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Windows 7: Windows Explorer Address Bar disappearing


03 May 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Windows Explorer Address Bar disappearing

Hi all,
I'm a newbie to the forum (Hello!), but not to computers. Even so, I'd be grateful if anyone has any inspiration on a problem that has me stumped. (If the following seems long, please bear with me; I'm just trying to be explicit.)

I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, + SP1 and fully patched. 6 GB of RAM and over 1 TB of free space on the designated scratch drive. No 3rd-party modifications or hacks to the OS or GUI.

Sporadically, my Windows Explorer folders lose their Address Bar. Sometimes this happens during a session, sometimes when I've rebooted the PC after previously shutting down and leaving some Windows open (but no apps running), but I've never actually see the Bar go. What remains of the window will still be functional - I can navigate to other folders and files with the Tree pane on the left, for instance - but there'll simply be no Address Bar. (Which means no search input, refresh button or back and forward buttons.) I can toggle the Menu Bar on and off, but it doesn't bring the Address Bar back. Usually I simply end up closing that window; when I open a new one, it has an Address Bar, no worries.

It's not all Explorer windows that lose the Bar at the same time; typically, it will only be one out of maybe three or four I have open. And I haven't been able to find any pattern to when the Address Bar goes; it doesn't happen every time I use my PC, and I haven't spotted any pattern to what app(s) I might be running when it happens. I've been trying to spot a pattern, but haven't yet. There may not be one; if I have two Explorer windows open and navigated to the same folder on the same drive, only one of the two might lose its Address Bar, so it doesn't seem to be location-specific.

I know this isn't a lot to go on, but has anyone seen anything like this happen on other machines? It seems weird to me.

A little more info: it's a completely legit, licensed retail copy of Windows, and I'm not running any pirate or hacked software. I have Nortons Internet Security 2011 installed and keep it maintained. And I don't seem to have any other problems - no identified misbehaviours, no error messages.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts people might have on this.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello MacEachaidh, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Norton has been known to cause strange issues in the past with their older versions. As a test, you might temporarily uninstall it to see if you still have this issue afterwards.

If you do, then see if running a sfc /scannow command may be able to help.

If still not, then doing a system restore using a restore point dated when you believe this issue was not happening may.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2011   #3

Win7 Ult 32bit
 
 

I have the exact same problem MacEachaidh has/had. There are no Norton products on my pc. Windows 7 32bit store bought, no patches. Problem with address bar began right after updating to SP1 last year. Hard drive failed last month, reinstalled Windows 7. No address bar problems until AFTER updating to SP1 so it's not a coincidence. On another site it was suggested I use a shell extension tool to remove non windows shells but I thought that was too extreme. Any help would be appreciated
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Brink, and thanks for the welcome! :-)

For some reason, I didn't get notified of your post, so apologies that I haven't replied or acknowledged it.

The Norton I'm using is the most recent version. But I think this problem has been going on since I first started using Windows 7 earlier this year. Though TeeLow brings up an interesting idea - it may be since I installed SP1. That was only a week or so after I started using this version of Windows, so it's hard to be certain.

I haven't seen any other signs of problems, so I thought the installation and update had gone well. Maybe I need to do a complete re-installtion of Windows, but that's such a pain in the bum I've been putting it off! ;-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2011   #5

Win7 Ult 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MacEachaidh View Post
Hi Brink, and thanks for the welcome! :-)

For some reason, I didn't get notified of your post, so apologies that I haven't replied or acknowledged it.

The Norton I'm using is the most recent version. But I think this problem has been going on since I first started using Windows 7 earlier this year. Though TeeLow brings up an interesting idea - it may be since I installed SP1. That was only a week or so after I started using this version of Windows, so it's hard to be certain.

I haven't seen any other signs of problems, so I thought the installation and update had gone well. Maybe I need to do a complete re-installtion of Windows, but that's such a pain in the bum I've been putting it off! ;-)
That's what's strange. I did do a clean install because I had to replace the hard drive. Everything was fine until after the SP1 update. BOTH times shortly after rebooting I lose the address bar. The addrees bar issue isn't isolated among 3 or 4 instances. I googled it and came across quite a few people who are going through this. Sadly, I haven't come across a viable solution. Maybe a reinstall will work for you but I think my issue has something to do with SP1. Good Luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

G'day TeeLow,
Well, in a bizarre way I find it a little reassuring that I'm not the only one experiencing this. I've asked around on a few fora but the most common response I've gotten has been that I must just be not really seeing what's happening because - as one person told me quite stridently - what I'm seeing just couldn't possibly happen.

Wish I could get MS to at least recognise it as an observed behaviour. That would be a start. But annoyingly, I haven't been able to isolate any common circumstances between when it does happen and when it doesn't, so it isn't reproducible on demand.

Good luck to you too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Could one of you please post a snip of the issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Britton30,
Pardon my newbieness, but I'm not sure what you're asking. Do you mean a screen capture?

If so, I'll do it as soon as it happens again. Thanks for your interest!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #9

Win7 Ult 32bit
 
 

Before I close Windows I leave two folders open on the taskbar. Restore Folder is checked in Folder Options. I've been doing this since Win 98. Until Windows 7 SP1 there's never been a problem with the address bar. Here's a snapshot of one folder with the address bar



In the other one the address bar is gone



No amount of right clicking, left clicking, cursor dragging, minimizing or maximizing will bring the bar back. Looking in the View menu offers no solutions. Nothing in Folder Options can be checked or unchecked to solve the problem.

In order to restore the address bar the affected folder has to be closed and then a new folder window opened. If I shut down the computer and restart it one of the two folders will have a missing address bar. It always the folder on the left that has the missing bar. It doesn't matter if the pc is immediately restarted or if it's hours later.

Again, this problem arose after updating to SP1 in both instances; last year when I first installed Windows 7 Ult and this year after replacing the hard drive and installing Windows 7 Ult. When I first bought Windows 7 last year it was months before SP1 had come out and there were no problems at all prior to updating to SP1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks, TeeLow, very clearly put! And yes, you're largely speaking for me as well, though there are a couple of slight differences in the details (which I'll list, in case it adds with yours to a fuller picture for someone to spot what might be happening). Your screenshots are accurate to what I'm seeing also.

I tend to leave a couple of Explorer folders open on the desktop when I shut my PC down, so it's easy to pick up work where I left off the next time I boot up. I used to do this in XP as well, and it worked fine; in my first installation of Windows 7, the OS wouldn't re-instate the folders on boot-up, so I was always back to a clean desktop. Since SP1 it re-instates the folders on boot-up, but maybe 2 times out of 5 one or more of the folders will open without an address bar.

In "Organize | Folder and search options" in Windows Explorer, I have set the option "Automatically expand to current folder" to on, so my way of dealing with the lost address bar is that, in the hierarchical folder pane on the left, I right-click on my desired location for an Explorer folder and choose "Open in new window" from the context menu. This has always worked for me: the new folder always has an address bar.

But unlike TeeLow, it doesn't reliably happen each time I boot, so it's hard to reproduce the problem. Other than that, though, it sounds like our experiences are very much the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Explorer Address Bar disappearing




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