File Explorer – Windows Blog by Brink

File Explorer

Add or Remove Duplicate Drives in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

Removable drives are shown as separate groups in the navigation pane of File Explorer by default in addition to being shown under the This PC group in the navigation pane.

OS drives and fixed drives (ex: internal drives) will only be shown under This PC, and not separately in the navigation pane.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the drives showing twice in the navigation pane of File Explorer for all users in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Expand to Current Folder in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.

When you have a folder or drive open in File Explorer (Win+E), you can press the Ctrl + Shift + E keys to have the navigation pane expand to the current folder or drive on demand.

You can turn on Expand to current folder to have the navigation pane automatically expand to the current folder or drive as you open them in File Explorer.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off automatically expand to current folder in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Show all folders in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.

If you like, you can select to show all the folders on your PC in the navigation pane, including your user folder, Control Panel, Libraries, and Recycle Bin.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off show all folders in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Linux in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

The¬†Windows Subsystem for Linux¬†lets developers run a GNU/Linux environment — including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications — directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dualboot setup.

WSL 2¬†is a new version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux architecture that powers the Windows Subsystem for Linux to run ELF64 Linux binaries on Windows. Its primary goals are to increase file system performance, as well as adding full system call compatibility. This new architecture changes how these Linux binaries interact with Windows and your computer’s hardware, but still provides the same user experience as in¬†WSL 1¬†(the current widely available version).

When you install WSL, it adds Linux to the navigation pane of File Explorer for access to the file systems of your installed distros.

If you like, you can remove Linux from the navigation pane of File Explorer without having to uninstall WSL.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Linux in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove OneDrive in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

OneDrive is built-in to Windows 11 by default.

With OneDrive, you can sync files between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere Рyour computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove OneDrive in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Quick access in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11

Quick access in the navigation pane of File Explorer (Win+E) allows you to quickly access and view your pinned locations, frequent folders, and recent files from one location in Quick Access.

  • Frequent folders¬†= Displays up to ten folders that you frequently opened on the system.
  • Recent files¬†= Displays up to twenty files that you most recently opened.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Quick access in the navigation pane of File Explorer for all users in Windows 11.

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Show or Hide Details Pane in File Explorer in Windows 11

The details pane in File Explorer shows you the most common properties associated with the selected file. File properties provide more detailed info about a file, such as the author, the date you last changed the file, and any descriptive tags you might have added to the file.

This tutorial will show you how to show or hide the details pane in File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Apply Folder View to All Folders in Windows 11

You can change the folder view settings in Windows 11 to what you want for each separate folder.

View settings for a folder include the template, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view.

If you like, you can apply the view settings of a folder to all folders at once without needing to manually apply one by one.

This tutorial will show you how to apply view settings of a folder to all folders for your account in Windows 11.

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Apply Folder View to All Folders of Same Template Type in Windows 11

You can change the folder view settings in Windows 11 to what you want for each separate folder.

View settings for a folder include the template, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view.

If you like, you can apply the view settings of a folder to all folders of the same template type all at once without needing to manually apply one by one.

This tutorial will show you how to apply view settings of a folder to all folders of the same template type for your account in Windows 11.

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Reset Folder View Settings to Default in Windows 11 File Explorer

You can change the folder view settings in Windows 11 to what you want for each separate folder.

Folder view settings include the File Explorer window size, template, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view of items in each folder, and the width size of the details, navigation, and preview pane in File Explorer.

If needed or wanted, you can reset view settings back to default for all folders or only all folders of the same template type.

Resetting view settings will restore the default view settings of the template used by each folder.

This tutorial will show you how to reset folder view settings to default for your account in Windows 11.

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Increase Folder View Settings Cache Memory Size in Windows 11

You can change the folder view settings in Windows to what you want for each separate folder. Folder view settings include the File Explorer window size, template, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view of items in each folder.

By default, Windows will only remember the first 5000 folders you apply folder view settings to. After you reach the default 5000 folders limit (BagMRU Size), Windows will no longer remember anymore folder view settings you apply.

Windows stores the folder view settings of the current user in the registry key below for each folder until the limit has been reached.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

If you find Windows not remembering your folder view settings, you can increase the cache memory size (BagMRU Size) up to a maximum of 20,000 folders to be remembered instead of the default 5,000 folders.

This tutorial will show you how to change or increase the folder view settings cache memory size for your account in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11 to have Windows remember more of your folder view settings.

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Change Template of Drive, Folder, or Library in Windows 11 File Explorer

Windows 11 includes the default General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos templates used to optimize the layout and view of every drive, folder, or library.

Windows 11 uses Automatic Folder Type Discovery to detect the contents of a folder and automatically optimize the folder for the proper template. If a folder contains a mixture of file types, Windows will use the General items template. If there is an overwhelming number of files with the same file type in a folder, Windows will automatically optimize the folder with the proper template to match the majority.

A template is just a default layout and view, you can customize the layout and view of a folder to how you like in File Explorer.

This tutorial will show you how to manually change the template of a drive, folder, or library for your account in Windows 11.

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Change Folder Group by View in Windows 11 File Explorer

In Windows 11, you can change the group by view of a folder in File Explorer to have all items in the folder grouped by the name, date, date modified, size, type, and more file detail you want, and have all items in the folder arranged in ascending (alphabetical ) or descending order.

The exact details available for a folder will vary depending on the template the folder is optimized for.

Each separate folder will remember its group by view as set when last closed.

This tutorial will show you how to change the group by view of a folder in File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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Change Folder Sort by View in Windows 11 File Explorer

In Windows 11, you can change the sort by view of a folder in File Explorer to have all items in the folder sorted by the name, date, date modified, size, type, and more file detail you want, and have all items in the folder sorted in ascending (alphabetical ) or descending order.

The exact details available for a folder will vary depending on the template the folder is optimized for.

Each separate folder will remember its sort by view as set when last closed.

This tutorial will show you how to change the sort by view of a folder in File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

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