How to set custom shortcuts in the Windows XP "Save As" dialog box

This tutorial will guide you in setting custom “shortcuts” in the Windows XP “Save As” dialog box. note: this also works in Windows Vista Ultimate Edition – but I’m not sure about the other versions of Vista.

custom save as window

  1. Below you’ll find a screenshot of the default “Save As” dialog box in Windows XP. Make note of the shortcuts that you actually use, so you can make sure to keep them.
  2. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  3. Click Start and select Run. In the Run window enter gpedit.msc and click OK.
  4. custom save as window

  5. The Group Policy editor will appear.
  6. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  7. In the left window select the + (plus sign) next to User Configuration to expand the list. Next select the plus sign next to Administrative Templates and then Windows Explorer. Finally, select the Common Open File Dialog entry.
  8. custom save as window

  9. Double-click the Items displayed in Places Bar entry in the main Group Policy window.
  10. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  11. The Items displayed in Places Bar Properties window will open.
  12. custom save as window

  13. Select Enabled and then enter in the locations you’d like to have displayed in the Save As dialog box. You need to enter the full path to the location for the shortcuts to work. For example, if you want to have a shortcut to your My Documents folder, enter in:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Your User Name\My Documents\

    Once you’ve entered in all the locations you’d like to appear in the Save As window, click Apply and then OK.

  14. custom save as window

  15. Back in the Group Policy editor, you should see that the Items displayed in Places Bar is now Enabled. Close the Group Policy editor.
  16. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  17. Test it out by saving a file – you should now have the new shortcuts displayed.
  18. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  19. The same shortcuts will be used in the Open dialog box – not just the Save As box.
  20. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

  21. This will also work in Windows Vista – though I’ve only confirmed that it works in Vista Ultimate edition.
  22. custom save as window
    click to enlarge

82 thoughts on “How to set custom shortcuts in the Windows XP "Save As" dialog box”

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  3. Very nice article. It helped me quickly to set right the save as Dialog Box. I have thinking of doing it for long. Thanks so much. Keep up the Good Work.

  4. great information. Thanks! a clever tip in a few steps.

    I agree with Colin: what about OFFICE “save as” dialog box? can we change that too?

  5. thanks for this – very useful, didn’t know TweakUI could do it, otherwise, I would have done it years ago!

  6. under administrative templates i only have windows media player not any of the other things that are shown in the example.

  7. Awsome tip…I curse myself for not stumbling upon this at all or why it never crossed my mind that these default things can be changed..Thanks a ton.

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  11. Pingback: How to add custom folders to the Microsoft Office 2007 Save As dialog box - Simplehelp

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  13. In some (?) applications in Windows Vista the open and save as dialogs shows a bar with shortcuts who are defined in: C:\Users\\Links\

  14. In some (?) applications in Windows Vista the open and save as dialogs shows a bar with shortcuts who are defined in: C:\Users\[username]\Links\

  15. OHH finally!. Not only was this VERY useful for me to configure the locations, but to reenable it, because for some reason it was gone and I had NO locations at all.

    Eternal thanks for this!

  16. BTW there’s also a way to add some places to that bar if you use Office 2003 (at least it helped me): click “Service” button near to upper right corner of dialog and then select “Add to places bar” element. A shortcut to folder, which is opened at this moment, will appear in Places bar.

    P.S.: Not sure about actual buttons names ‘coz I use localized cyrillic version of Office. Advice right names if it’ll be helpful, please.

  17. Actuall, Will, that only works for Explorer dialogs, eg when browsing your folders. Try ‘right click, save as …’ an image from this page, and you get those stupid stock standard folders on the left, which I just couldn’t change…. UNTIL NOW!

    THANK YOU for this post – it does exactly what I want. I can FINALLY get to where I need much more quickly, especially in Photoshop!! It’s always frustrated me why we couldn’t just click and drag our favourite folders for Save As dialog boxes, just like Explorer. I still can’t figure out why it needs to be this convoluted just to do what this post explains. Go figure – it is Microsoft, after all!

  18. nao estou conseguindo achar a minha caixa de entrada de emails do windows live messeger e agora, ja fiz de tudo e nada

  19. having a problem. under Windows Components all i have is
    Windows Media Player
    Windows Update

    can someone help?

  20. There’s a much easier way…

    In the ‘Save As’ dialog, go to the Tools menu and select “Add to My Places”

    Why you would want to use regedit or gpedit for this I dont know.

