In XP Explorer you could drag column widths to any size you wanted. However, annoyingly Vista does not allow you to set them to less than 80 pixels, losing valuable screen real estate.

I have asked this question on a few tech sites - this is the last time I will ask it. Hope someone can help.

Dell Inspiron 1501, Vista Business SP2

  • Damn that's a tough question! – Ivo Flipse Aug 19 '09 at 7:29
  • Not really sure it helps so comment and not answer. You can always hide the column if you don't want to see it - However obviously if you just want it small, this is not really a good solution. – William Hilsum Sep 16 '09 at 9:03

I have found a solution! Well, kinda...

I've just tried this so I can confirm it works, but I have Windows 7 so unsure if this will work on Vista too.

Right-click on a column header and select 'Size (All) Column(s) to Fit'. This seems to overrule the 80px limit, at least on columns that have this little data in them.

The only problem is that if you try to resize any other columns after this, it re-enforces the 80px rule again and any smaller columns expand back to 80px.

Could I ask why this is a problem though? Unless you have an extremely low res screen I cant see how saving say 20 extra pixels is going to be benificial.

Anyway, hope that can solve your problem.


I fear the 80 pixels really is as low as Vista will go, I was unable to find the registry key that determines the lowest width

The sad thing is, Windows 7 has the same limitation...

  • Thanks for your effort Ivo, appreciated. Perhaps MS can be persuaded to include the option to narrow column width in the next incarnation of Windows. Though by then I expect to have converted to Linux. – jonrichco Aug 22 '09 at 12:28
  • Your welcome, I looked very hard, but most people were complaining that the 80 pixel limit is indeed a hard coded limit. Though I hoped there would be a reg fix for this... – Ivo Flipse Aug 22 '09 at 19:06
  • Win8 has the same limits as Win7, i.e. 40-999px for the # column and 80-999px for the rest. TBH though given the high resolutions possible with graphics cards (or even on-board solutions) and monitors, this restriction has never once bothered me in all these years. – Karan Jul 2 '13 at 18:48

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