The odd bit

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is an enemy action.

The odd bit - Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is an enemy action.

Windows Vista: Explorer opens folders in a new window

Recently, Vista started opening folders in a new window even though “Open each folder in the same window” was selected in the folder options. Obviously something had changed but I didn’t know what. There were more indications that something was wrong, including:

  • Explorer opens folders in a new window, ignoring the folder options setting.
  • The Windows flag on C: is gone.
  • DVD-drives are labelled as CD-drive.
  • Trying to access a CD/DVD results in a Format blank disc dialog box.

Searching the internet resulted in heaps of complaints about the new window issue so finding the right fix wasn’t easy. It turned out that Internet Explorer 8 was the culprit. So there you have solution #1: uninstall IE8. Actually, that’s not a solution so I wasn’t satisfied :)

Another solution that I encountered a couple of times suggested to launch IE8 as administrator. Several users reported that this method fixed the problem, but it certainly didn’t fix it for me.

Eventually, I found a comment on the IEBlog with a list of 19(!) steps to fix it. Fortunately, and as noted in the comment too, step #11 seems to be the critical one. I was able to solve all issues mentioned above by doing this:

  1. Open a command prompt as administrator (right click -> Run as Administrator)
  2. Type: regsvr32 actxprxy.dll
  3. Click OK in the popup window.
  4. Reboot

And Vista was back to its normal self. YMMV!

Category: Microsoft, Vista, Windows
  • Fergus says:

    That worked a charm. I too had tried plenty of solutions before this one. Thanks for this.

    29 May 2009 at 00:04
  • daniele says:

    That works great!

    29 May 2009 at 10:03
  • Bob says:

    After many hours of searching and trying other fixes I came across this fix. It worked perfectly! Thank You

    6 June 2009 at 13:12
  • Matt says:

    LOL pfft, what fraking noobs are making IE8? Honestly, what kind of bugged crap is that; did they not notice that, or think…yeah that’s cool.

    sigh. IE8 uninstalled, and never install again.

    I only did it because it was in the updates, using FX btw.

    10 June 2009 at 11:03
  • Matt says:

    … and thank you very much for figuring this out. :)

    10 June 2009 at 11:06
  • mathador says:

    great! thank you very much!

    10 June 2009 at 18:31
  • rolo says:

    Hey man, thanks a lot. Running IE8 as Administrator worked perfectly. No restart, nothing.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    18 June 2009 at 13:07
  • Robert Andresen says:

    This helped me alot! Thank u!

    19 June 2009 at 11:46
  • Kevin says:

    For anyone else having this problem this is the only thing that worked for me. MAKE SURE YOU RUN THE CMD AS SYSTEM ADMIN OR IT WILL NOT WORK. You can find it in Windows/System32/cmd.exe – Thank you for the fix! Solved all of my problems… even more of the reason I hate IE.

    22 June 2009 at 04:38
  • v7web says:

    Many thanks,
    This fixed it for me.

    1 July 2009 at 17:01
  • PC Plum says:

    Genius mate cheers!

    That was so nippy. How on earth did that get past testing? It started with me after I UPDATED WINDOWS THROUGH WINDOWS. Why on earth would anyone want 50 open folders all over their screen??

    Come to think of it why would anyone want their pc to spend a lifetime preloading files you will never use… Vista is a bug ridden mess I am forever searching the net for solutions to “simple” things.

    Thanks to people like you who take the time to find and publish solutions.


    27 July 2009 at 23:06
  • Stephen says:

    Thank you! I found this by google, and I’m glad I did. I’m so glad this is fixed. Urge to kill…falling…falling.

    3 August 2009 at 05:05
  • Hans DF says:

    Bedankt Hans! Had het ook zitten na IE8-installatie. Voor ‘t eerst, hoewel het zeker niet de eerste keer was dat ik IE8 installeeerde via Windows Update.

