Adriano Chiaretta

Win XP / 2003 File Explorer: how to have the folder tree show by default

Tired of clicking on the “Folders” button to see the folder tree every time you open Windows Explorer?

Here are a few simple steps to have the folder tree always show up in windows explore (Win XP / Windows Server 2003):

  • alwaysshowfoldertreetipClick Start > Control Panel > Folder Options
  • Click the File Types tab
  • Scroll down until you locate the icon that looks like a folder in the “Extensions” column. It will have the word “(NONE)” after the icon and the “File Types” column will show “Folder” (not “File Folder”, but just “Folder”)
  • Select that entry and click the Advanced button. From that window set the default action to “explore” and click “OK”.
  • Press OK to dismiss the various dialogs

From this point on every time you’ll invoke the file explorer (for example through start -> run -> “C:” -> enter), it will have the folder tree pointing to the current location in the folder / files structure.

Sort of an old trick — but couldn’t easily spot a solution to this out there after a quick googling around, and figured to share it here.

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