How to Disable Folders Expanding in Windows File Explorer

Sometimes when we open an external hard drive, USB drive or flash drive in Windows File Explorer, the  interface starts showing the expanded folders in the navigation left side pane of the File Explorer. These expanded folders are usually not a big problem except when you are trying to access an old DVD or CD which is become corrupt because of ageing. As soon as you open the CD drive, File Explorer shows the expanded folders. Since the CD has corrupt file structure, the whole process hangs there trying to read something from the drive. In fact there is some special tools like IsoBuster to read data from corrupt or bad CD/DVD.

Other than this, some users find the expanded folders to give a cluttered unclean look to the File Explorer. It is basically a personal choice to customize how Windows File Explorer looks on your Windows PC. Because of these and other reasons, some Windows users do not like the expanded folders. Here is a quick way to disable folders from expanding in the navigation pane of the Windows File Explorer:

  1. Open Windows File Explorer by pressing the hotkey Win+E or by clicking on its icon in the taskbar.
  2. From the ribbon bar on the top, select the View tab.
  3. Click on the Options button which is displayed under the View tab.Disable Expanding Folders in File Explorer
  4. You will have Folder Options window from which you have to select the View tab.
  5. Scroll down the list of Advanced settings and find Navigation pane category.
  6. Uncheck the checkbox labeled Expand to open folder and click on the OK button to save the settings.Disable Expanding Folders in File Explorer

This is all that is needed to disable the expanded folders in the navigation pane. After this you can open any folder and the folders are not going to expand anymore. In the case, it happens again, you can follow the same steps all over again and the expanding folders will disappear once again.

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