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In Vista, there was a feature by which, if you were in a Windows Explorer menu, you could type the first few letters of a file name, and it would automatically jump to that file. However, when I attempt to do this in Windows 7, it just types it into the searchbar, which takes much longer, and is terribly unintuitive. Is there any way to restore this functionality, perhaps even by replacing Windows Explorer with a freeware program?

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In Windows Explorer, press alt to show the menu. Click Tools, then Folder options. Select the view tab, and scroll to the bottom of the list of options under "Advanced Settings". Under the option "When typing into list view", check "Select the typed item in the view".

Explorer Options

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