'Turn on Classic shell' causes single-click in Explorer.exe

Posted on 2008-10-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I have seen this little issue on Vista and Windows 2008 and would like to know if others have seen it and might know a fix/workaround.

I have a fresh install of either Vista or W2K8 on a PC and have joined a domain. The DC is also a W2K8 server.

From the PC I open up explorer.exe and create a folder on the C: drive (c:\Temp for example).
I add 3 or 4 files to the folder.

Next using explorer.exe (detailed view) I delete one of the files. After it is deleted I hover my mouse over any of the remaining files.
Nothing happens except maybe the file detail line is highlighted.  OK so far.

Now on the DC modify the 'Default Domain Policy' and enable the 'Turn on Classic Shell' GPO.
User Configuration->Policies->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Windows Explorer

Reboot the PC
Using explorer.exe delete another one of the files and then hover the cursor over one of the remaining files.

I consistently see the file become 'single click' files with the underline.

Disable the 'Turn on Classic Shell' GPO and reboot the PC to fix.

If you read the 'Explaination' for the GPO it states that you lose this functionality if you enable the property.

Can you reproduce it? Is it a bug or is there a fix for the classic shell.?

I showed this to a MS guy today that was teaching a class at our site and he said 'Why would anybody use the classic shell?'
Wrong answer....


Question by:softbreeze
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 22692556
Did you go under the Folder options to check to make sure that single click wasnt enabled when you switched to the classic shell?

Author Comment

ID: 22692596
When you select 'Turn on Classic Shell' this is greyed out since it doesn't apply when using classic shell.
I've also tried creating a GPO that overrided the Default Domain setting. This has no effect either.

Accepted Solution

softbreeze earned 0 total points
ID: 22711961
From Microsoft Support:

Customer has implemented a group policy that enforced "classic shell" in group policy -> "User Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates" -> "Windows Components" ->"Windows Explorer" -> "Turn on Classic Shell"

Windows Explorer folder do not retain custom settings such as "details", "list", etc. closing and re-opening a folder will revert back to "icon" view

from Dev:

"The "classic shell" policy hasn't been maintained since 1997.  It existed so people who were reluctant to upgrade to IE 4 could do so without a significant shell impact. But that was when the shell was redistributed outside of an OS release. Nowadays, the only way to get the new shell is to get a new OS, in which case you get what you paid for. "  So turning on "classic shell" will cause the user to lose any enhancements (folder settings included) since 1997.

In the group policy, turn off "classic shell". For this customer, we turned on "Classic Start Menu" instead so he could keep most of the Win2000 look and feel.  in group policy -> "User Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates" -> "Start Menu and Taskbar" -> "Force classic Start Menu"



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