I have created a folder on the Windows desktop that I want to display only icons, short cuts to programs. Whenever I open the window it displays as an Explorer folder, ie with the directory tree on the left pane and the files on the right, which is my standard Explorer settings.

How can I configure that folder in particular to open as a single square window with icons only?

Simply, my question is How do I open a particular folder without the navigation pane showing up?

  • 1
    Your question is not clear. If you want a specific folder to behave difference, change the layout, with the understanding the user can change it (for them) at any time.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:47
  • 2
    Is your question "how do open a particular folder without the navigation pane showing up"? Nav pane can't be turned off on a per-folder basis. Anyway I'll play with bags\FFlags values and post back if I find anything..
    – w32sh
    Feb 29, 2016 at 15:52
  • @w32sh That is more or less what I want
    – vfclists
    Feb 29, 2016 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


I tried to do this myself. I don't think what you are asking for is possible. You can right click on the folder and edit the properties. Choose Customize and optimize the folder for Videos and it will give you large icons, but if you want the navigation bar to show up in Explorer, then it is still going to show.

My solution instead of a desktop folder would be to move the folder to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. That way anything in there is just a link right out of the start menu, which, in my opinion, is where program shortcuts belong anyway. If you want it to be easy to find, just name it "_name" and it will be automatically sorted to the top of the list.

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