How to Set the Default Directory for Git Bash on Windows

Published Jun 9, 2020  ∙  Updated May 2, 2022

Setting the default directory for Git Bash can be very helpful for a hassle-free start to your development for the day.

Method 1: Change in Shortcut

When we open Git Bash, we’re running git-bash.exe.

We don’t want to mess with this file.

In order to set the default directory, we need to find the shortcut to git-bash.exe.

When I search git bash in the Start Menu and Open File Location of the shortcut, it brings me to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Git.

Once we find our shortcut, we can right click the Git Bash shortcut and select Properties.

Inside Target:, we have "C:\Program Files\Git\git-bash.exe" --cd-to-home. We want to remove the --cd-to-home flag.

Then we want to set our desired default directory inside Start in:.

Method 2: Change in ~/.bashrc

We can also modify our ~/.bashrc file to change the default directory.

All we have to do is add this line to our ~/.bashrc.

cd C:/path/to/folder;

I’ll walk you through how to add this line to your ~/.bashrc.

Append to ~/.bashrc using >>

One way to do this is to simply echo the cd command and append that line into ~/.bashrc.

echo "cd C:/path/to/folder;" >> ~/.bashrc

Angle brackets redirect output and allow us to dump the line into an alternate location (i.e. a file). Double angle brackets (>>) append to an existing file while a single angle bracket (>) will overwrite the file.

Append to ~/.bashrc using vim

We can also use vim inside Git Bash to create/edit this file.

  1. Open up Git Bash
  2. Run vim ~/.bashrc
  3. Press i in order to insert characters
  4. Type cd C:/path/to/folder; (make sure it’s on its own line)
  5. Press esc to exit the insert mode
  6. Press :wq or ZZ to save and exit vim

You’ve successfully updated ~/.bashrc! Type cat ~/.bashrc to double check.