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

  1. #1
    Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off

    Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off
    How to Turn Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" On or Off in Windows 8 and 8.1
    Published by Brink is online now
    31 Oct 2012
    Default Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off

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    Brink's Avatar
    Administrator

    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Posts: 22,584

    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.





    Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off OPTION ONE Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off
    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)

    Click image for larger version

    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)

    Click image for larger version

    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.






    Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off OPTION TWO Navigation Pane "Expand to Current Folder" - On or Off
    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)

    Name:  Folder_Options.jpg
Views: 21396
Size:  64.9 KB

    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)






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


  2. #1


    >> 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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3


    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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #4


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6


    Posts : 22,584
    64-bit Windows 10


    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 System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Posts : 1
    Win 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 System SpecsSystem Spec

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