How do I get the Explorer navigation pane to highlight the current folder all the time?

Raymond Chen

In Windows 7, the folder tree in the Explorer navigation pane by default no longer highlights the item in the view pane. This change was based on user testing and feedback, but if, like me, you prefer things the old way, you can play with two new check boxes on the Folder Options dialog. You can get to Folder Options in a variety of ways:

  • From the Control Panel, go to Appearance and Personalization → Folder Options. (Or just type Folder Options into the Control Panel search box or the Start menu search box to go straight there.)
  • From the Explorer menu bar, select Tools → Folder options.
  • From the Explorer command bar, select Organize → Folder and search options.
  • Or you can exercise your super élite status and just right-click on a blank space in the navigation pane.

However you wind up there, the item you want to turn on is Automatically expand to current folder (or Expand to current folder if you use the super élite method).


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