Can I shift back to the old XP windows explorer?

David Vetter

New Member
I hate the windows explorer in Vista. It is hard use and often just plain doesn't work.

I tried to buy another file manager, but it interferred with my AOL and the one by Google won't work on Vista.

Can I shift back to the old XP explorer?

I can't understand why Microsoft "fixes" things that are not broken with new systems that work so poorly.

My Computer


Vista Expert - MVP
Vista Guru
But why you would not want all the vast improvements in Vista's Explorer I don't know: things like the "breadcrumb" approach for the Address Bar; the extra panes available such as Search pane, Details pane, Preview pane; the customizable Favorite Links list in the Navigation pane; the ability to choose items for copying and moving etc. by putting check marks next to them; the built-in Instant Search in every window; the expanded view capabilities through sorting, grouping, stacking and filtering; the Task Tool Bar which varies according to folder contents; the optional Menu Bar as in previous OS versions; the optional successive indenting of nested folders in the navigation pane; the scrolling left or right of folders in the navigation pane to accommodate folder names too long to be fully displayed; the list goes on and on...

My Computer


New Member
because it's all crap. I don't want vista trying to anticipate what I want in the GUI. I want to control what I want and need not what M$ thinks I need. I know where my stuff is and don't need the explorer pane, or that stupid task bar. And the fact that vista doesn't allow me to to PERMANENTLY set folder window size is a PITA.

My Computer


Power User
I don't know which file manager you tried which interfered with your AOL.
You can't use the Explorer from XP in Vista because it's not compatible.

If you want an alternative freeware or shareware file manager, you could try xplorer2. It's very similar to Explorer (plus a few extra features such as dual file panes, which you don't have to use if you don't want to).

You can test a fully functional free trial of the Pro version for 21 days. Then decide whether to register the Pro version or use the free Lite version.
xplorer² lite: free windows explorer replacement (file manager)

I agree with LeeTutor that it could be worth persevering with Vista's new Explorer, get used to the differences and learn how to use the new features. I admit it has a several bugs and annoyances, like not remembering your preferences for Details view etc.

But if you really don't like Vista's Explorer, xplorer2 is probably the nearest thing to what you want.

I use the shareware Directory Opus instead of Explorer. It has lots of extra features and is very customisable, but it's expensive (US $71) and takes a while to learn how to use it.

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    home assembled
    Intel Q9450 quad core
    Asus P5Q Pro, Intel P45 chipset
    4GB : 2 x 2GB G.Skill DDR2 800MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte 9600GT
    Sound Card
    Realtek onboard the mobo
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ 24"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    2 of Samsung HD501LJ SATA2 500GB
    and a few IDE hard disks on USB for backups
    Corsair TX-650 and APC UPS
    Antec P180
    OCZ Vendetta2