Changing Explorer Navigation Controls

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2016)

Al notes that after a decade using Windows XP and now forced into Windows 7, he's obviously 10 years older. This means he needed to change some visibility settings in Windows so I could see some controls. Making that change, however, somehow changed the Windows Explorer navigation pane's expand/collapse controls from triangles to +/- signs. Al wonders how he can get the triangles back, hopefully without canceling his readability changes.

Henry, in response, notes that the designers of Windows 7 put together some very good code for the operating system, but they ignored or forgot many well-honed user interface features and policies from XP. Among the first additions Henry makes to restore lost functionality to a new Windows 7 system is to install two utilities: Classic Shell and Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

Together these utilities get you a desktop, Windows Explorer, and right-click menus that make working on the system much easier. You can find them at these locations:

http://www.classicshell.net/
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/ultimate-windows-tweaker-v2-a-tweak-ui-for-windows-7-vista

Both utilities are freeware. It should be noted that the first utility (Classic Shell) also works with Windows 8 and Windows 10, as well.

 This tip (12904) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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