• Microsoft removes Win10 File Explorer features without notice

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    #2619253

    ISSUE 21.02 • 2024-01-08 PUBLIC DEFENDER By Brian Livingston Microsoft’s updates for Windows 10 in November and December 2023 made significant changes
    [See the full post at: Microsoft removes Win10 File Explorer features without notice]

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    • #2619289

      (Note: To the best of my knowledge, Win11 never displayed search history when you clicked inside the Search box.)

      It did:

      As you start typing in the box, you will notice a list of your recent searches, which you can select to get to recent searches quickly. (You can always click the remove button next to the item to delete it from the list.)

      Windows 11 File Explorer search history

      HOW TO USE SEARCH FROM FILE EXPLORER ON WINDOWS 11 — WindowsCentral.com

    • #2619345

      Or just use a good file explorer search tool.   I stopped using Windows search years ago in favor of Agent Ransack.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2619347

      Microsoft is incompetent.  Another example is removing the ribbon and many options from the Windows 11 File Manager in Folders.   Microsoft has been consistently dumbing down Windows 11 and removing features and options everywhere.  It’s like they believe GenX are easily confused idiots.  And other companies are doing the same thing in their products.  It’s sad…

      By the way, I use this excellent product that indexes everything including file and email content:
      X1 Search — https://www.x1.com/products/x1-search/

       

       

       

       

       

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2619382

      Utterly infuriating: I have been using OneDrive for so many years over so many devices that I’m never going to have the entire history of all the documents I want to search inside on any one machine so searching through Explorer is really useful. What this most reminds me of is when Google complained about Windows Vista/7 having federated search from the Start menu, so you could search your choice of providers at the push of your Windows button – so Microsoft quietly pulled the feature to appease Google.

    • #2619390

      I stopped using Windows File Explorer a couple of years ago.  Mostly because of the lack of dual panes, which are vary useful at times.  Now, the only time I see win explorer is when it is called as default by some other app.

      After looking at a number of other file explorers apps I chose Tablacus Explorer.  It has a smaller footprint, and much cleaner interface than the others. No taskbars with a bunch of brightly colored icons for task that I don’t need. It is free.

      However, it is more geeky than any of the others.  From Github.   ie: it is a basic file explorer with a ton of addons.  After figuring out how to get it to do what I want, I have been using it happily ever since. There is a forum for getting help with setup.

      https://tablacus.github.io/explorer_en.html

    • #2619418

      Try the quad-pane file manager Q-Dir

      If this comment is directed to me,  I think that I looked at Q-dir.   Too busy an interface?  Didn’t want to see 4 panes all the time?

      with tablacus I can see one pane most of time, and switch to dual (horizontal or vertical) or quad  when I want. Also turn off/on preview pane for viewing photos.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2619421

      I was confused by the article until I realized that “uninstallable” can mean two different things: “able to be uninstalled” or “unable to be installed.”

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2619496

      So, all other nonsense and garbage aside, I’m actually really happy to see them finally bring back that calendar interface for the “date modified” search option.  I always found having to remember (or look up) the exact syntax annoying, and having to manually type the date range has never felt as efficient as just being able to click and drag a selection of the calendar.

      I know other file explorer apps would probably make that much better, but I’m stuck with using whatever our IT approves, so having the default return definitely feels like a positive to me.

       

      • #2619534

        Actually the date selection calendar that was in Windows 7 so you could search any number of days just by selecting the start and finish of the search range.

        Good ideas never die, they just get resurrected for new credit…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2619504

      I’ve never been impressed by Windows’ File Explorer. In fact, I’ve been positively underwhelmed. Which is why I’ve been using xplorer2 for about two decades now.

      https://www.zabkat.com/

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2619973

        I’d like to try xplorer2. I see that the free version has a 21-day trial period. Is there a way to go beyond the 21 days?

    • #2619524

      I’ve never seen that option in my Windows 11’s.

      I specifically tried this on my three Win11 PCs when I was editing Brian’s article and the dropdown appeared on none of them.

    • #2619525

      “uninstallable” can mean two different things

      Yes, I stared at that for a long time before letting it go. I saw the duality; I should not have stopped short and replaced it with something precise. So I’ll take the demerit on that one.

    • #2619554

      I almost never use the built-in File Explorer in Windows, regardless of version.  My go-to file manager is xplorer² from Zabkat (https://www.zabkat.com/).  Besides the massive advantage of dual-pane file browsing, it has a lot of additional features which make it absolutely the most useful tool I’ve ever found for file management.  There is a free version with most of the features included, plus an eval version of the full product, but I’ve opted for the premium version.

      No, I don’t have any connection with Zabkat or any of its partners.  I’m just a satisfied customer and wanted to share this with the rest of the AskWoody community since this topic came up.

      //Steve//

       

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2619580

      Another great File Explore to add to the list:

      XYplorer is a file manager and Explorer replacement for Windows.

      It’s fast, powerful, portable, dual paned, and multi-tabbed.

