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Windows 8 Explorer Navigation Pane Jumps a Short Time After Window Is Started

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  • I start Windows Explorer via a desktop shortcut coded like this:   C:\Windows\explorer.exe  /expand,c:\

    This causes Explorer to open up showing the root folder on drive C: and its first level of subfolders in the Navigation pane.

     

    Unfortunately, there is a condition which the list in the Navigation pane (left side) will jump to a new scroll position a second or so after you start the app.  It apparently happens because the Network list, which is typically out of view in the Navigation pane, is expanded a short time after the window is displayed.  This causes problems in that it can happen just about as you're trying to click a folder.  

    If you collapse the Network tree before closing Explorer, the next time it is started this jumping behavior will not happen.   But this is not an acceptable workaround, because the Network list sometimes does need to be expanded, and invariably one will forget to collapse it again before closing Explorer and the problem will be back next time it's opened..

     

    This is an old problem dating back to Windows 7, and there are other ways to produce it other than just starting Explorer as I have listed above.  The time delay to expand the list may vary depending on the network as well, and the expansion of the Libraries and/or Favorites list may cause it as well as Network.

     

    It is IMPERATIVE that the list in the Windows Explorer Navigation pane NOT move or scroll of its own volition after data has been displayed there!  One needs to be able to confidently click on entries without worry that they're going to jump out from under the mouse!

     

    Please, whatever it takes, lock the entry nearest the mouse cursor to its current position and move anything else that's necessary.  It's okay if the scroll thumb has to change, but it's necessary for the list entry one is about to click on to stay put!

     

    I am reporting this via the Send Feedback tool as well.

     

    -Noel


    Sunday, September 25, 2011 1:05 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Yes, this Windows Explorer scrolling bug is a very annoying. It needs to be fixed.

     

    View this scrolling behavior in Windows 7 (it's the same in Windows 8 Developer Preview):

    Video evidence of the left pane scroll bug using Windows Explorer in Windows 7
    This shows one way to reproduce it, clicking the triangle to expand a folder you're currently viewing also reproduces it.

     

     

    Details of the bug on Microsoft Connect (with almost 400 votes to fix it):

    http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/details/621426/bug-when-expanding-folders-in-explorer-server-2008-r2-and-windows-7

     

     

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 5:27 PM
  • Plus one more vote from me.  :)

     

    The same helpful workarounds seem to apply to Windows 8...  Removal of the display of Libraries, closing up Favorites and Network before closing...  I haven't tried the ClassicShell ClassicExplorer component yet.  Apparently it has some workaround to intercept certain events and help with this as well if you configure it to do so.

     

    -Noel

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 9:42 PM
  • Please fix this. Bug also reported here since long: http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/details/621426/bug-when-expanding-folders-in-explorer-server-2008-r2-and-windows-7

    There are also other bugs and limitations in the navigation pane like Alt-Enter doesn't work, no horizontal scrollbar when necessary, arrows indicating subfolders disappear when mouse moves to right pane, arrow keys in navigation pane don't make Explorer navigate to that folder (you have to press Enter), and Windows XP style "Simple Folder View" option to expand/collapse folders by 1-click is removed.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 11:35 AM
  • The current behavior creates a "Whac-A-Mole" user experience. Unpredictably the navigation pane will jump around. When dragging and dropping files to the navigation pane, it can jump at the last instant, causing the files to end up in the wrong place. 

    Uncommanded, the current folder will jump away from the mouse position. What possible UI rationale exists for this behavior? It is unpredictable, confusing and counter-intuitive.  It serves no beneficial purpose. It diverges from prior Windows UI behavior and common sense.

     

     

     

     

     

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011 3:26 PM
  • This can't possibly be by design.  It's clearly a bug - possibly a design bug.

     

    This whole thing really gives one the impression that Microsoft just can't fix Windows Explorer, and doesn't want to spend the time to re-implement it from the ground up, with quality in mind this time.  It seems odd, because Explorer is the Grand Integrator of Windows.  If it worked great, it would/could be the home for just about all usage of Windows.

     

    ClassicShell's workarounds help some (and it works surprisingly well with Windows 8, further asserting that there are few substantive changes in Explorer), but even with ClassicShell on the job it's still possible to have things jump out from under your cursor (or dropped file, or whatever).

     

    -Noel



    Tuesday, November 01, 2011 5:22 PM
  • Re "by design", nobody from Microsoft has explained *why* it's by design. This is a high visibility anomaly that is in the common usage path. It is not a fringe behavior that a tiny % will see under rare conditions.

