directory containing the report:

mkdir reports
echo "Example Report" > reports\example.txt
EXPLORER /select, reports\example.txt
  • DIR – Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
  • CD – Changes the current directory.
  • MKDIR – Creates a directory.

For further information and troubleshooting, Microsoft’s official documentation on File Explorer and command-line utilities can be useful resources.