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Set default folders for opening & saving filesin Windows XP?

Nov 11, 2008 7:03AM PST

I'm running Windows XP Media Center Edition with SP3.

Wondering how to change the default folders when I'm saving and opening files.

For instance, when I open notepad then click "open," the default folder it goes to to is the Fonts folder. I do use the fonts folder quite a lot for adding new fonts, but I never want to access it from Notepad. Usually when I am using Notepad I want to open a text file in the MyDocuments folder.

Similarly, when I try to save a brand new file that was created with Notepad, it assumes I want to save to the Fonts folder (which, of course I never do!).

When I right-click to save an image from the web, it prompts me to save it in the My Pictures folder. The only thing I keep in My Pictures is personal photos, however; most of the other photos are in a subfolder of My Documents.

How do I set the default folders for these actions?

I spend so much useless time clicking to get to the right folder & would really like to streamline this process. I'm a webdesigner and create & save many files each day.

all best,

Discussion is locked

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Can't be done
Nov 11, 2008 7:37AM PST

Can't be done. This is just one of those little side effects of every program using the same set of open/save dialog boxes.

If you upgraded to Vista, while it still does the same thing, they stole one of the better ideas from Mac OS X, and you can put shortcuts to commonly accessed directories on the left side. In XP you only have a couple of hard coded options like My Computer, My Documents, etc. Vista lets you make your own list. It's also quite a bit easier to go up a few levels in the directory tree compared to the Win95-XP method. The amount of time these things could save you might be worth the cost of a Vista upgrade. Something to think about.

Anyway, as a web developer, you have my condolences if you have to make your sites work in IE. I do the odd bit of freelance web design, and getting a page to work in Opera, Firefox, and Safari is no problem at all... Getting it to also work in IE is something that would have the Dalai Lama losing his temper.

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Editing Default XP Open/Close Folders
Nov 13, 2008 12:39AM PST

Really strange that this can't be done.

Because, Windows has actually reassigned the default folder from time to time - it hasn't always been the fonts folder. I've had this machine for just over a year, and at first, the default folder was My Documents. The it was HP Administrator. Now, it is Fonts. So, I figured if Windows can change this setting, there must be somewhere I can do it, too.

You said, "and you can put shortcuts to commonly accessed directories on the left side. In XP you only have a couple of hard coded options like My Computer, My Documents, etc."

Do you mean the Places Bar? By default the Places Bar lists Recent; Desktop; My Documents; My Computer; My Network. But it actually can be edited to include additional folders. Vista may make it easier, but it is possible in XP. (A Google search for something like "places bar edit XP" should turn up the procedure.)

I've done this, but it still is an extra step; I just want Windows to bypass that darn Fonts folder and open (or save to) a particular subfolder of MyDocuments instead.

Thanks for your help.
all best,

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Setting default folder.
Nov 13, 2008 3:42AM PST

For some programs it's My Documents or My Pictures, because it's programmed that way.

For others, it's the folder you last used, because it's programmed that way. Notepad, with me, behaves like this. The "start in this folder" in the shortcut in Start>Programs is %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH% which happens to be equal to my own My Documents, but File>Open defaults to the last folder I opened a file it.

And for some other programs it might always the folder from the shortcut. Easy to experiment with.


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Many 3rd Party Text Editors Offer Save Or Open Options
Nov 15, 2008 8:34AM PST

Instead of Notepad, I use another Text Editor (MultEdit) that offers convenient "Save To Folder" or "Open To Folder" options. MultiEdit, a Programmer's Editor, while not free, is not expensive; but, being a Programmer's editor, it may have more features than you need.
Maybe some free third-party Text Editors also offer similar options.

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my recent similar problem was electrical
Nov 15, 2008 9:37AM PST

This summer, I had a rash of sudden computer and monitor shutdowns, both my Gateway pc and a Mac G4. After much fiddling and investigating, I found that a good, clean electrical power source, good wires, cables and better power strips solved it.
I suspect that power companies, overuse of air conditioners, etc, and this old apartment building wiring were making the electricity that I was getting, marginal. I'm afraid of what this might do to sensitive equipment like computers, but they seem fine now.
Except one expensive monitor (an old 19" Trinitron) still shuts itself off as soon as a white browser window pops open... I have to power off, wait a bit, then power up and quickly move that big white area off the side. After it warms up, it's ok.

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Sorry, it got posted to the wrong thread...
Nov 15, 2008 9:39AM PST

Sorry, this reply posted to the wrong thread.
How do i move it? Or even edit it?

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No problem with Notepad.
Nov 15, 2008 1:23PM PST

Can't help you with default Save locatiosn for pictures, but for Notepad I have no problem. It wants to Save the new document where I created it.

How do you open Notepad? I go to where I want to creae the document, left click, select Text Document, then click on the new document.

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default Save locations
Nov 16, 2008 6:29AM PST

When i go to Save something, it points to the last place i saved a file of that type. I think that's convenient, because when i'm saving many things to the same place, they all automatically go there.

It does mean that you have to pay attention to the first Save, and when you change destinations, and when you change file types.