Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Windows Explorer sucks in Windows 7: Obsession with hiding things

Now you see them notNow you see themThe left pane of Windows Explorer has fugly triangular arrows replacing the simple plus and minus signs. Why are they there in the first place, let's remind ourselves of that first. They are there to indicate that there are subfolders inside a certain folder. But why is the behavior in Windows 7 extremely annoying? At the first opportunity it gets (the moment the mouse pointer leaves the navigation pane), the arrows disappear. Now imagine if I have to drag something from the right pane into some folder in the left pane. How am I assured that the folder I am dragging to has a subfolder? Why can't the damn arrows in the left pane be set to always show? Why do they disappear when dragging and dropping if the user clicks in the right pane before starting to drag to the left pane?
Windows XP Explorer has nothing to hideAnd while we're on the subject, why not get rid of arrows and bring back the + and - signs? The developer division did that in Visual Studio 2010 when lots of developers complained. No one's complaining about this one, people are still drunk with the Windows 7 kool-aid. Oh well, Windows XP FTW!

And btw this annoyance also applies to Windows 7's evil cousin and is also mentioned on the excellent Windows 7 Taskforce created by Long Zheng.

Fortunately, a fastastic open source shell extension called Classic Shell fixes this problem in Windows 7 and in Windows Vista!!
Update: Despite Classic Shell, Windows Explorer still needs a lot of fixing in Windows 7 and Windows 8. See the more up-to-date post for Windows 8 for a list of things that need fixing and send your feedback to Microsoft to fix these.


Anonymous said...

thx man, i just upgraded to w7 on a lappy and hoe they F***ED UP explorer is soooo dumb..this has eased my life, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Glad i am not alone. Explorer seems to have gotten worse and worse and it's functionality has been crippled with changes while retaining legacy criplement. I've so many bug bears with the new version of Explorer that I try and use the command line as much as possible now.

James Maxwell said...

This is really good. I am very glad to know about these things for windows explorer problems. Thanks a lot!