      Packed full of features and options.

    • #2619876

      A useful feature of File Explorer is, when it’s pinned to the taskbar, a right click brings up a menu of pinned and recently used folders. What substitutes for File Explorer have this feature? Or is this part of Windows 10/11 and I’m just confused?

    • #2619928

      xplorer2 does this

       

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    • #2620150

      I’d like to try xplorer2. I see that the free version has a 21-day trial period. Is there a way to go beyond the 21 days?

      You could buy it.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist….  Seriously, though, there is a free version with many of the features of the full version.  If that is insufficient, or if you are willing to support the author (which by all means you should!) then pony up the very reasonable registration fee.

      //Steve//

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2620684

        You could buy it.

        Sorry, couldn’t resist….

        In my defense, I didn’t say that I was looking for something that I didn’t have to buy. I meant that I would want to fully test it out and that it would probably take longer than 21 days to try it out (I don’t sit in front of my devices all day long). And I don’t know what this trial version does when time is up.

        I have tried another File Explorer replacement, Explorer++, and am using it off and on now, but I have yet to find that it’s a good replacement.

        More frequently and for years, I have used another file management program (not free) called WinNc (modeled after the old Norton Commander) and I like its dual panels plus other features such as syncing files/folders; comparing, splitting, and merging files; creating a file list; changing time stamps on files/folders; and searching. It’s not an easy program to learn how to use — which is to say that it might take me longer than the 21 days to see if Xplorer2 fills the bill.

        • #2620710

          The next logical step, if you want to try it, is to contact the developer and see if there is a way to extend the trial period.  I’m sure if you ask nicely he might be able to accommodate you, or offer you an assurance that if you register it and are unsatisfied he’ll refund you.  Something like that.  Anyway, it can’t hurt to ask.  //S//

      • #2620911

        The lite version is still free: https://www.zabkat.com/x2lite.htm

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2623980

      Hi,  First of all, I tried posting this yesterday as a Guest, and it said that it was awaiting approval but I guess it wasn’t approved (it would’ve been here: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/microsoft-removes-win10-file-explorer-features-without-notice/#post-2622439 ).  Anyway, I was trying to ask about another change in Windows 11 File Explorer.  Am I the only one, or has anyone else had their Windows 11 File Explorer lose the ability to show either Preview Pane, Details Pane, etc., OR none of these.  Now, I’m only able to choose between either Preview Pane or Details Pane, without the ability to choose neither.  Also, the location of these options has shifted.  I’ve tried searching for more on this, but this post is the closest that I was able to find.  Thank you

      • #2624063

        [off topic]
        Your post was deleted because the VPN you use flags up as a spam source and your post was anonymous.
        As you have registered and your content is OK, we have let this through, but you may find all your posts marked for moderation as long as you use that VPN.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2624338

        Am I the only one, or has anyone else had their Windows 11 File Explorer lose the ability to show either Preview Pane, Details Pane, etc., OR none of these. Now, I’m only able to choose between either Preview Pane or Details Pane, without the ability to choose neither. Also, the location of these options has shifted.

        Mine is the same on the View menu, but then there’s a button at top right to show or hide whichever of the two is selected (“Show or hide the xxxxxxx pane”).

        So it’s possible to have neither on display.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2624616

          Would you mind either describing that more or showing a screenshot?  My issue is that after the switch, I’m no longer able to disable  both the Preview AND the Details panes — I’m only able to choose between enabling one or the other (and thus disabling the other one).  I can no longer not enable either — they slightly changed where they are in the menu and they’ve switched from being independent of each other check marks that can be checked/unchecked to being binary bullet points that are directly related to each other.  Thank you!

    • #2624960

      Try the quad-pane file manager Q-Dir

      If this comment is directed to me,  I think that I looked at Q-dir.   Too busy an interface?  Didn’t want to see 4 panes all the time?

      with tablacus I can see one pane most of time, and switch to dual (horizontal or vertical) or quad  when I want. Also turn off/on preview pane for viewing photos.

      I agree regarding four-pane displays.  I would rather have two or three instances of my two-pane file manager (xplorer²) and switch between them as needed.

      //S//

       

    • #2624969

      The lite version is still free: https://www.zabkat.com/x2lite.htm

      I have the Lite version installed on my wife’s laptop, and the one that my grandkids use when they’re visiting, since when I’m “supporting” those two machines I don’t need nearly the amount of features that I do with Premium on my own laptop.  That also avoids any problems with license violations.  Having worked in the software industry for many years, if I’m going to preach the message of keeping in compliance then I’d better walk the walk and not just talk the talk…!  😮

      //S//

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2630298

      Thanks for reminding me about that. Useful tip I never use for explorer.
      Too bad it does not work for items in Quick Launch

      A useful feature of File Explorer is, when it’s pinned to the taskbar, a right click brings up a menu of pinned and recently used folders. What substitutes for File Explorer have this feature? Or is this part of Windows 10/11 and I’m just confused?

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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