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Windows 7: Highlighting leads to killing whole folders...

11 May 2010   #1

Win 7 64
Highlighting leads to killing whole folders...

First of all, I'm one of those people who don't really use the recycle bin much. If I delete stuff, I usually do so not because the sight of a certain file somehow hurts my aesthetic sense, but (yep, really) to actually free some disk space. And thus, shift-delete is what I do.

Ever since switching from XP to Windows 7, I occasionally kill a whole folder while actually only trying to delete a single file in it. The "why and how" has long remained a (painful) mystery to me, but I finally got the answer today.

Ambiguous mouse focus highlighting.

Try it yourself:
- open an explorer window with a navigation pane on the right
- open some arbitrary folder containing files by doubleclicking it
- mark a file in that folder with your mouse
- now mark the folder in the tree again
- now hover with your mouse over the now half-selected file

Result: both the folder and the file show the deepish-blue primary focus color. To be precise, the file actually even shows a slightly deeper blue than the folder. The focus is NOT on the file though... it's on the folder.
If you <shift-del> now, you have just killed a whole folder of dear data.

This has cost me my whole .../games folder today, containing gigs of data.

Seriously stupid of me? Yes.
I should have checked the confirm dialog better? Definitely.
However, that aside, the win7 highlighting color convention also has some part in this.

Does anyone happen to know some remedy for this highlighting behavior?

I'm really open for suggestions here.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #2

Win7 Home Premium 64x

have you tried to run Recuva to get the files back? as long as they are not overwritten, they are recoverable:
Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #3

HP Win7 Pro x64 | Custom Win7 Pro x64

I do the same as you, but am aware of this, but I do not use the explorer window like you do. I stay within the folder itself, so this could never happen to me. But you make a good point and I'd like to see someone post something that could help you, to use explorer how you like.

In all likelihood most people probably use explorer the way I do, but I can certainly imagine why you would play with the tree.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 May 2010   #4

Win7 Home Premium 64x

Just looking at the major issue first of the gigs of deleted data that you can get back. I will look into the functionality of the highlighting. I am interested in this. I dont want to even delete folders to the recycle bin by accident.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #5

Win 7 64

@Thorsen: I'm already in the process of recovering the data (got another program there, but it also works). Thanks for the hint though.

But yes, I'd really like to find some way to avoid doing this in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #6

Win7 Home Premium 64x

yeah i have not found anything yet on how to change or edit the functionality here.
I would think it would be to have the click that sets focus on one thing kill focus on the other. I don't know if it is doable though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Highlighting leads to killing whole folders...

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