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When you go to choose a file in Windows 7 from an application there are a variety of different file chooser windows that can come up. I have included examples below.

A large file chooser brought up by A large file chooser brought up by

A small file chooser brought up by Chrome A small file chooser brought up by Chrome

A Java file chooser A Java file chooser

I understand that the java file chooser can not be changed, but is there someway I can get the large file chooser to always come up instead of the small file chooser? I really like having the shortcuts on the left.

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Great question, but until you get a real answer, PlacesBar Editor may help you choose shortcuts useful to you in the smaller file chooser. It's an old application but still works in Windows 7. – Jamie Schembri Nov 21 '10 at 11:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The actual chooser that shows up is down to the API call from the application. You can't really change that easily.

However, there is some limited customisation of the file dialog enabled in Windows. You have to dig through the local Group Policy (Start -> Run-> 'gpedit.msc'), to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Explorer -> Common Open File Dialog.

If you want your Favourites showing up in the sidebar, I think you can edit 'Items displayed in Places Bar' and add %userprofile%/Links (or %userprofile%/Favorites, I can never remember which one and I'm not on Windows just now to check). You can add any custom folder locations you like.

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As far as I know the type of "file-chooser" that comes up is not up to Windows, but depends on what part of the Windows API the developer of the specific application decided to use.

This is why Java applications will always come up with the Java chooser and Windows applications vary between the large/extended chooser to the smaller one.

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