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In XP/Vista, there was an explorer option called 'Simple Folder View' which had the benefit of being able to click on a folder in the left-pane (treeview) and it would expand--with this feature off, you had to double-click to expand.

In Windows 7, I can't find this feature. Is there a way to have single-click expansion on the folder treeview in Windows 7?

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you click on the arrow next to the folder or drive name, it opens with one click only. But indeed it's much smaller than clicking on the full name.

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It's gone in Vista itself too bad and not fixed in Windows 7. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List%5Fof%5Ffeatures%5Fremoved%5Ffrom%5FWindows%5FVista : A folder tree does not expand automatically while collapsing the previous one in the navigation pane even after turning on "Display simple folder view".

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The options highlighted in this screenshot might help you: Folder Options

This window can be opened by going to Organize -> Folder and search options.

Other options you can configure to 'ease' your experience are detailed here: How to Improve Windows Explorer Using Folder Options

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Classic Shell is the answer

enter image description here

It contains Classic Explorer:

Classic Explorer

Classic Explorer is a plugin for Windows Explorer that:

  • Adds a toolbar to Explorer for some common operations (Go to parent folder, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Properties, Email). The toolbar is fully customizable
  • Replaces the copy UI in Vista and Windows 7 with the more user-friendly “classic” version similar to Windows XP
  • Handles Alt+Enter in the folder panel of Windows Explorer and shows the properties of the selected folder
  • Has options for customizing the folder panel to look more like the Windows XP version or to not fade the expand buttons
  • Can show the free disk space and the total file size in the status bar
  • Can disable the breadcrumbs in the address bar
  • Fixes a long list of features that are broken in Windows 7 – missing icon overlay for shared folders, the jumping folders in the navigation pane, missing sorting headers in list view, and more
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