# How do I close/prevent duplicate windows in Windows Explorer?

I often end up with a lot of duplicate windows, it would be nice to have an utility to close them, leaving just one of a kind. Or it could put an opened instance forward should I try to access open one more. For example, I could wind up with five "c:\foo\bar" open, I only need one, the extra five just take up screen real estate and create clutter in the task bar.

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So you're suggesting is that if you have two Explorer windows open, one pointing at c:\foo and one pointing someplace else, that if you navigate the 2nd one to c:\foo it should, instead, just pop the one already pointing at c:\foo in front of the one your are currently using? What if you need two c:\foo views at once? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 17 '11 at 14:28
Which option do you have chosen under Tools->Folder Options->Browse Folders? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 17 '11 at 14:30
Yes, exactly. I never need two views, probably. Closing the dupes would probably work just as good. As for the option, it's the default one, "open in same window", the problem is I just tend to browse to the same folders many times. – xxzoid Nov 17 '11 at 14:37
You do know there's a red "X", and Alt-F4 available to close windows you are done with right? :) (kidding). Actually I have a suggestion that might work a little better for you. I'll post it as an answer in a few minutes. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 17 '11 at 14:44

I don't think you're going to find a utility or settings that will allow Explorer to work as you'd like.

My suggestion is to get yourself a tabbed browser add-on for Explorer, that way you only have one window, with a bunch of tabs. Personally I use QTTabBar:

It adds quite a few other useful features you may want to check out as well (ie: Folder expansion on hover, etc.).

Check out these SU questions for more suggestions on tabbed browser add-ons:

If you just want to outright replace Explorer with one that perhaps has your functionality requirements, here's a question with some ideas:

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Thanks! I'd rather not replace the shell. I'll probably end up writing a script to kill the extra instances. Sigh. – xxzoid Nov 17 '11 at 14:59
Well the tabbed browser add-on's aren't shell replacements. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 17 '11 at 15:00