A simple option in Windows Explorer’s preferences fixes one of its biggest annoyances, automatically expanding the left sidebar as you navigate through your computer’s folders.
Perhaps this is an obvious tip, but once I discovered it, I realised how useful it can be. In Windows 7, by default, Explorer’s sidebar stays the same size unless you click within it. That is, if you use the right pane to navigate through folders, as most of us do, the left sidebar doesn’t change. With a simple tweak, though, you can have the left sidebar focus on your current folder in the tree as you click around the right pane. To enable this feature:
- Open up Explorer and go to Organize > Folder and Search Options.
- On the General tab, look under “Navigation Pane” and check “Automatically expand to current folder”.
This is especially useful considering Windows 7’s Explorer doesn’t have a “go one folder up” butto. You could always click on the folder’s name in Explorer’s address bar or use the backspace key, but this can save you a few clicks if you’re constantly jumping around adjacent folders. Again, it certainly isn’t a new tip, but we’ve never featured it before, and having just discovered it, I thought it was a pretty cool feature.