Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Path to the Desktop.

Finding the Path to the Desktop

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 3, 2018)

Donald is writing a macro in which he needs to reference a user's desktop. However, the path to the desktop necessarily varies from system to system and user to user. He wonders what coding he can use to determine the path to the desktop regardless of system.

There are several ways to find the path to the desktop in VBA. One way is to call the Windows scripting host, in this manner:

Function GetDesktop() As String
    Dim oWSHShell As Object

    Set oWSHShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    GetDesktop = oWSHShell.SpecialFolders("Desktop")
    Set oWSHShell = Nothing
End Function

Note that this is a user-defined macro that you can use either from the worksheet or from another macro. The use from the worksheet would be as follows:

=GetDesktop()

Another way to determine the path to the desktop is to use the following line in your code:

sPath = Environ("USERPROFILE") & "\Desktop"

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8236) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Path to the Desktop.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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