How to Disable Full Row Select Functionality in Windows Vista Explorer

In Windows Vista, if you are using "Details" view in Windows Explorer you have noticed that when you hover mouse cursor over any item, it highlights or selects the full row. This behavior is different than the previous Windows versions.

In previous Windows versions like Windows XP, only the file/folder name was selected instead of the full row. If you want the same functionality in Windows Vista back i.e. want to disable the "Full Row Select" functionality in Windows Vista Explorer, then follow this tutorial.

[Before applying this tutorial] Full row select enabled (Default):


[After applying this tutorial] Full row select disabled:


So without wasting time let's start the tutorial:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor. Now go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Advanced

2. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD FullRowSelect and keep its value to 0

3. After applying this tweak, if you create or open a new folder, it'll have the Full Row Select functionality disabled. But the existing folders will still have the Full Row Select functionality enabled.

4. To disable Full Row Select functionality in all existing folders, we'll need to reset all folder view types settings as mentioned here. Go to following key:

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

and delete "Bags" key under it.

5. Again go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Streams

And delete "Defaults" key under it.

6. Log off and now the "Full Row Select" functionality will be disabled in all existing as well as new folders.

PS: If you are not familiar with Registry editing and want a ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script to Disable Full Row Select in Windows Vista

The ZIP file also contains a restore registry script to restore full row select functionality in Windows Vista.

Also Check:

[Windows Tip] Disable Full Row Select and Auto-Arrange Features in Windows Explorer


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows Vista

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  • I tried the key on win vista-x64 and it worked.

    full row select is actually a good idea imo, I see where they were going with it but the real problem is it's buggy and inconsistent, that's really the only reason I want to get rid of it. if you notice the only time it works 100% is when you select/drag/drop on the icon/text itself, which kind of defeats the purpose. if you try to do file actions on empty space, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, even while the full row is always highlighted.

  • Ive tried it just tonight. the result is successful.

  • THANKS !!!! it worked , I used the script and it worked , you have no idea how long I was wanting to fix that full row select it was a pita

  • THANK YOU! I had previously disabled full row select everywhere, but somehow my desktop folder reverted back to it and I HATE full row select. Running the reg script fixed it instantly, as soon as I closed open windows and opened new ones, NOT having to wait until a logoff and on.

    It was amazing just how many entries windows had built up in that "bags" registry key, which I backed up just in case I want to go back but no, this worked great.

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