File Explorer doesn’t include an option that groups multiple folders into a single shortcut. That would then enable you to open multiple folders simultaneously by clicking a File Explorer or desktop shortcut.
However, you can still set up batch files that open multiple folders in Windows 10. So this is how you can add handy folder batch files to the desktop.
Open multiple folders in Windows 10, how to do it?
- First, open Notepad in Windows 10.
- Then enter ‘@echo off’ into the top line of the Notepad.
- Enter ‘start’ followed by the path of a folder to open as in the snapshot directly below.
- You can enter as many alternative folder paths as needed into the batch file much the same. Enter each folder path directly below the others without any spacing as shown below.
- You can click File > Save As to open the Save As window.
- Select All Files from the Save as type drop-down menu.
- Enter a suitable title for the file followed by .bat. For example, you could enter ‘folder.bat’ into the text box.
- Choose a folder to save the batch in and press the Save button.
- Next, open the folder that you saved the batch file to.
- Double-click the batch file to try it out. It will open all the folders you included in it.
- To add more folders to the batch, you can right-click it and select Edit.
- To add the batch file to desktop, you should right-click it and select Send to and Desktop.
Add Hotkeys to the Batch Files
Now you can quickly open multiple folders at once by clicking batch file shortcuts on the desktop. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could open a group of folders by pressing a hotkey instead?
You can do exactly that by configuring the batch file shortcuts as follows.
- First, right-click the batch file on the desktop and select Properties to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
- Click inside the Shortcut key text box and press a key. The hotkey will then be Ctrl + Alt + the key you pressed. For example, if you entered ‘9’ there the keyboard shortcut would be Ctrl + Alt + 9.
- Press Apply and OK to close the window.
- Now press the new hotkey to open the folders entered into the batch file.
The desktop will get a little cluttered if you add lots of batch files to it. So we suggest you move the batch files into one desktop folder. You can do that by right-clicking the desktop, selecting New and Folder.
Then drag and drop the batch files into the folder.
Open Multiple Folders at Windows Startup
You could also configure multiple folders to open when Windows starts.
This can be done by adding folder shortcuts to the Startup folder. Alternatively, you could add your folder batch files to the startup so they automatically open a group of folders.
- Press the Win key + R to open Run.
- Enter ‘shell:startup’ into the Run text box and click OK to open the Startup folder below.
- Next, you should right-click an empty space on the right of the File Explorer window and select New > Shortcut from the context menu.
- Click the Browse button to select a folder or batch file to add to the startup.
- Press Next and Finish to close the Create Shortcut window and add the folder or batch file to the Windows startup.
- Now all the folders you add to the Windows startup will automatically open when you boot up.
So that’s how you can simultaneously open multiple folders in Windows 10. With the batch files and their hotkeys you can now open multiple folders more quickly.
Note that the batch shortcuts will also work in most Windows platforms.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2016 and was revamped and updated in May 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.