Windows Shell Aliases


Shell Aliases

Shell aliases allow you to navigate to special folders on Windows. They can be used in the Windows explorer, the start menu, and the Run dialog. For example, open the run dialog (Win+R) and type shell:personal and hit enter. Windows explorer will open in your Documents directory.

A complete list of these folders can be found in the following registry key:

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HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions

To enumerate their names and the relative path you can run the following PowerShell script:

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Get-ChildItem HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions | 
ForEach-Object { 
    New-Object `
        -TypeName psobject `
        -Prop (@{ RelativePath = $_.GetValue('RelativePath'); Name = $_.GetValue('Name') }) 
} | 
Sort-Object -Property Name |
Format-Table Name,RelativePath

The available commands varies depending on your version of Windows. On my system (Windows 10 Pro) the above script produces the following list:

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Name                        RelativePath                                        
----                        -------                                        
3D Objects                  3D Objects                                     
AccountPictures             Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures              
AddNewProgramsFolder                                                       
Administrative Tools        Administrative Tools                           
AppData                     AppData\Roaming                                
AppDataDesktop              Desktop                                        
AppDataDocuments            Documents                                      
AppDataFavorites            Favorites                                      
AppDataProgramData          ProgramData                                    
Application Shortcuts       Microsoft\Windows\Application Shortcuts        
AppMods                     AppMods                                        
AppsFolder                                                                 
AppUpdatesFolder                                                           
Cache                       Microsoft\Windows\INetCache                    
Camera Roll                 Camera Roll                                    
CameraRollLibrary           CameraRoll.library-ms                          
Captures                    Captures                                       
CD Burning                  Microsoft\Windows\Burn\Burn                    
ChangeRemoveProgramsFolder                                                 
Common Administrative Tools Administrative Tools                           
Common AppData                                                             
Common Desktop              Desktop                                        
Common Documents            Documents                                      
Common Programs             Programs                                       
Common Start Menu           Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu                   
Common Start Menu Places    Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places            
Common Startup              StartUp                                        
Common Templates            Microsoft\Windows\Templates                    
CommonDownloads             Downloads                                      
CommonMusic                 Music                                          
CommonPictures              Pictures                                       
CommonRingtones             Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones                    
CommonVideo                 Videos                                         
ConflictFolder                                                             
ConnectionsFolder                                                          
Contacts                    Contacts                                       
ControlPanelFolder                                                         
Cookies                     Microsoft\Windows\INetCookies                  
CredentialManager                                                          
CryptoKeys                                                                 
CSCFolder                                                                  
Desktop                     Desktop                                        
Development Files           DevelopmentFiles                               
Device Metadata Store       Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore          
DocumentsLibrary            Documents.library-ms                           
Downloads                   Downloads                                      
DpapiKeys                                                                  
Favorites                   Favorites                                      
Fonts                                                                      
GameTasks                   Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer                 
History                     Microsoft\Windows\History                      
HomeGroupCurrentUserFolder                                                 
HomeGroupFolder                                                            
ImplicitAppShortcuts        ImplicitAppShortcuts                           
InternetFolder                                                             
Libraries                   Microsoft\Windows\Libraries                    
Links                       Links                                          
Local AppData               AppData\Local                                  
Local Documents             Documents                                      
Local Downloads             Downloads                                      
Local Music                 Music                                          
Local Pictures              Pictures                                       
Local Videos                Videos                                         
LocalAppDataLow             AppData\LocalLow                               
LocalizedResourcesDir                                                      
MAPIFolder                                                                 
MusicLibrary                Music.library-ms                               
My Music                    Music                                          
My Pictures                 Pictures                                       
My Video                    Videos                                         
MyComputerFolder                                                           
NetHood                     Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts            
NetworkPlacesFolder                                                        
OEM Links                   OEM Links                                      
OneDrive                    OneDrive                                       
OneDriveCameraRoll          Camera Roll                                    
OneDriveDocuments           Documents                                      
OneDriveMusic               Music                                          
OneDrivePictures            Pictures                                       
Original Images             Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Original Images
Personal                    Documents                                      
PhotoAlbums                 Slide Shows                                    
PicturesLibrary             Pictures.library-ms                            
Playlists                   Playlists                                      
PrintersFolder                                                             
PrintHood                   Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts            
Profile                                                                    
ProgramFiles                                                               
ProgramFilesCommon                                                         
ProgramFilesCommonX64                                                      
ProgramFilesCommonX86                                                      
ProgramFilesX64                                                            
ProgramFilesX86                                                            
Programs                    Programs                                       
Public                                                                     
PublicAccountPictures       AccountPictures                                
PublicGameTasks             Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer                 
PublicLibraries             Libraries                                      
Quick Launch                Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch       
Recent                      Microsoft\Windows\Recent                       
Recorded Calls              Recorded Calls                                 
RecordedTVLibrary           RecordedTV.library-ms                          
RecycleBinFolder                                                           
ResourceDir                                                                
Retail Demo                 Microsoft\Windows\RetailDemo                   
Ringtones                   Microsoft\Windows\Ringtones                    
Roamed Tile Images          Microsoft\Windows\RoamedTileImages             
Roaming Tiles               Microsoft\Windows\RoamingTiles                 
SavedGames                  Saved Games                                    
SavedPictures               Saved Pictures                                 
SavedPicturesLibrary        SavedPictures.library-ms                       
Screenshots                 Screenshots                                    
Searches                    Searches                                       
SearchHistoryFolder         Microsoft\Windows\ConnectedSearch\History      
SearchHomeFolder                                                           
SearchTemplatesFolder       Microsoft\Windows\ConnectedSearch\Templates    
SendTo                      Microsoft\Windows\SendTo                       
Start Menu                  Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu                   
Startup                     StartUp                                        
SyncCenterFolder                                                           
SyncResultsFolder                                                          
SyncSetupFolder                                                            
System                                                                     
SystemCertificates                                                         
SystemX86                                                                  
Templates                   Microsoft\Windows\Templates                    
ThisDeviceFolder                                                           
ThisPCDesktopFolder         Desktop                                        
User Pinned                 User Pinned                                    
UserProfiles                                                               
UserProgramFiles            Programs                                       
UserProgramFilesCommon      Common                                         
UsersFilesFolder                                                           
UsersLibrariesFolder                                                       
VideosLibrary               Videos.library-ms                              
Windows                                                                    

The first column gives the name of the shell command, so for example the first entry has name AccountPictures and the corresponding shell command is shell:AccountPictures.

Note that some of the names include a space and this must also be present in the shell command, for example the name My Video becomes the shell command shell:My Video.