    Note there's a difference between "by design" and "intentionally designed".  "By design" could mean it *retrospectively* was designated as expected behavior. IOW it wasn't a low level coding error.

    By contrast "intentionally designed" would imply the specific behavior was closely studied and specifically planned with an exact rationale. I seriously doubt that's the case here.

    Microsoft spends billions of dollars on R&D. They have behavioral psychiatrists behind two-way mirrors studying beta tester response to products.

    What possible rationale could explain the current Explorer behavior as a planned UI design element? I can't imagine any.

    For a problem of this visibility it's disturbing that no Senior Escalation Support Engineer or Product Manager has given an explanation for this.

    At this point I'd recommend anyone in the industry having contacts with high visibility writers like John Dvorak bring this to their attention for more public discussion. This is a very sad state of affairs.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011 12:46 AM
  • Note there's a difference between "by design" and "intentionally designed".

    In normal conversation, no, not really.  "By design" implies "by intentional design" in every usage I know of, because "design" is considered a purposeful, controlled act.  One does not "accidentally design" something.  That's not to say one can't screw up a design or do an incomplete design.

     

    At the risk of sounding critical, I think you may be giving Microsoft too much credit. 

    In my opinion, HOWEVER well-funded they may be, there are obvious elements of undisciplined work (some might even say unprofessional) that we can clearly see in every Microsoft release.  They appear to pursue profit over perfection.  Not that profit isn't a Good Thing, but perhaps a little more care and a little less hurry to release the latest "gee whiz" features would be a Better Thing.  Note how well received Windows 7 has been, given the fact that Microsoft took time to tidy it up and make it a more efficient Vista, rather than forging ahead trying to base even newer features on half-baked old foundations.  Now we have an OS that stable and solid as a result.

     

    When you get right down to it, there are people working at Microsoft - just plain people with faults and limitations like the rest of us - and really good software can be difficult to create.  Add to that - old software can be practically impossible to fix.  It can be argued that Microsoft management is less aware of this than they should be, and they really should be redirecting some of that profit into un-sexy jobs like really cleaning up Explorer, not just hanging ribbons on the old pig.  Thing is, who would they put on the task?  It's entirely possible that the experienced, brilliant minds have already retired wealthy.  The job to fix what's there may just be too complex for anyone available to get it right, and who wants to fund and staff a "redo the current thing" project when there's fun new stuff to be coded.

     

    -Noel

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011 2:34 PM
  • you may be giving Microsoft too much credit....HOWEVER well-funded they may be, there are obvious elements of undisciplined work...It can be argued that Microsoft management is less aware of this than they should be, and they really should be redirecting some of that profit into un-sexy jobs like really cleaning up Explorer, not just hanging ribbons on the old pig....who wants to fund and staff a "redo the current thing" project when there's fun new stuff to be coded.

    My point was why spend billions on R&D, testing and development, yet let stuff like this slip through. The navigation pane "jump down" problem would be typical of a free utility written by a high school student. Actually there are free utilities with better folder UI behavior than Explorer.

    Likewise having non-resizable dialog boxes is lazy and slipshod. Yet various places in Win7 still have these. What's the point of having a team of graphic artists carefully craft hues and textures for the Windows UI, then allow stuff like this to happen?

    Re cleaning up old code being unsexy, that's a definite problem in development management. However in this case it's not old code -- it's new code. The old code in XP works better in this regard.

    I am incredulous this behavior was shipped, and even more amazed it hasn't been fixed, or even officially addressed by senior support or development personnel . Historically Windows Explorer (and File Manager before it) have provided *basic*, *reliable* file management. If you want more capability, then buy a 3rd party product. However in this case they've failed to deliver on even the basics.

    Wednesday, November 02, 2011 4:04 PM
  • Re your disbelief in what's being shipped...  With Bill Gates no longer directly influencing development in a geeky (good) way, I for one sense that Microsoft seems to be more now about what the majority of users are doing, per their telemetry.  Don't look now, but the majority of users are likely just surfing the web and playing games (and getting malware).  They really don't want to have much to do with files or Windows Explorer or anything "computery" - which is quite the opposite of what we serious users desire.

     

    Also consider that, with the Windows 7 user count at half a billion, individual voices like yours and mine don't count for much.  And make no mistake, while it's a pretty obvious bug the grand majority of users likely just aren't sophisticated enough to have it affect their experiences.  I'm just surprised the Microsoft developers themselves are willing to live with it.

