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Windows 7: Windows Explorer in Windows 7: Why the confusing behavior?

21 May 2012   #1
TC0

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Windows Explorer in Windows 7: Why the confusing behavior?

I'm new to Windows 7, and I'm confused about Windows Explorer in this new version of Windows. I've already installed Classic Explorer and I've already disabled libraries. Nevertheless, I'm still baffled by Explorer's behavior, and I have several questions:

1) First of all, Explorer seems to be showing something related to, but clearly different from, the file structure. For instance, Desktop/TC and Desktop/Computer/Users/TC seem to be the same folder mysteriously represented at two different places in Explorer's hierarchy, and shown with two different paths in the address bar ("TC" vs. "C:\Users\TC"). I'm sure this is a feature somehow meant to simplify things, but it is just confusing me. What is Explorer showing me? Is there any way to turn off this feature and see the file structure?

2) When I look in folder "TC", I see two subfolders called "Documents" which seem to be identical. What's the deal with that?

3) I keep my files in "C:\Users\TC\Documents". Is there any way to make that folder appear at the root level in the navigation pane? Now, when I'm working in Documents, there are so many irrelevant folders displayed in the navigation pane that the pane becomes worthless as a visual map of my folder structure.

4) Nothing is on my desktop, but Explorer says that several things are. I can accept that "Desktop" may simply be the word Microsoft is using to describe the root level of the file system, in which case it does make some sense to say that "Computer", "Network", and "Recycle Bin" belong under "Desktop". However, I have two additional icons, "Homegroup" and "Control Panel" also beneath "Desktop". Does that make sense to anyone? Is there any way to get rid of those?


-TC

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 May 2012   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Did you tell explorer to show you hidden file/folders/drives?
If so, you might want to hide them again.

And this might interest you...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

To be honest, installing Classic Explorer and disabling Libraries probably did all this. You're using Explorer in a way it wasn't designed to be used.
  1. This is normal. Explorer (normally) shows your files in different ways: you have your favourites, then Libraries, then Computer, then Network. The Computer node will show you the files in hierarchical order (C:\users\TC\etc...).
  2. Not sure about the two identical folders - are they the same folder? Are they definitely in the same place? Not shortcuts?
  3. Yes - using libraries.
  4. Normal. They can be hidden from the Desktop, but not this folder in Explorer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 May 2012   #4
TC0

Windows 7 x64
 
 

UsernameIssues and CreepinJesus,

Thanks to both of you for the helpful advice. I did not know about "junctions" before, and they explain a lot of Explorer weirdness. Since my original post, I did some research and found that many useful workarounds have been posted in this very forum. Referring to my original list:

1. Unintuitive and redundant folder hierarchy -- Solved, thanks to Brink at User Folder - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane.

2. Duplicate "Documents" folders -- Swept under the rug. I'm sure that bug still infects my system, but I've removed the errant faux-folder from my folder hierarchy, so I simply don't see this problem any more.

3. Elevating useful folders to the root level of the navigation pane -- Thank you, CreepinJesus, for the tip on using libraries to bring a folder closer to the root level. I've adopted your suggestion for now. However, I was really hoping for a solution that would let me elevate a folder all the way to the root level. In XP, the command line option "/root" accomplished this nicely. That command doesn't seem to work in the new Explorer. Is there really no support for this functionality any more?

4. Irrelevant "Homegroups" and "Control Panel" appearing in the file hierarchy -- Solved, thanks to Brink at Homegroup - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane and Control Panel - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane.

Yay! I have Explorer working reasonably well... almost. Unfortunately, I have one more thing to add to my original list:

5. Windows Explorer displays a rather useless toolbar which says "Organize, Share with, New folder". I don't see any reason to keep that toolbar, but I can't seem to get rid of it. Please restore my faith in Microsoft and tell me that there is some way to hide this thing.

-TC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #5
TC0

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I spoke too soon. New issues:

6. I have a library called "Library1". The only thing in that library is the folder C:\Users\TC\Documents. I have a subfolder called C:\Users\TC\Documents\Folder1. If I navigate to Folder1 through the navigation pane, the address bar tells me I'm at Libraries/Library1/Documents/Folder1, but if I navigate to the same location via the file pane, the address bar tells me I'm at Libraries/Library1/Folder1. This is clearly a bug. Is there a known solution?

7. Whenever I navigate to a folder through a library, Explorer uses some of the space in the folder pane to tell me the name of the library. I have no interest in this feature. Is there any way to turn it off and use all of the space for the file list?


-TC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #6

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TC0 View Post
Yay! I have Explorer working reasonably well... almost. Unfortunately, I have one more thing to add to my original list:

5. Windows Explorer displays a rather useless toolbar which says "Organize, Share with, New folder". I don't see any reason to keep that toolbar, but I can't seem to get rid of it. Please restore my faith in Microsoft and tell me that there is some way to hide this thing.

-TC
Well screw me sideways, I remember doing that with help from here but I don't remember how or when Should be in one of the tutorials, feels like there was a reg edit in here somewhere.

Edit:
Also certain there's a reg edit for removing Libraries from the folder pane. Need to find the tutorial for that too. Shoulda taken notes or something, sigh. Remember just being glad to get rid of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 16 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Try these links

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TC0 View Post
5. Windows Explorer displays a rather useless toolbar which says "Organize, Share with, New folder". I don't see any reason to keep that toolbar, but I can't seem to get rid of it. Please restore my faith in Microsoft and tell me that there is some way to hide this thing.
Try these links:
How to Auto-Hide or Disable Command Bar (aka Folder Band) in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer? - Tweaking with Vishal
Appatic: Windows Command Bar Tweaker: Hide The Command Bar In Windows Explorer

Customise the Command Bar
http://www.intowindows.com/explorer-...lorer-toolbar/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

My advice would be to stop expecting a new OS to behave and work like an 11 year old OS. People upgrade for a reason, and there's no need to fear change. It's the best OS Microsoft has put out for the desktop to date....so enjoy it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #9

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

Quote:
1) First of all, Explorer seems to be showing something related to, but clearly different from, the file structure. For instance, Desktop/TC and Desktop/Computer/Users/TC seem to be the same folder mysteriously represented at two different places in Explorer's hierarchy, and shown with two different paths in the address bar ("TC" vs. "C:\Users\TC"). I'm sure this is a feature somehow meant to simplify things, but it is just confusing me. What is Explorer showing me? Is there any way to turn off this feature and see the file structure?
That's actually to aid the moving of libraries.

My Music, Video, Pictures, Documents all sow up like that, but I have moved the actual folders to my D: drive. Windows attempts to make the move transparent to applications, so they don't try to create a ~/Documents folder if you didn't update them to the new directory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TC0 View Post
UsernameIssues and CreepinJesus,


3. Elevating useful folders to the root level of the navigation pane -- Thank you, CreepinJesus, for the tip on using libraries to bring a folder closer to the root level. I've adopted your suggestion for now. However, I was really hoping for a solution that would let me elevate a folder all the way to the root level. In XP, the command line option "/root" accomplished this nicely. That command doesn't seem to work in the new Explorer. Is there really no support for this functionality any more?


-TC
I use the favorites for this... It even works across networks. You can make any folder you access often instantly available for opening under the favorites part of the tree which is always visible at the top.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Explorer in Windows 7: Why the confusing behavior?





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