How to disable Explorer full row selection RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi :-)


    In the new version of Explorer everywere i click (filename, date, length, whitespace) i select the full row. i really dislike this behaviour not to mention the difficulties to deselct all by mouse clicking, while in previous version i simply had to click in any non-filename area of the window. i used to scroll down by click and drag down the selection rectangle too, while now doing this it selects or move the files..

    so.. my answer is: there is a way to have "full row selection behavior" back to "filename selection" only?

    it' ok if clicking on filename (or entire filename "cell") will select the full row.. but i want clicking on other columns whitout have the row selected..

    does an option or registry tweak exist to change this behaviour?

    Thank you very much ^^

    (and apologizes for my english Smile )

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:52 PM

All replies

  • I hate this as well. It is a make/break issue for us, along with the lack of being able to drag files into the command prompt. Why does MS modify core functionality and not give you the ability to turn it back on? I have searched high and low for a fix for this to no avail.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007 3:47 PM
  • The new explorer is a major disadvantage of vista. Its a desaster. Ergonomics have suffered a lot. MS is going the wrong way. Vista is the worst windows experience i ever had.
    Wednesday, May 9, 2007 10:15 PM
  • Registering my dissatisfaction with this problem too.

    If the row takes up the entire screen width, then you literally CANNOT perform various context menut tasks (eg. create new folder), because there is no blank area to right-click on.

    Microsoft, even if you want to have this as the default behaviour for some strange reason, there is still no reason not to have the ability to disable it.
    Friday, May 11, 2007 8:43 AM
  • It doesn't mater what you say or what we think they are not listening to us any more.  I have been a die hard fan for 15+ years.  Linux is the way.  Never in a million year did I think I would say that.
    Wednesday, May 23, 2007 6:52 PM

    I totally agree!!  Microsoft!!! WTF??    You removed basic functionality that we have been happily using for the last 12 years!!    I can't really see that this is a good thing.  It is not progress.  What kind of idiots did you put in charge of making these changes?  I may not buy one more copy of vista for any of my machines because of this.  do not change things that do not need to be changed! do not remove functionality!   If you want to change something that has been a part of the OS for years and years, and that people use every day, then please also allow us to revert to the way it was, the way we were happy with.


    I used this feature to select filenames based on the length of the filename. It literally saved me thousands of clicks. Now, i have to go and select every-other file, in some cases there are thousands. this reduces my productivity in some cases to a point where using XP is the only viable option.



    Wednesday, November 21, 2007 6:40 PM

    Are you comfortable with editing the registry?
    Under the key:
    Create a new REG_DWORD value named FullRowSelect.  Leave it's data as 0x0.
    At this point, only new folders created would show the behavior you desire, because the state of this flag is saved with every folder view.  To apply to all folders, you need to delete saved folder views by deleting the following two keys:
    [HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]
    If you have a lot of time invested in your folder views, I can post a script later that will clear the flag without losing your saved views.

    Good Luck,
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Shell/User]
    Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:29 PM
  • Sorry, that doesn't work. Please verify your statements before posting. Maybe you just don't have understand the problem. I don't know... Thx for trying to help anyway.
    Thursday, February 14, 2008 9:00 PM

    I have the same issue with row selecting, too. Therefore i ask Microsoft to give us an option for disabling, it. Also (as an option) i would really like to have the Start Menu show cascaded Programs, the "Up One Level" button ,and disable option of bordered text when hovering the mouse above it in exporer.

     I know these things can be partially achieved using plugins and third party softs as QTTab Bar, which can disable the row selection but not for all columns, adds the up one level button( but does not appear in save as context) or use a theme like Royale for Vista Basic or some other start menu tweaking, but as i said only PARTIALLY, so an OPTION to switch them on / off would be highly appreciated!

     Suggestions are welcomed ! Smile


    Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:06 PM
  • It does work.  I don't post anything without testing.  Check out the screenshots:





    Maybe you'll have better luck running the script:




    And here's the script to switch it back to default behavior:




    Good Luck,



    Friday, March 14, 2008 9:56 PM
  • It does work indeed like shown on your pictures but it doesn't touch the problem. Try to drag&drop some files. There's still that nasty black line coming up showing between files and folders. That's the only moment you can safely drop the file without another file/folder interaction. You need a very precise mice and quiet hand for that. But the main disadvantage is the massive slowdown in workflow. People need way more time for standard tasks in windows. This behaviour changed for the first time since win95 and there is no option to fall back to old behaviour.

