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Windows Explorer does not display item's contents in right pane

This article was previously published under Q179875
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
When you click a drive or folder in the All Folders pane (the left pane)in Windows Explorer, its contents may not be displayed in the right pane.
This behavior can occur if both of the following conditions exist:
  • Windows Explorer is configured for Details view.
  • The Name, Size, Type, and Modified columns are moved to the left edge of the header bar in the right pane, causing them to not be visible.
To work around this behavior, click in the right pane, and then pressCTRL+PLUS SIGN (make sure to use the PLUS SIGN key on the numeric keypad).

This sets the columns on the header bar to use a minimal amount of space.You can change the width of the columns by dragging the vertical barslocated between the column names.

Alternate Method (Windows 95 Only)

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

If the method above does not work, try this method:
  1. Start Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Locate the following registry key:
    NOTE: This registry key is present only in Microsoft Windows 95 operating systems. This key is not present in Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me).
  3. Delete the DirectoryColsX binary value.
  4. Quit Registry Editor.
This resets the column widths when you next start Windows Explorer. The DirectoryColsX entry is re-created the next time you specify custom column sizes in Windows Explorer.
This behavior does not occur if you configure Windows Explorer for LargeIcons, Small Icons, or List view. To change the view Windows Explorer usesto display items in the right pane, click the command associated with theview you want on the View menu.

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Article ID: 179875 - Last Review: 01/22/2007 17:50:35 - Revision: 1.4

  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
  • kbprb kbui KB179875