  21. Greg,

    Just curious – what OS are you using, as there certainly isn’t a Tools menu in the Save As dialog box that I’m aware of. Perhaps a link to a screenshot would help :)

  22. Brilliant tip. What else in Win XP or Vista is customizable to make it user friendlier? Any chance with keyboard shortcut assignments?

  23. Pingback: Save as Dialog Customisieren - Microsoft Windows @ Forum, Tutorial, Anleitung, Schulung & Hilfe

  24. In Vista you don’t need to do it that way.
    Just put links to the desired places into your “links” folder inside your userfolder, done.

  25. Even easier in Vista: drag and drop your favorite folders in the links part of your save/open dialog boxes. You can even change the order of your favorites by drag and drop and delete the unwanted ones.

  26. One quick Question. This was great to set up all my own dialogues, but how do i get the default “My Computer” back in the list?

    I can’t find a path to My computer as it is above the drives….

  27. In Visa Business – located in:

    User Configuration\Windows Components\Windows Explorer\Common open file dialogue

  28. This procedure is not necessary in Windows Vista because you can drag and drop to the shortcuts list

  29. se me borro una shortcute , pero no me aparece de donde se saco esta ruta que debo hacer

  30. When I want save as a file in the the desktop (or any drive), I can not see shortcuts (which I constructed formerly) in the diolog box. How can I solve this problem?

  31. rahmatmoelyana

    thx, this is really a good tips,

    but pls help me, because in my gpedit there isnt any windows explorer in the administrative list->windows component (point 4), there are only search & windows media player..

    how come?

  32. For those of you who don’t have the Windows Explorer folder in the User Configuration/Windows Components folder:

    Right-click on Administrative Templates folder in left pane of Group Policy
    dialog box
    Choose add/remove templates
    Click Add button
    Double -click on system.adn (in WINDOWS/inf folder)
    Close the dialog box

    Now you’ll find the Windows Explorer folder in the left pane.

  33. Forget my last message Mike, that item is there afterall.

    As for the instructions… all great and handy well done. I just wish you didn’t put “click Apply and then click OK” in the procedure. The point of the Apply button was never to add an additional step to Windows – the point was to view the implications of the setting change without immediately closing the dialog box.

  34. A *MUCH* simpler way is to install the ‘PowerToy for Windows XP’ TweakUI, then go to the ‘Common Dialog’ selection, then the ‘Places Bar’, then add the directories you wish to see when you have an ‘Open’ or ‘Save’ dialog box.

  35. steveg, you ROCK! Thanks for helping me fix a most annoying problem I have had so easily! What really annoyed me was that while saving a SERIES of files to the SAME location, each time, the path reverted to the default location! I mean it did not even remember settings Took me less than 30 seconds to set it up using TweakUI

  36. Man I need this like I need air for breathing, 1000000000 thanks, your the bomb, not enough good words for this invaluable tool. I’m a software designer and this save as business was driving me crazy, specially the last while, so I placed a few shortcuts on the root of my drive C and I was accessing my shortcuts through there.

    But this… hell this is going to make development so much more efficient…


  37. Well, TweakUI worked temporarily, but now, it doesn’t. :( I am going to go with your way of doing it.

  38. Great job!
    But I do have a tricky question, did anyone checked if it works with MS Office?? It works fine with everything else on my computer though.
    Also there’s a trick in different languages – on my Polish system I had to put English names of the common places like “MyComputer” even though I’ve got a Polish system and not just a language pack. Also what I find interesting is that it has to by without a space…
    Once again GREAT JOB!

  39. Hi,
    In Places Bar Properties under settings, items to display I only want to add 2 items. If I leave items ie items 3, 4 and 5 blank and apply it shows blank folders with my name when I open a program and select SaveAs. Is there a way to only show the items I have populated?


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  42. Actually on Vista you can just drag and drop from the right side window that lists the folders and files to the Favorite Links.

  43. Pingback: Saving Files to Local Folders – how to create a custom save as dialog | Blog Wranglers

  44. I tried to follow the recipe given here but get stuck in gpedit.msc because under the list of Windows Components I only find Window Media Player and WIndows Update.

    Can anyone advise?

  45. davey boy scatino

    thank you very much, good instructions! simple solution to an age old problem!

  46. worked like a charm! thank you so much!!! (windows 7 is just slightly different but it’s intuitive)

  47. Pingback: Paramesh Gunasekaran » Custom Shortcuts in Windows XP Dialog Box

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