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Windows 7: Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder


Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder

How to Turn On or Off Expand to Current Folder in Windows 7 Navigation Pane
Published by Brink
20 Dec 2008
Published by

How to Turn On or Off Expand to Current Folder in Windows 7 Navigation Pane

information   Information
This will show you how to have automatically expand to current folder turned on or off in the Windows 7 Navigation Pane folder tree while you are navigating in the main Windows Explorer pane.
Note   Note
If you open a user folder directly to it's C:\Users\(user-name) location from say a shortcut or from the Start Menu, and did not manually navigate to it in Windows Explorer, then a separate (user-name) folder group will display in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer whenever you have the Expand to current folder option checked.

Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder-user-name_group.jpg


EXAMPLE: "Automatically expand to current folder" Turned Off
NOTE: This is the default setting in Windows 7.
Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder-disabled.jpg
EXAMPLE: "Automatically expand to current folder" Turned On
Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder-enabled.jpg




OPTION ONE
Through Navigation Pane
1. Right click on a empty space in the Navigation Pane.

2. To Turn On Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Click on Expand to current folder to check it. (see screenshot below)
Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder-expand_current_folder.jpg
3. To Turn Off Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Click on Expand to current folder to uncheck it. (see screenshot above)
NOTE: This is the default setting.




OPTION TWO
Through Folder Options
1. Open Folder Options, and click on the General tab. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Folder_Options.jpg
Views: 4336
Size:  113.8 KB
2. To Turn On Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Check the Automatically expand to current folder box. (see screenshot above)

B) Go to step 4.
3. To Turn Off Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Uncheck the Automatically expand to current folder box. (see screenshot below step 2)
NOTE: This is the default setting.
4. Click on OK. (see screenshot below step 2)




OPTION THREE
Through a REG file Download
1. To Turn On Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.
Expand_to_Current_Folder_Navigation_Pane.reg
download
B) Go to step 3.
2. To Turn Off Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.
NOTE: This is the default setting.
Not_Expand_to_Current_Folder_Navigation_Pane.reg
download
3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the desktop.

4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

5. Click on Run, Yes, Yes, and OK when prompted.

6. If open, close and reopen Windows Explorer to see the changes.
NOTE: If you do not see a change, then log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply.

7. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




OPTION FOUR
Manually Through Registry Editor
1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press Enter.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

Code:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Navigation Pane - Automatically expand to current folder-reg-1.jpg
4. In the right pane of Advanced, right click on NavPaneExpandToCurrentFolder and click on Modify. (see screenshot above)

5. To Turn Off Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Type 0 (number zero), and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This is the default setting.
Name:  REG-2.jpg
Views: 3661
Size:  21.0 KB
B) Go to step 7.
6. To Turn On Automatically Expand to Current Folder
A) Type 1, and click on OK. (see screenshot above)
7. Close regedit.

8. If open, close and reopen Windows Explorer to see the changes.
NOTE: If you do not see a change, then log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply.
That's it,
Shawn




Related Tutorials

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21 Mar 2010   #1
lavecoi

window 7
 
 

It did not work for me. Please help me !

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Mar 2010   #2
logicearth

Windows 7 x64 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lavecoi View Post
It did not work for me. Please help me !
How did it not work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #3
lavecoi

window 7
 
 

I clicked on folder name and it didnot expand .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Lavecoi,

In the Navigation Pane, try clicking on the arrow to the left of the folder, or double clicking on the folder instead to see how that allows it to expand for you.

If you have Expand to current folder checked and click on a folder in the main Windows Explorer window and it does not expand to it in the Navigation Pane, then close and reopen Windows Explorer to see if does afterwards.


Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2010   #5
LooseCannon

Win7Pro & XPpro
 
 

Orsumness!

Been meanin' to sort this for ages and it only took a few click's, search "explorer expand navigate", hit the top result and a scroll down Brink's post.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2011   #6
Horse Sands

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I'm struggling to get this to work. Folder Options and the registry edit made no difference.

I use the mouse as seldom as possible so I want to be able to use Windows Explorer as I used to in XP, i.e. with keyboard arrows and tab/shift-tab to navigate around. The requirement is:

1. to be able to pass down to a folder in the Navigation Pane (using up/down arrows and right/left arrows to expand/contract to folder of interest) and to have the folder's contents displayed automatically in the right hand pane. As it stands this only works by hitting Enter when you get to the desired folder. This is annoying as (1) it is one more key stroke than XP and (2) I have to repeat the whole business if the selected folder doesn't have the file I want and I want to navigate to another folder.

2. to be able to navigate the right hand pane and to hit Enter on a particular folder, it expands in the right hand pane and the folder appears in the left hand pane. This works fine.

For the record, the regedits from separate posts for killing Libraries, Homegroup and Favorites worked straight away (thank you).

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2011   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Horse Sands, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Yes, that can be annoying, but this tutorial is for only while you are navigating in the main Windows Explorer pane instead of navigating in the navigation pane.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2011   #8
Horse Sands

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Ah-ha. Is there a fix to this elsewhere in the forum, per chance? No matter where I search I cannot see how to fix this.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2011   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any way around it so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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