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How to reopen folders during startup on Windows 10

On Windows 10, if you usually work with the same set of folders, instead of having to reopen them manually every time you sign into your account, you can enable an option that allows File Explorer to remember and resume your opened folders at startup automatically.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the easy steps to configure File Explorer to reopen the previous folder windows during startup to quickly get back to the files you're working.

How to restore previous folder session in File Explorer

To enable File Explorer to remember and open the previous folder session, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer (Windows key + E).
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Click the Options button.

  1. Click the View tab.
  2. Under "Advanced settings," check the Restore previous folder windows at logon option.

  1. Click the Apply button.
  2. Click the OK button.

Once you've completed the steps, the next time you restart your device, your previous folder session will reopen automatically during startup.

We're focusing this guide on Windows 10, but you can use the same instructions to restore your previous folders on Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and older versions of the OSd.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

9 Comments
  • Omigosh, that is absolutely the LAST thing I want to have happen! When I shut things down, I want EVERYTHING shut down. That would be a nightmare, having a bunch of stuff popping back up on my screen after logging in. Sheesh.
  • LOL
  • I bet it would be a funny prank though 🤣.
  • That wouldn't be a problem for me because I manually close everything before shutting down. It's kinda annoying to see the "These apps are preventing restart" screen.
  • Interestingly this was a default feature in Windows 95 to help get users more used to an "object orientated UI". Because it caused annoyance and confusion, they turned it into an option in later versions of Windows and turned it off by default.
  • I always turn it back on. I want all my work folders ready when I boot up my Windows.
  • How about saving the locations of the various open Windows on the screen? Every freaking day I have to spend time placing my many many open folder Windows on the screens (3 monitors) where I want them. !
  • With that option the windows reopen exactly where they were.
  • I remember Windows 2000 used to do this by default. I always found it weird.