How to open the Windows My Documents or Documents folder

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Windows Documents

With each version of Windows, Microsoft has changed how documents are accessed on a computer. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for a computer user to know how and where to access their files. On this page, we help you with accessing your documents and all of the different ways My Documents or Documents can be accessed in all versions of Windows.

Tip

Early versions of Windows refer to the folder that holds your documents as "My Documents." However, all of the recent versions of Windows (Vista and later) now refer to this folder as "Documents." Although they have different names, they are the same folder.

Opening Documents in Windows 10

Windows 10 Documents

Showing Documents through Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the This PC icon.
  3. Double-click the Documents folder.

Viewing Documents through the Start menu

By default, the Documents option is hidden in the Windows 10 Start menu. However, you can re-enable this feature if you want to have another method of accessing your Documents.

Browsing to the Documents folder in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Under This PC double-click the C: drive.
  3. In the C: drive, double-click the Users folder.
  4. Double-click the <name>, where <name> is the name of your user account. For example, if your login name is Nathan, you would click on Nathan.
  5. Double-click on the Documents folder.

Showing Documents on the desktop

In early versions of Microsoft Windows, the My Documents folder could be found on the desktop by default. However, Windows 10 disables this feature by default. If you want this folder on the desktop, see our show the documents folder on the desktop page.

Once Documents is visible on the desktop, double-clicking on this folder allows you to access your saved documents on your computer.

Opening Documents in Windows 8

Windows 8 Documents

Showing Documents through Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the This PC icon.
  3. Double-click the Documents folder.

Browsing to the Documents folder in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Under This PC double-click the C: drive.
  3. In the C: drive, double-click the Users folder.
  4. Double-click the <name>, where <name> is the name of your user account. For example, if your login name is Nathan, you would click on Nathan.
  5. Double-click on the Documents folder.

Showing Documents on the desktop

In early versions of Microsoft Windows, the My Documents folder could be found on the desktop by default. However, Windows 8 has the start screen and has disabled this feature by default. If you want this folder on the desktop, see our show the documents folder on the desktop page.

Once Documents is visible on the desktop, double-clicking on this folder allows you to access your saved documents on your computer.

Opening Documents in Windows 7

Showing Documents through Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the Libraries folder
  3. Double-click the Documents folder.
  4. Double-click on the My Documents folder.

Viewing Documents through the Start menu

  1. Click Start in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click Documents on the right side of the Start menu that pops up.

Browsing to the Documents folder in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Under Computer double-click the C: drive.
  3. In the C: drive, double-click the Users folder.
  4. Double-click the <name>, where <name> is the name of your user account. For example, if your login name is Nathan, you would click on Nathan.
  5. Double-click on the My Documents folder.

Showing Documents on the desktop

In early versions of Microsoft Windows, the My Documents folder could be found on the desktop by default. However, Windows 7 disables this feature by default. If you want this folder on the desktop, see our show the documents folder on the desktop page.

Once Documents is visible on the desktop, double-clicking on this folder allows you to access your saved documents on your computer.

Opening Documents in Windows Vista

Documents

Showing Documents through Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Double-click the <name>, where <name> is the name of your user account. For example, if your login name is Muriel, you would click on Muriel.
  3. Double-click on Documents as shown in the picture to the right.

Viewing Documents through the Start menu

  1. Click Start in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click Documents on the right side of the Start menu that pops up.

Browsing to the Documents folder in Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Under Computer double-click the C: drive.
  3. In the C: drive, double-click the Users folder.
  4. Double-click the <name>, where <name> is the name of your user account. For example, if your login name is Nathan, you would click on Nathan.
  5. Double-click on the Documents folder.

Showing Documents on the desktop

In early versions of Microsoft Windows, the My Documents folder could be found on the desktop by default. However, Windows Vista disables this feature by default. If you want this folder on the desktop, see our show the documents folder on the desktop page.

Once Documents is visible on the desktop, double-clicking on this folder allows you to access your saved documents on your computer.

Opening My Documents in Windows XP

Browsing to the Documents folder in Windows Explorer

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Double-click the C: drive.
  3. In the C: drive, double-click the Documents and Settings folder.
  4. In Documents and Settings, double-click the folder for the users My Documents you want to see. Using the same example as above, if your login is "John" you'd click on the "John" folder.
  5. In your user's name folder open the My Documents folder.

Viewing Documents through the Start menu

  1. Click Start in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click Documents on the right side of the menu that pops up.

Showing My Documents on the desktop

By default, the My Documents folder should be found on the Windows XP desktop. However, this folder can be disabled or hidden. To hide and show the My Documents folder on the desktop, see our show the documents folder on the desktop page.

Once Documents is visible on the desktop, double-clicking on that folder allows you to access your saved documents on the computer.

Additional information

  • See our My Documents page for further information and related links.