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When using a tree view (e.g. the folders list in Explorer), there are little triangles next to each node which contains sub-nodes. Unfortunately, they fade out as soon as one leaves the tree view with the mouse. This is very annoying, because one can't see anymore which folders contain sub-nodes as soon as the mouse is somewhere else.

Is there a way to prevent Vista from fading out the little triangles?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I miss the simplicity of the old windows explorer. That being said, the only way I know of to have some indication of which folders have sub-folders and which don't on Vista is as follows:

  • go to Control Panel
  • open Folder Options
  • go to the View tab
  • Under Advanced Settings and under Files and Folders
  • there is a checkbox: Display simple folder view in Navigation pane. Uncheck it.

Now in your folder tree view, the folder nodes that that don't have any subfolders will have a straight line flowing down their left side whereas those folders with subfolders have a blank space (where the triangle would be) on their left side with dots above and below the blank space.

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I checked aero.msstyles (the file which contains all the visual resources) and it seems that treeview expander glyphs are resource ids #804-812.

I was hoping to find a transparent resource or zone which might have hold a non-hovered, transparent version of the expander, but it nothing like that seems present (the idea being that if such a resource existed, one could edit it with the appropriate expander icons).

I also checked Aero's UIFILE resource in shellstyle.dll, looking for something related to focus or mouse movement for treeview expanders. Again, no dice.

Therefore I think that it is probably not possible, at least not through editing the visual style files.

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To stop the fade effect in Vista's tree explorer you need to change the "Fade or Slide Menus into View"

  1. Right click Computer > Properties
  2. Advanced System Settings
  3. Under Performance click Settings
  4. Un-check Fade or Slide Menus into View
  5. Apply
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I couldn't find any way to do it by configuration, but clicking in that window (or clicking an item in the list) will stop the fade out.

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Unfortunately, they fade out again as soon as you click somewhere else again... – Bob Jul 21 '09 at 17:32

I can confirm that there is no setting to change this. A comprehensive list of items that can be disabled is available here.

You can also have a look at the options under Performance.

  • System
  • Advanced System Settings
  • Advanced
  • Performance Settings
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