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FreeCommander Replace Windows Explorer

If you are a FreeCommander user, perhaps you’ve edited your registry so FreeCommander opens filesystem links, instead of the native Windows Explorer by creating a .reg file, like the following:



[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell\FreeCommander XE]
@="FreeCommander XE"

@="\"C:\\Portable\\FreeCommanderXE\\FreeCommander.exe\" /C /R=\"%1\""

If you’ve replaced Windows Explorer (explorer.exe), and you’re using the public release of FreeCommanderXE, you may have noticed the Windows COM Class ID (CLSID) shortcuts also open in FreeCommander probably resulting in your inability to access those items (Control Panel; Personalization, etc.: See the “complete” CLSID listed here).

Don’t fret! You can still access items like Control Panel without doing anything too special. Simply right click the FreeCommander file path area (shown at the top of the panel where the Control Panel items “open”), and click copy path even if you don’t see a path shown there. The path copied from FreeCommander panel after Control Panel attempts to open there should look something like the following:

Launch explorer.exe outside of FreeCommander by right clicking the Windows 11 Start menu button and selecting “File Explorer”. Using the “path” that Control Panel opened in FreeCommander, paste that CLSID into the Explorer.exe address bar. The pasted location should open as desired. While that gets you to the settings you need, you can still do more to ultimately make it easier.

If you don’t want to go through the process described above (and you’ve discovered no alternative, as I have not), just make a “new shortcut” on your desktop with the standard method (e.g. right click > new > shortcut). The Target field in the new Windows .lnk shortcut should look similar to the following:

"C:\Windows\explorer.exe "shell:::{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}"

The secret after that is to use FreeCommander to locate that shortcut, then drag/ drop it to the taskbar to pin it there! Here’s a screen recording of it (the failed attempts are intentional for demonstration).

Cheers y’all!

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