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How to make Win-E open a default lister instead of Computer

Opus 12 and Windows 10 (and later versions)

Opus 12 now has a Preferences page to control what Win-E does on Windows 10:

We recommend using that if it is available on your setup. The details below can still be used, but the Preferences page is preferable and should be more reliable than trying to replace the hotkey the other way.


Older versions:

Win + E hotkey

Normally, the Windows + E hotkey will open the This PC (aka Computer) folder, or sometimes the Quick Access folder in Windows 10, rather than your default lister. If Directory Opus is set as the default file manager then the This PC folder will open in Opus.

The Win + E hotkey is defined by Windows itself, whether or not Opus is installed, as meaning "open the This PC (or Quick Access) folder", and that's just what it does.

You can change what it does, if you wish; see below.

Shift + Win + E and Win + O hotkeys

Opus creates its own system-wide hotkey which opens your default lister. The hotkey will be either Shift + Win + E or Win + O, depending on your version of Windows and the version of Opus you first installed.

You can see and edit those hotkeys under Settings > Customize Toolbars > Keys.

Overriding Win + E (and similar Win + x hotkeys)

  • Windows 10 users:
    You should normally use the Preferences page shown at the top of this article, rather than try to override Win + E directly. If you don't want to do that, and run into problems overriding Win + E, or similar Win + x hotkeys, then you may wish to try using an alternative hotkey.

There isn't an official API for overriding the Win + x combinations that are defined and reserved by Windows itself. Windows may grab those key combinations at a very low level before other programs are able to intercept them. We try to make it work, but Microsoft also keep breaking it with changes to Windows. This is why the default hotkey Opus adds now uses Shift in addition to the Win key.

If you're comfortable with registry editing, you can configure Windows to ignore the Win + E hotkey via the DisabledHotkeys registry setting, which then allows Opus to use it for its own purposes. Remember to reboot after making the registry changes.

To override the Win + E hotkey and make it open your default lister instead of the Computer folder, follow these steps:

  • Remember, instead of following these steps, normally you should use the Preferences page shown at the top of this article. These steps are an alternative, for cases where that isn't suitable (e.g. you're on an older version of Windows or Opus, or you want to change a different Win + x hotkey).

  • Select Settings -> Customize Toolbars...

  • Select the Keys tab and click New > System-Wide Hotkey option:

  • Click on the Hotkey field and push Win + E.

    i.e. Hold down the Windows key, then push the E key, then release the Windows key.

    If the keys do not work, or cause the Start Menu or Computer folder to open, make sure the System-wide hotkey checkbox is ticked; you must do that first to be able to use the Windows key here.

    If it still doesn't work, Windows may be intercepting the hotkey at a low-level and preventing Opus from seeing it. Make sure your version of Opus is up to date.

  • Set the Function field to Go NEW (or the command of your choice).

    FaqWinE_03_WinE_Hotkey

  • Finally, click OK in the Command Editor, and then click OK again back in the Customize window.