     

    My "too difficult for mere humans to fix" theory still seems the only plausible explanation for why the very app that's at the center of system integration should have such basic problems that were brought up in the Windows 7 public beta and have never been addressed at all. 

     

    What else does this say?  That Microsoft wants less and less to be in the serious operating system business (and more and more to be an app store)?  Now THAT's scary!

     

    -Noel


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Wednesday, November 02, 2011 8:52 PM
    Wednesday, November 02, 2011 8:05 PM
  • DUMB MONKEYS AT MICROSOFT AFTER 3 YEARS STILL ALLOWED THIS BUG TO PENETRATE WINDOWS8.

    UNLESS PEOPLE START COMPLAINIGN EN MASSE & REPLACING MICROSOFT PRODUCT, MONKEYS WILL KEEP THEIR JOBS TELLING WORLD "works by design" or "as intended".

    Flush them down toilet drain.

    They refuse to ACCEPT fact this is a damn bug.

    As of me I stopped using WinExplorer b/c of it & use a replacement or ClassicShell (google Classic Shell).

    Sunday, November 20, 2011 9:41 PM
  • WindowsXP was designed by MS ISRAEL divison.

    Something must be missing in brains once development moved out of "XP Era".  MS was hit in the head with a hammer and recovering.
    Vista was a fiasco, Windows7 was a patch over Vista, Windows8 still carries on LeftPaneNavigation bar (not to mention Start menu is a mosaic, enjoy crapware!).

    This behavior - if it's by design, then it's a testament to engineering sadomasochism, and if not by design then their people LIE being afraid to admit this is a bug for 3 (!!) YEARS!


    • Edited by Mark Gates Sunday, November 20, 2011 9:45 PM
    Sunday, November 20, 2011 9:44 PM
  • This bug has now gained record breaking Up votes at Connect: http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsServerFeedback/feedback/details/621426/bug-when-expanding-folders-in-explorer-server-2008-r2-and-windows-7 (500+). It surely will be fixed by beta right, if not this, then I don't know what can save Windows.
    • Edited by xpclient Saturday, January 14, 2012 5:17 AM
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:31 AM
  • Note that as of TODAY, even though Windows 8 DP is wired to download Windows Updates, and we KNOW Microsoft knows about this, the problem STILL EXISTS.

    Perhaps Microsoft thinks they can just eliminate Explorer usage entirely through Metro.  Being able to access "files" on a "disk" is just SO geeky, and Microsoft wants to be more like Apple (i.e., rich by selling Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies on their App Store). 

    It's just SO DAMNED HARD to please all us computer literate folks!  Might as well see if they can get us to move off to another OS entirely.  Non-technical users have a lot of money.

    -Noel


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:11 PM
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:09 PM
  • Thanks for putting in the time and effort to publisize these BUGS.

    Is anyone listening? I see one reply is marked as the answer, yet the BUGS continue...

    I moved over to XYplorer, and now i'm wondering why i paid for windows at all - As all my apps are 3rd party i guess i could use 'any' operating system.

    Microsoft: CAN YOU HEAR ME ? YOU'RE DRIVING ME AWAY...

    Oh, and i just dont believe they spend anything on R&D. Anyone watching a user of windows will quickly have a list of 'stress inducing irritations'


    If I am all here, does that mean I am not all there?
    Thursday, January 12, 2012 5:30 PM
  • Microsoft has reportedly fixed the bug and it will not be in the Windows 8 Beta. Let's hope they include a fix for Windows 7 also.

     

    "Explorer: navigation pane scrolling issue:
    We fixed it! As of the beta, it’s gone."

     

    From - Acting on file management feedback - Building Windows 8 Blog:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/30/acting-on-file-management-feedback.aspx

     

     

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:12 PM
  • Sounds great!  I do hope the "Explorer Jump" bug fix doesn't just address the "jumps to bottom" issue on folder expansion, but also covers all the ways a folder can jump out from under the mouse - such as described in this thread.

    Is "the beta" a public beta, and will it be available soon?  I've been concentrating on my own work and haven't noticed an announcment of same.  I can only find vague comments about it being "next month".

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:23 AM
  • Microsoft has said that the beta will be available in late February. I'm fairly certain that they intend to call it the "Consumer Preview," meaning that it will definitely be a public beta.
    Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:59 AM