After I applied the WannaCry patch (32-bit Win7SP1), the focus in Windows Explorer has been following the mouse. I hate to fall prey to the "Post hoc" fallacy, but that patch is the only thing I can think of that I've changed in ages on this PC. Now, whenever the pointer hovers more than very briefly over any item in Windows Explorer, it 'selects' that item in the same fashion it used to from a single click. So then a single-click registers as a double-click.

If I hold the key and move the pointer fairly slowly, it selects every item the cursor passes over. If I hold the key, hover over any menu item (it is selected), then slide the pointer quickly to any other menu item and hover there, the first and last and all in between are selected.

If I double-click on a folder, the second click is buffered and passed on to whatever menu item lies directly underneath the folder I clicked on. So if the file underneath has any function associated with it (open or run), that function also executes.

So it's treating a hover exactly the same as a single-click.

I triple-checked and what I have configured in "Folder Options" is the same as it always was, "Double-click to open an item (single-click to select)". Under other circumstances I would select the single-click option, then switch back, just to test the results, but I can't because the single-click option is grayed-out, unavailable.

Focus elsewhere, such as when changing windows, in unaffected. Changing the active window still requires a single-click and does NOT follow the cursor. The only place thus far I have noted this behavior is in Windows Explorer.

Neither my (ESET) antivirus nor Malwarebytes find any irregularities.

My next step is to use Windows Restore (which I'm pretty confident will fix the problem) but I'm posting here in the hope I can find the cause and make this a learning experience, before I invoke the M$ time machine.

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    Perhaps an inadvertently enabled accessibility feature? – I say Reinstate Monica May 18 '17 at 16:00
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    I already checked that. I didn't change any and AFAIK there is no accessibility feature that would affect focus in Explorer but not also affect window selection. – bobsnephew May 18 '17 at 16:52
  • I broke down and ran a system restore. The only restore available was the one created before applying the WannaCry patch. I guess the patch's self-install features deleted all the previous restore points so you couldn't revert even if you wanted to. Unfortunately, the restore DID NOT correct my problem. The plot thickens. – bobsnephew May 20 '17 at 2:01
  • How about a screen shot? Might jog some ideas out of the cobweb I call a brain. – I say Reinstate Monica May 20 '17 at 2:38
  • I don't know how to make a screen shot that shows the difference between one click or two. – bobsnephew May 20 '17 at 17:44

It was happening because I had 'Classic Shell' enabled.

I thought to choose the opposite setting (single-click) in Windows Explorer, just to see what would happen, but when I opened the Folder Options applet, I found that the 'Single Click' option was grayed out. Which got me to thinking I'd probably have to resort to editing the registry to get my double-click back. I mean, there's nothing you can't fix with regedit, right? ;-)

Searching for the correct registry key, I found a reference at M$.com ("Single-click to open an item" in the Folder Options is grayed out) showing how to enable single-click when running Classic Shell. Which was the opposite of what I wanted but it gave me the idea to try disabling Classic Shell in the registry. So I drilled down to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and changed the value of the 'ClassicShell' key to zero. The double-click to select came back immediately but the option for single-click in the Windows Explorer GUI only came back after a reboot.

Yeah, somewhere along the way I must've thought it would be a good idea to enable Classic Shell, then immediately forgot I'd done it. What is it that Forrest Gump fella always says, ....?

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