Windows 7 took out the horizontal scrollbar in the navigation (left) panel of Windows Explorer, and supposedly replaced it with a feature called "dynamic multi-dimensional scrolling". That feature doesn't seem to work for me at all, and I'd rather just have a scrollbar back.

Does anybody know of a way to re-enable it? A registry tweak, perhaps?

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately you can't. Have a look at this link.


As a developer, i know that to be able to open many layers of folders is a totally needed feature. Same for graphic designers, researchers and a lot of people needing to manage big or complex groups of information.

Somebody said [i'm sorry, i lost the reference] the solution is in a toolset called ClassicShell:

I myself didn't try it yet, but going too. It has some explorer modifications that add back some features we miss from WinXP days.

Another solution is just to use any Win7 file explorer with an alternative like:

  • Explorer++
  • Q-Dir
  • Unreal Commander
  • NexusFile

Well, the first one looks like an old-fashioned Explorer with steroids, while the other three are different paradigms at solving the same problem: efficiently browse through your file system.

I just use all four and use each of them depending of the task at hand. Mainly:

  • Explorer++, to replace Win7 file explorer, of course
  • Nexusfile, for side to side file management
  • Unreal Commander, for its wonderful copy|move way, you can queue and pause copy|move operations, it is side to side file management too
  • Q-dir allows you to manage up to four folders at the same time, making it wonderful to perform simple file copy|move operations but involving many folders at a time

All four works wonderful even at netbook small screens.

As a side note, it seems they placed no horizontal scrollbar by design, mainly to cope with the defficiency of Windows at managing paths longer than 256 characters, a problem that is bugging Windows from Win9x days and it is still present more than 15 years later. It makes you wonder how much of the modern Windows versions codebase is still using pretty old libraries and dependencies.

  • 1
    The primary issue with >256 character paths isn't in the OS, it's with the ~10 billion 3rd party apps. A significant fraction would break if given longer paths because they have hardcoded the path length instead of querying it from the OS. A partial workaround would be to resurrect the ~1, ~2, etc kludge used to allow long paths and 8.3 apps to coexist and use it to compress individual file/folder names within the path. However in addition to being ugly it would still fail for a path that was nested sufficiently deeply, and being something almost never seen many apps would never be fixed. Nov 3, 2011 at 20:58
  • Yeas, it is like you said, but... well, when i was talking about windows i was talking to the whole ecosystem of applications with the same viral illness... something we have to live with...
    – cablop
    Dec 23, 2011 at 22:24

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