    8 August 2009 at 02:41
  • Cangaseira says:

    I spent hours and hours to figure out this thing! And it is so simple (If you know
    what to do)Many Thanks

    13 August 2009 at 13:06
  • Holger says:

    I have the same problem with Win 7. Unfortunately, this solution didn´t work for me….

    Any other ideas ?

    24 August 2009 at 16:47
  • J4 cXSparrow says:

    thanks alot

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    7 September 2009 at 00:43
  • TheGoldenPoo says:

    kick ass, this helped

    2 October 2009 at 14:13
  • Eccoes says:

    Worked for me in Win 7!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    26 October 2009 at 10:21
  • chillbill says:

    Thank you! I love you, man!

    28 January 2010 at 05:58
  • Frans says:

    Perfect solution after trying many other things.
    Why doesn’t Bill G. solve this?

    28 January 2010 at 23:38
  • mtndude says:

    My fix was to edit the properties in explorer! I had wanted expoler to open up in computer rather than libraries! I did the target change and thats when I started having problems! to fix it I just removed root out! final should look like this >>> %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe ,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
    That was the ticket, quick and easy!!

    3 February 2010 at 22:35
  • Woods12 says:

    Wow I must truly say that you are the FN man, I have tried deleting reg files, changing reg default, some jack ass from one other site suggested it in his forum of the same problem and none of it worked even tried system restore haha that didn’t work either. But here you are and now my computer is back to normal. Oh just to mention the jpeg thumbnails were not visible as inside the folders.

    Super easy and it works THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

    11 February 2010 at 23:01
  • Lisa says:

    Thank you so much!!!
    I’ve tried so many ways, none seemed to work until I tried this!
    My computer is finally back to normal :)
    Your an absolute saviour!

    2 April 2010 at 03:49
  • Remco says:

    Same for me, problem solved. Other symptoms were the Control Panel didn’t work anymore and the description bar inside folders wouldn’t show any information. These are also cured.

    6 April 2010 at 14:49
  • Rushabh says:

    The first method of running IE8 as administrator worked!. Points a serious bug! Microsoft sucks! HIgh time to switch to Mac

    19 May 2010 at 18:13
  • Jerseys says:

    Perfect solution after trying many other things.
    Why doesn’t Bill G. solve this?

    21 July 2010 at 02:52
  • links of london says:

    Perfect solution after trying many other things.
    Why doesn’t Bill G. solve this?

    12 November 2010 at 06:13
  • J says:

    Many thanks for a simple solution to a really annoying bug

    11 April 2011 at 00:45
  • Avinash says:

    It worked! Thanks!

    31 October 2011 at 15:44
  • lightning says:

    It worked! Thanks man! This is the best way and the only a found that worked.

    9 July 2012 at 21:38
  • Buc says:

    I damn glad there are smarter than me that leave their knowledge for other to use.

    31 October 2012 at 22:28
  • Mike Mikelson says:

    Thank you very, very, very much!
    I was getting mad at this annoying problem (caused if you can believe it after I “updated” my OS through the Microsoft Updater program) and yours was the only solution that actually worked – so I guess it is NOT fair that you are not as rich as the sh*t-head called Bill…
    Again, thanks a LOT for sharing your brains with us!!!

    25 August 2013 at 18:13
  • wombo combo says:

    regsvr32 fix worked immediately in 2013!! very nice! where you at!!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    2 November 2013 at 16:29
  • Rahul says:

    Awesome…Worked like a charm :)

    2 March 2014 at 16:16
  • rached says:

    worked like a charm!!!
    thanks much

    15 March 2014 at 14:53
  • scott says:

    Just reinstalled Vista with Sp1 & Sp2 updates and had each folder opening in new window issue – ridiculous – this fix worked excellent.. many thanks

    15 December 2014 at 09:32
  • exlibris says:

    worked tks 😉

    5 June 2015 at 12:33
  • VistaUser says:

    Still Works, THX!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    27 August 2015 at 11:58

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