Windows 10: Shortcuts to Folders/Files in Start Menu Search Box

  1.    15 Sep 2015 #1

    Shortcuts to Folders/Files in Start Menu Search Box


    Hi everyone,

    I don't know if this option even exists, but it's worth a try:

    When I Installed Win 10, if I wanted to quickly access one of those 6 Win 10 PC 'Folders' (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos), I would just had to type in the folder in the start menu search box, press Enter and it would access the folder.
    As soon as I changed the folders' original location, this 'typing shortcut' did not work anymore.

    My question is if any of you know how to solve this "problem"?
    Or generally - is it even possible to make typing shortcuts to folders or files in the search box? (i.e typing "x" for a specific folder named "y")

    Thank you,
    Ed
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Sep 2015 #2
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    16 Sep 2015 #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you for the quick response.
    This is not exactly what I meant. Cortana is supported in my region, Thus I use File Explorer only.

    I wanted to set abbreviations to specific folders or files in the File Explorer. For example, if I have a folder named "Downloads" that's located in drive M:\, I could just need to type "down" in the File explorer in order it to understand that I wanted to access this specific folder.
    Here is an example of what i mean:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and here is the situation now:
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    16 Sep 2015 #4

    Hi, the search box is Cortana's - you can see this is you rt click the task bar, hide/show it you have to go to 'Cortana'. Thus I'm puzzled about your comment that you only use file explorer.

    If you only want to use file explorer, then you can use 'Quick Access' (= 'favourites'). For example, if you rt click a folder in explorer, you should see 'Pin to Quick Access'. That adds a link in Quick Access. (But it doesn't offer an opportunity to rename it, so 'Downloads' was already in Quick Access, and pinning 'Downloads' on a different partition simply duplicated the name (!) - maybe there's some way round that...

    Personally having now tried the method in my previous post, although the search listed some folders, it certainly didn't show the one I wanted, and I would never consider trying to use it in practice, being a generalised search with multiple steps and therefore inconvenient.

    I use File Box Extender, which adds buttons to title bars in explorer and many (but not all) file browse dialogues, one being a drop-down list of favourites. Thus it's not unique to explorer. Two clicks and I'm there, assuming explorer is open.

    You might like to explore, say, Classic Shell, which includes an indexed search (I've not tried using the search myself yet, but use Classic Shell).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    16 Sep 2015 #5

    By the way, I note you've only 3 icons on the side of the pop-up search box- when that happened to me, Cortana wasn't working properly. Normally there are five. Try checking location is working (Click the notification icon in the tray and in Action Centre (aah- can't they use consistent terms?) inspect the Location tile at the bottom and make sure it's not shaded out).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    16 Sep 2015 #6

    Hi Ed08, I think I've found what you're look for. Maybe. I was looking for sthg else entirely...
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places

    These are shortcuts that the Cortana search box finds easily, the ones you found initially.
    Perhaps- you'd have to try it- you can create more shortcuts here to point to your new folders.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Sep 2015 #7

    Thank you again, dalchina, for you help!
    First of all, I fixed the issue with Cortana, and now it works.
    Secondly, I tried to create few shortcuts in the folder you mentioned and Cortana still couldn't find it in the search box.
    I was searching for more solutions and found a thread about what I was looking for, though it did not work for me:

    How to give cortana extra commands(kind of) / open your programs. | Se7enSins Gaming Community

    Maybe you can figure something out of it.
    Thank you again,
    Ed
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    17 Sep 2015 #8

    Hi, great you managed to fix Cortana- that can be difficult. Far too fragile- early stage for Win 10.

    How to give cortana extra commands(kind of) / open your programs. | Se7enSins Gaming Community
    is this:
    Consider the old start menu folders in Win 7/8 and earlier. One of them is the folder mentioned in that article. So all that's happening is Cortana is finding things in the old start menu folder, just like the search box in the start menu in previous windows editions.

    Now I upgraded and I had/have a LOT of programs installed. One of them is 7-zip. So if I type 7-zip in the search box, it finds it. So all that's happening is they are suggesting adding some unique string in the old start menu folder.
    =======================================

    Note that there seems to be a bug in the new start menu, and I've come across another post on this forum exploring what I also see. Thus not all folders in the old start menu are available via 'All apps' - only some. And where those folders in my start menu contained subfolders, those subfolder contents are stripped out and presented linearly. Thus if I look at one folder (which containtained the shortcut folders of many programs) in the Win 10 start menu, go to the arrow and view the contents, as I scan down, suddenly I see Help Help Help Help Help... (all the help shortcuts from various programs which were nicely contained in subfolders in the old start menu.

    Classic Shell presents these properly.

    What does this apparent major oversight mean for this approach? Well, if the folder is empty (New Win 10 install) then it will work fine. If the string you want to search for is unique, it will work fine. However the entry 'should' also appear in the Win 10 start menu All Apps listing. (Unless, because of the bug, it's not displayed!).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    17 Sep 2015 #9

    By the way, C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places appears to relate to
    'Choose which folders appear on Start' in settings (I've not confirmed this).

    Hmm, MS seems to have made a right mess of this with a very limited conception of what they thought a start menu should be and no testing or consideration of how start menu shortcuts inherited in an upgrade would be presented.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    18 Sep 2015 #10

    What I did at the end is using the instructions at the link above and making .bat file, named "Downloads". Inside the file I put in: "explorer " and the name of the directory that I want to open by the .bat file (i.e "explorer M:\Downloads").
    It worked!
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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