How do I show the Windows 7 Explorer Tree like in Windows XP

Ever since working with Windows 7, I was really not pleased with the way that the file Explorer works. It does not show the folder tree like you're used to under Windows XP. The default Windows 7 setting is really annoying. Recently, I discovered you can easily change this behavior. This is really one of those tips that makes your computing experience much better in my opinion, because I use the explorer all day.

Just open the Windows Explorer and see if you can see your menubar (with items File, Edit, View, Tools and Help). In case you don't see this menubar, just press the left Alt key once and the menu should show up.

Next, go to Tools and Folder options... like in below picture:

windows 7 explorer folder tree 1

After that the following dialog will pop up. Check both checkboxes 'Show all folders' and 'Automatically expand to current folder'. Click the Ok button next and you're done.

windows 7 explorer folder tree 2

Now in your Explorer, you can see the folder tree like you're used to under Windows XP. One last thing to remember (because the small up- or parent-folder button is also missing in the new Explorer): you can always use the Backspace key to go one folder up in the hierarchy when one folder is focused. I hope you like these tips.

windows 7 explorer folder tree 3


Windows 7 Classic Shell

Many people are not always happy with the changes in the start menu of Windows 7 or the way Windows Explorer behaves. There is a free solution for this: Windows Classic Shell. It allows you to change your start menu back to the start menu you were used to under Windows XP.

classic shell start menu

Further, it changes the file copy to the dialog you were used to under Windows XP (see below), which also is in my opinion much more ituitive than the Windows 7 file copy and replace dialog. There are some more improvements in the Windows Explorer (like additional buttons - e.g. the 'folder up' button, which is lacking in Windows Explorer under Windows 7).

Find out for yourself whether you like this tool, but I am impressed by it. It looks good and seems to be stable.

classic shell file copy


SMB Iomega NAS disk not reachable from Windows 7

I have an Iomega 500 Gb NAS disk (external storage with ethernet connection) and I was not able to reach it from Windows 7 for some strange reason. With Windows XP there was no problem at all: just typed the name of the NAS, e.g. \\nasdisk in the address bar of Windows Explorer and it showed up. At work we also have a NAS from another vendor that also was not reachable from several Windows 7 computers. After some reseach I was able to reach it by the following steps:

Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Local Security Policy (or type Secpol.msc in the startmenu-box)
Local Policies - Security Options
Network security: LAN Manager authentication level
Send LM & NTLM responses
Minimum session security for NTLM SSP
Disable Require 128-bit encryption

After changing these two settings I was able to see my NAS from Windows 7.

How Do I Show The Windows 7 Explorer Tree • Windows 7 Classic Shell