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When opening Explorer in Windows 7, the directory tree on the left contains Libraries and the user's home directory. These two starts expanded/collapsed according to their expanded/collapsed state when Explorer was closed.

Is there a way to ensure the libraries and user's home directory always start in the collapsed state?

I generally start explorer with windows + E key combination.

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So the answer is there is no way to do this. Windows 7 does not provide any way changing the default behavior.

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