May 28, 2008

Vista Explorer Opening New Windows

I have been using Vista tentatively for a while now but recently I switched over to the Vista machine as my main development platform. One idiosyncrasy of the explorer has been driving me crazy. Under XP and previous versions you could set the folder options such that every time you open a folder it will either "open each folder in the same window", or "open each folder in its own window". Holding down the control key while opening a folder would do the opposite of your default setting. I find this extremely useful. Under Vista those same settings are available but the problem is, they are ignored. Or so I thought.

It turns out (and boy is this obvious), that the settings are only ignored if you have the Folders section of the left hand pane expanded. If you close this area then, not only are your settings honored but the ctrl-click trick still works. Only took me about 3 months to figure this out. Now I'm not suggesting that all of Microsoft's engineers should be Jakob Nielsen, but it sure would be nice if a few of them would at least read one of his books, or for that matter any book on usability engineering. It would also be nice if "features" like this made some sense. I mean why keep making it so easy for Apple to make fun of them?


gregn said...

Thank you - that was driving me nuts! I also had to turn off the 'View Simple Folders' option to get this to work.

Anonymous said...

I can't get this to work. I've closed the Folders section, and switch on the Simple Views but it always opens new windows.

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.