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Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off


Brink

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mvp
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Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off
This tutorial will show you how to turn Automatically Expand to Current Folder on or off in your File Explorer navigation pane in Windows 8.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Turn Navigation Pane Expand to Current Folder On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to turn Automatically Expand to Current Folder on or off in your File Explorer navigation pane in Windows 8.
How to Turn Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to turn Automatically Expand to Current Folder on or off in your File Explorer navigation pane in Windows 8.

If Expand to current folder is turned on (checked), the navigation pane will automatically expand to whatever folder you select from the address bar or main window in File Explorer.

Tip   Tip
You can also quickly expand the navigation pane to the current location you are navigated to by pressing Ctrl+Shift+E keys.





OPTION ONE
To Turn "Expand to current folder" On or Off in Navigation Pane

1. Open File Explorer, and do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.​
2. Right click or press and hold on an empty space in the navigation pane, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)​
File_Explorer.jpg

3. Click/tap on the View tab, click/tap on the Navigation Pane button in the ribbon, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)​
ribbon.jpg

4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do.​
5. To Turn On "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
A) Click/tap on Expand to current folder (step 2) or Expand to open folder (step 3) to check it.​

6. To Turn Off "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
NOTE: This is the default setting.​
A) Click/tap on Expand to current folder (step 2) or Expand to open folder (step 3) to uncheck it.​






OPTION TWO
To Turn "Expand to current folder" On or Off in Folder Options

1. Open Folder Options, click/tap on the General tab, and do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)​
Folder_Options.jpg

2. To Turn On "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
A) Check the Automatically expand to current folder box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot above)​

3. To Turn Off "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
NOTE: This is the default setting.​
A) Uncheck the Automatically expand to current folder box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot above)​







OPTION THREE
To Turn "Expand to current folder" On or Off using REG File Download


Note   Note
The .reg files below are for the registry key and value below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

NavPaneExpandToCurrentFolder DWORD

0 = off
1 = on


1. Do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.
2. To Turn On "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​
Turn_On_Expand_to_Current_Folder_in_Navigation_Pane.reg
download

3. To Turn Off "Automatically Expand to Current Folder" in Navigation Pane
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​
NOTE: This is the default setting.​
Turn_Off_Expand_to_Current_Folder_in_Navigation_Pane.reg
download

4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.
5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.
6. Click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK when prompted.
7. If open, close and reopen File 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.
8. When finished, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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OldGrantonian

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#2
>> If turned on, the navigation pane will automatically expand open to whatever current folder you have opened in File Explorer.

I experimented with this out of interest. I cannot see any difference between checking and unchecking the option "Expand to current folder".

What should I actually be seeing/not seeing?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

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mvp
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#3
Hello OldGrantonian,

If you have it checked, then when you click on a folder in the main File Explorer window, the navigation pane will also automatically expand to that folder location.

If you have it unchecked, then when you click on a folder in the main File Explorer window, the navigation pane will not expand to that folder.

Hope this helps. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

OldGrantonian

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#4
Thanks for your response.

Here's what happens in WinXP, using Program Files (PF) as an example.

  1. Start with all folders compressed in left pane. R pane is undefined.
  2. Click + icon for PF. I see 7-Zip, Agent Ransack, and AmiBroker as first 3 folders in L pane. R pane is still undefined, as in step 1.
  3. Click - for PF. PF is compressed. R pane is still undefined, as in step 1.
  4. Single click on PF folder name. I see 7-Zip, Agent Ransack, and AmiBroker as first 3 folders in L pane. I see same 3 folders in R pane, but without the + icons.
  5. Single click on PF folder name. Nothing happens.
  6. Single click on - icon for PF. Left pane is compressed. R pane remains the same, as in step 4

That cycle of operations is EXACTLY the same in Win 8. It does not matter whether "Expand to open folder" is checked or unchecked.

Note that because Win 8 behaves exactly the same as WinXP Home, then you might ask why I'm complaining. The answer is that if one Win 8 option does not change anything, then I may have many other Win 8 options that don't change anything.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

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mvp
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#5
This should only work when checked and while you are navigating in the R pane (main pane) and not in the L pane (navigation pane).

It sounds like you are navigating in the L pane instead. ??
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
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    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    256GB OCZ Vector,
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    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
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    Lumia 1520 phone

OldGrantonian

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26
#6
It sounds like you are navigating in the L pane instead. ??
Yes. I only navigate in the left pane since Windows 2.0.

Can't imagine why anyone would use the right pane for navigation. I only use the right pane to double click on a file to open it (or run it).

So the "Expand current folder" option will never apply to me. I can safely ignore it.

Thanks for all your help :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8

Brink

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mvp
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23,007
#7
You're welcome. :)

Yep, the "Expand current folder" option only causes the navigation pane (L pane) to expand to whatever folder you select in the main window (R pane) or address bar of File Explorer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Davoid

New Member
Posts
1
#8
Great work, thanks! Now, if there was only a way to make that folder snap to the top of the folder pane to reveal subfolders like it used to rather than the bottom!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8