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Every time I open a folder in Windows Explorer, it opens the folder in a new window.

I double-checked all the options in Folder Options, including Launch folder windows in a separate process but changing that has no effect.

I can open the folder normally by right-clicking on it and selecting "Open". It works but obviously involves additional steps.

I've tried rebooting and have checked that my Ctrl key isn't stuck, but the problem still exists.

Any ideas? Are there any registry tweaks to fix my problem?

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  • 3
    Have you tried restarting? I've had this randomly occur before, and a restart fixed it.
    – nhinkle
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 7:56
  • yup, I tired it already. the problem is still remaining. Commented May 2, 2011 at 7:57
  • I've had something similar too, I think if the <Control> key is stuck down it does that as well...
    – Mokubai
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 7:58
  • my <Ctrl> key works well. Commented May 2, 2011 at 7:59
  • 1
    When you right-click a folder, is the default (bolded) action "Open in new window" instead of "Open"?
    – Justin
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 13:28

4 Answers 4

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I had the same problem. To fix this issue, follow the steps given by Justin except if 'open in same window' is already selected, select 'open in new window'. Click Ok. Open the same Folder settings window and select 'open in same window' and click Ok. That should fix the issue.

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A web page describing the solution to this problem used to exist, but you can still find it on archive.org.

I’m not sure of the exact details, but this is what I think I’ve found. Perhaps someone at Microsoft would correct or elaborate on this. Previously, actxprxy.dll (ActiveX Interface Marshaling Library) was used as the proxy for a multitude of system interfaces, such as IShellFolder and IServiceProvider. In Windows 7 (and probably Vista also), the GUID of this library has changed from {B8DA6310-E19B-11D0-933C-00A0C90DCAA9} to {C90250F3-4D7D-4991-9B69-A5C5BC1C2AE6}. Secondly, there is also a new Proxy/Stub provider found in ieproxy.dll of Internet Explorer (IE ActiveX Interface Marshaling Library). Some interfaces that previously used actxprxy.dll are now registered to use ieproxy.dll. Now various problematic software (such as Vault 3.x) will try to register against actxproxy using the old GUID, and for interfaces now proxied by ieproxy.dll.

To solve, re-register 2 DLLs and reboot:

regsvr32 "%SystemRoot%\System32\actxprxy.dll"
regsvr32 "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll"

HTH

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    Awesome. Indeed, it works, didn't even had to reboot. FYI make sure to run these commands as "administrator". Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 23:07
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Create a batch file in Notepad with the text below:

For 32 bit and 64 bit:

@echo off
IF EXIST "%SystemRoot%\System32\actxprxy.dll" "%SystemRoot%\System32\regsvr32.exe" "%SystemRoot%\System32\actxprxy.dll"
IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll" "%SystemRoot%\System32\regsvr32.exe" "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll"

And for 64 bit only (32bit on 64 bit):

@echo off
IF EXIST "%WinDir%\SysWOW64\actxprxy.dll" "%WinDir%\SysWOW64\regsvr32.exe" "%WinDir%\SysWOW64\actxprxy.dll"
IF EXIST "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll" "%WinDir%\SysWOW64\regsvr32.exe" "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll"**

Name the batch file ‘FixWindowsExplorer.cmd’ and then run the batch file as Administrator.

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When I had this problem, I right-clicked a folder and 'Open In New Window' was the first option. Because of this that is why double-clicking a folder opened a new window.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell change the (Default) to open (which should match the subkey 'open') and that should do it.

The way I fixed it originally was I downloaded a program called ContextEdit version 1.2 by Ziff-Davis Media, Inc. Once open, scroll down to Folder, click on 'open' and click 'Set Default'. It should say 'DEFAULT' to the left of the word 'open'. On my PC there was two Folder options, its the one that has 'opennewwindow' under shell commands.

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