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Windows 7: Can I Clean Up the Network Navigation Pane ???

11 Jan 2018   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
Can I Clean Up the Network Navigation Pane ???

Okay, I have finally (at least I think anyway), got our four-machine private network acting as it should.

Now, I would like to tidy up the way folders are displayed under Network in the Explorer left pane.

In Explorer, when I expand a machine under Network, it does not expand in a sensible "tree" fashion as do all of the other Explorer left pane selections; instead, there are folder choices and folder choices within folder choices.

There are sub-folders and sub-sub-folders listed that are also available in the parent folders that are listed.

They will have names like Pictures 1, Pictures 2, Pictures 3.

I figured out how to go into the parent machine and make a sensible network-visible name for some of these folders and then it will list folders with the new names AND the old folders/names.

How can I remove all of these various sub-folders from displaying and creating confusion in the Explorer left pane ?

All of the offending folders are available by navigating to them via their parent folder, so there is nothing except confusion gained by having them displayed haphazardly.

I hope my question is worded in a way that makes sense.

Thanks for reading.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2018   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64

Well..., by blundering around and experimenting, I have stumbled upon a way to accomplish this; it is slow, very slow, but it safely accomplishes what I was wanting = clean up the network navigation pane.

I think what had happened to get things in such a mess was that several of these folders had been migrated from one folder structure to another, probably more than once, as I have upgraded HDDs a couple times and went through a massive re-organization; and, these folders retained their NTFS properties through the moves.

As things stand now, instead of various folders being haphazardly shared, with no real rhyme or reason, I have instead shared straight from the head of the trough, where the big hog eats, the parent drives.

Since these redundant folders had been shared in a previous life, they are showing up as individual shares in the navigation pane, even though they are also shared by being sub-folders within a shared drive.

So far as I have discovered, my method must be performed on the machine where the folders reside.

I open two Explorer windows side-by-side; I navigate to the machine I am on via "Network"; I check Properties on these redundant folders via Network and they show as shared; I check the same folders in the other window via the normal local folder tree and they show there as not shared, although their parent drive is indeed shared.

So, in the Network view, I right-click each unwanted folder and select advanced sharing, and un-check the "share this folder" box,click "apply", and close out of Properties; once this procedure is done, the unwanted folder disappears from the Network view.

The actual folder has not went anywhere; it is still safe and sound in the parent drive where it belongs; and, seeing as the parent drive is indeed shared, these folders are also still accessible on the other network machines (I investigated this); they just no longer clutter up the navigation pane.

I typed all this because there are probably others out there with the same situation that would appreciate a solution.

If I knew what I was doing, I could probably accomplish this in just a few clicks with NTFS Permissions Tool, but I am scared to death of using it as I have been warned that a wrong move could lock one out of their folders forever.

Thanks for reading.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jan 2018   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64

By following the procedure explained above, I have managed to get my Explorer > Network > SpecificNetworkComputer navigation menu all neat and tidy; instead of fifty-plus choices cluttering up and confusing the menu, I now have only three for each network machine = the Pictures drive, the All Other Data drive, and Users.

Of course, each choice expands up it's sub-folder tree to whatever I am seeking.

This may all be old news to everyone else; but, I did figure out a good use for the behavior that was causing my menu to be so cluttered; if there is a specific network folder that I find myself visiting quite often, rather than navigating up the sub-folder tree each and every time I visit it, I can right-click the folder > Share With > Advanced Sharing > Advanced and simply check the Share This Folder box and that specific folder will now appear immediately underneath the computer name in Network --- sort of a shortcut means of accessing the folder.

Thanks for reading and I hope this information comes to be of some use to someone else sometime.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Can I Clean Up the Network Navigation Pane ???

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