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Open an Explorer in Two-Pane Tree Mode

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Here's how to open a folder so that it automatically shows the tree pane on the left and the folder contents on the right.

Developers and administrators are quite comfortable with the tree-structured directory system, but Microsoft apparently found that the two-pane Explorer is confusing to the average Windows user... So they set the default to show the single-pane Folder View.  If you create a shortcut to a folder (or if you type a directory path in Start/Run..., etc.) then that's what you get.  You will need to click the [Folders] button on the toolbar if you want to use the tree pane to navigate around to related folders or to move to a different part of the hierarchy altogether.
One-Pane vs. Two-Pane ExplorerWhat's more, although the Explorer can remember a lot about that folder view -- the view type (Detail vs. Icon vs. Thumbnails) and sort order, and even the window size and location, it does not recall that you like to view that folder in the two-pane mode.

So, here's how to create a shortcut so that when the folder opens, it will display in the two-pane mode:


Right-click on the desktop and ...
Select New Shortcut


Click the Browse button and locate the desired folder.
Click [OK].


The directory path appears in the "location" box.
Now, click on the left side of that box and insert:
    Explorer /e,
to the left of the pathname.   Don't forget the comma (,).Creating the ShortcutClick [Next].


Give the shortcut a name -- I suggest the obvious:  Use the folder name.
Click [Finish].


By default, the desktop icon will look like a computer.  I usually right-click the icon, select Properties, click Change Icon... and pick one of the folder-looking pictures.
There you have it -- a desktop shortcut which, when double-clicked, will open a new Explorer window on the folder and it will be in two-pane, Explorer mode.

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1 Comment
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Expert Comment

Also, pressing "Window+E" (where window is the button with the windows logo on it) will open Explorer in Explorer view.


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