Show Folder Tree in Windows 7 Explorer

I spend a lot of my time switching between folders in Windows explorer and the Windows 7 explorer has been driving me nuts lately.

Win7 (or at least the build I have) by default does not auto expand the tree view when you navigate between folders.And recently a friend of mine who I worked with and used to buy youtube views from asked if there’s anything that I can do about it.

The result being you don’t see the usually tree hierarchy on the left pane. Which makes it quite painful if you want to go up a few levels or see the other parent folders.Windows7-Explorer

Luckily there is a new Folder Option called Navigation Pane to switch them back on again. You need to press Alt + T or Organize –> Folder Search Options in Windows Explorer to get to the dialog. Windows7-FolderOptions

Switch both of them on and viola I get my beloved tree view back.


PS- Most of my UW colleagues use other explorers and didn’t have to feel this pain.

Show Folder Tree in Windows 7 Explorer

160 thoughts on “Show Folder Tree in Windows 7 Explorer

  1. Julian says:

    I have faith that ultimately human ingenuity can triumph over “product development”. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Seems like MS are being paid to fix it regardless, and losing customers as a result judging by some of the posts. XP is a great interface. Same goes for Office 2007- why did they do it? Everything takes twice as long now. Luckily Word 2002 still runs on W7.

  2. DanielSchulzJackson says:

    Hey, thanks for this! It’s helping a colleague of mine. Also I like your site slogan.

  3. Robert Seetzen says:

    Very helpful, thanks a lot! Mostly using linux for some years now, so
    even though this drove me mad from time to time, I really didn’t know
    how to solve it.

  4. Amanda Riggleman says:

    I know I’m reading this about 6 years later, but you just made my life much easier! Thanks for sharing this information!

  5. Vera Gottlieb says:

    Thanks Merill, I always did the same, but it ONLY shows the folder tree for folders in an explorer window. It NEVER works for folders in SEARCH RESULT for my Win7 Ultimate. Could anyone post the Solution please? Thanks a lot buddies.

    In Win 7+8+10, when I right click “open folder location” all my search results were completely gone, even if I chosen “open folder in its own window”. Any help? Can we send any of our suggestions for improving to MS?


  6. Vera Gottlieb says:

    Since no help or nobody found it inconvenient, I’ve to help myself this way: I search the same folder in many search explorer windows, then right click the file/folder to “open Folder Location” to see in Folder tree (from many identical Search Windows), this way we save huge of time (and rage 🙂 to go back and wait for the search to find back hundreds of files & folders in its search-results.

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