Set Explorer View as Default for My Computer and Other Folder Windows in Windows XP

When you open My Computer or any other folder in Windows XP, it shows the Common Tasks in left side as default view.


When you open Windows Explorer, it shows Folder list in left side as default view.


Many people like me find Explorer view more convenient and useful rather than the common tasks pane. So here is a small trick which can be used to set "Explorer" view as default in My Computer and all folder windows. So whenever you'll open My Computer or any folder, it'll show Folder list just like Windows Explorer instead of the common tasks in left side.

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:


2. In right-side pane, set value of "Default" to explore


3. That's it. Now open My Computer or any other folder, it'll show Folder List in left side pane.

NOTE: To revert back to default view, just delete Default key from right-side pane mentioned in Step 2.

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Posted in: Windows XP

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  • Nice ... Superb


    Thanx a lot for the guidance

  • Hey Vishal,

    Great tip that I wish I had found a very long time ago. However, one small issue; when I click on Open Drive in the Autorun prompt when inserting a USB memory stick/SD memory card it doesn't open up with the folder view. Likewise when clicking a link in the ViStart start menu on the right. Strange thing is, after double clicking a folder or drive after the first initial Explorer window it opens a new Explorer window with folder view and works from then on, but still having the first Explorer window without folder view still open.

    Do you have to apply explore as the default somewhere else as well, like all the drive letters with the corresponding subentry or under shellex?

    Also, a more elegant way than opening regedit and finding the key is to go to folder options, then File Types, then click (NONE) Folder, click advanced and click Explore and then click the Set Default button.

  • VG

    ^^ Cant help much as its a very old tutorial and currently I dont have access to Windows XP. :)

  • how to "When you open My Computer or any other folder in Windows XP, it shows the Common Tasks in left side as default view."?


  • hello... im mathfreak and i always visit your site for system tweaks... i'm really thankful for your support to people like me... anyways i have some questions:
    1. how can i make my own theme for xp... is there a program which is easy to use???

    2. could you remove the title bar (folders with x) in the folder pane in xp... i really hate that title bar...

  • VG

    ^^ In past there used to be a paid software Style Builder which allowed you to create Windows XP themes but it has been discontinued from the developer. You can search on Google for older versions of this program.

  • That's soooo good. Why doesn't anyone else seem to know this?
    Thank you so very much.

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