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Hidden Tricks in Vista’s Explorer

Friday, February 1st, 2008 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

When Microsoft redesigned Windows Vista’s Windows Explorer interface, a lot more functionality was included, compared to previous versions of Windows. While some of the new functionalities are noticeable, a lot of the built in hidden features are not easily found or recognized. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today! One in particular is featured below.

Address Bar

If you’re not used to viewing the Explorer path as a breadcrumb trail and you want to view the full path, simply left click anywhere to the right of the path in the address bar and you will see the full path displayed (in a Windows XP style). To return to the other view, you can hit the Esc key on your keyboard. (Note: To display the XP style full path, just click where the circle is shown in the address bar).

To quickly create a shortcut to the location you are viewing, right click anywhere to the right of the path in the address bar and select Copy Address. That will put the text of the path on your clipboard, allowing you to switch to your desktop, right click and select Paste Shortcut (or wherever you want to place it). Since the path is stored on your clipboard, it can also be pasted in a document, e-mail and so on.

If you’re in a deeply nested folder where the address bar does not have room to show the entire path, click on the double arrows to the left of the first item. Clicking that will show the parent folders that do not actually fit on the address bar.

Another feature found, to the right of the Back and Forward buttons (just before the address bar), is the Recent Items drop down button. Items displayed in this list are recently visited locations you can select to jump to the location in Explorer that you need to navigate through.

One more thing: clicking anywhere on the address bar and typing in a URL, such as, will launch your Web browser and open the Web site you specified. Enjoy!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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