Make Windows Explorer’s Sidebar Expand As You Navigate Through Folders

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.

Set the Navigation Pane Tree to Automatically Expand in Windows 7 [How-To Geek]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


One response to “Make Windows Explorer’s Sidebar Expand As You Navigate Through Folders”

Leave a Reply