    When i copy or move a file between two windows i drop the file precisely and then have to press the 'name' tab every time in vista additionally because sort order changes to 'custom' or something but i want strictly 'name' sorting. I couldn't figure out yet how its possible to get back to that 'custom' view in case one accidentally enables a different view.
    Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:16 PM
  • O.K.  That's a different issue than the OP's.  My script does revert detail columns to behaving like folder background, which is what he wanted.


    It doesn't help neimadsito, selection rectangle behavior is still different from XP.


    But what you're describing is the 'feature' of Explorer now able to remember a custom user order (set by dragging & dropping) in addition to sort orders.  This was present in XP under Thumbnail, Icon, and Tile views -- but not under List or Details.  Also under XP, the custom order would be lost when switching view modes.  In Vista, it works in all view modes and the order is retained when switching between modes, but will be lost if you click on a column header & trigger a sort.

    Simply dragging an item out of sort order puts the folder in this custom mode and, apparently, so does dropping files/folders into it.


    If you want to drop items into a sorted folder & have them assimilate into the sort order automatically,  drop them on the Titlebar, Toolbar or the Details pane of the target folder rather than into the listview control itself.





    Monday, March 17, 2008 4:38 AM
  • Indeed the script works, 10x a lot Keith! I was using 3rd party application to do this but is slowed down the explorer
    Monday, March 17, 2008 2:56 PM

  • This is what happens when you have FEMALES doing the GUI design. Vista explorer is a disaster. Alt-Enter on folders or files doesn't open the properties of an object, the vista start menu is black, black, black no matter how much you want to change it, it gives it a 'bit less than black' hue.

    And what about maximising an application - the entire taskbar and window goes black black black.
    Thursday, May 1, 2008 2:53 AM
  • The registry entry worked for me and yes vista has lots of changes for changes sake, like Backspace to go up a folder level moving to ALT Up (now an extra button click and 2 hands needed, not easy for disabled people) and Add/Remove programs (near the top in Control Panel) now Programs and Features (now hidden half way down).  Microsoft haven't heard of the phrase "if it ain't broke don't fix it", I won't even go into the changes in office.
    Thursday, May 1, 2008 9:16 PM
  • I haven't gotten this fixed yet.. I'm going to try the script.. But there is a way to disable it with a single click (well once you get there.. )

    Go to the performance options and scroll down to the last check box in the list.. The one where it says to use visual styles and uncheck it. You now lose the option of having transparency and all the pretty vista logo and basically EVERYTHING that is making vista a nice looking GUI and go back to looking like Server 2003 base.

    BUT you can at least select multiple files with the mouse.

    Microsoft.. What the F were you thinking? Seriously who the hell thought it would make things better to select a whole row when you click a file? And then for it to make it into the final product? What the hell is the benefit to having this at all? You lose the ability to right click save for bare space that you have to hunt for or resize the window a tiny tiny bit and you can ctrl click + drag select multiple files anymore in list view..

    This is by far the DUMBEST most backwards explorer 'enhancement' ever. Whoever let this go through should be slapped and fired.
    Thursday, March 5, 2009 10:29 AM
  •  is: there is a way to have "full row selection behavior" back to "filename selection" only?

    Yes, I just found a vbs script which works perfectly on my Windows 7 Pro x64. Please have a look on the following thread (http://forums.techarena.in/operating-systems/1278762.htm, 4th posting) and download ClearFullRowSelect.zip.

    Start the vbs script inside the zip file, close every explorer window (in fact I killed the explorer completely), continue the script and start a new Explorer instance via Taskmanager (or logoff/login, that's the same). That's all.

    (For those who want to be careful: Just create a system restore point first.)

    I really don't know what this script does exactly in the registry, but it works. I tried another solution first (How to Disable Full Row Select in Explorer in Windows 7, http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/disable-full-row-select-explorer-windows-7/) and applied the registry patch which should work under Win7 ultimate x64, but it did not work.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010 10:11 AM
  • None of these registry "fixes" will work in Window 8.  Microsoft has ignored users again.  They have written it so that any change to the registry will autochange back on computer restart.  Check it out.
    Sunday, June 17, 2012 12:59 PM
  • >Let's all change to Linux.
    Sunday, June 17, 2012 1:01 PM