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Friday was another “Eureka!” day for me as I finally found a freeware PC program I was convinced existed somewhere in the deepest darkest reaches of cyberspace but was doing a good job of hiding from me. It’s called Filebox eXtender and it gives you one click access to your most used folders in Windows Explorer.

Whenever you want to save a file to your computer, Windows automatically goes to the “My Computer” folder. But I never use that folder as I have my own custom-made set of folders in another part of the computer. So it is intensely irritating to save something, be taken to “My Computer” then have to navigate to my own folders. That is where Filebox eXtender comes in to save the day.

The program adds two extra buttons to your Windows Explorer window :

explorerbuttons.png

The heart logo has a favourites menu where you can enter the shortcuts to your most-used / favourite folders. Inside this menu is a configuration option and there you can specify what folders you want to make available. It can be a main folder or a sub-folder. It doesn’t matter.

image009.png

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So next time you want to go to a particular folder, just drop that folder down, click on the one you want to go to and you will be taken there immediately. No countless clicking around, no searching – just one direct route to the folder you need. Much faster and much easier.

The folder with the clock menu is a “Recent Folders” button which will show the folders you most recently accessed. Very useful if you keep returning to the same folder over and over again.

Now if you look at the above graphic, you’ll also notice two other buttons which I have disabled on my computer. There is the upwards facing arrow button and the pin button.

The pin button keeps that window or application on top of all other windows (and stops other windows from appearing). This may be useful to some people who don’t want to be disturbed by say an instant messaging program while they are typing in Microsoft Word. By pinning the program you are using, you are forcing all other windows and programs to the background.

The upwards facing black arrow button is also called the “roll-up” button in that it rolls up the webpage to show you what’s underneath it. You can still see the browser title bar but nothing else. This may be useful if say a Windows error message appears and hides in the background of the desktop. You can then “roll-up” the page to see the error message underneath. Then press the button again to unroll your page back to the way it was.

File eXtender is freeware – and a sanity saver.

Another possibility (instead of using this program) is to make a Registry change to change the default folder that Windows goes to when you want to save something. Does anyone know of a Registry fix to do this?

  1. UrStop
    December 6, 2007 at 4:37 am

    Nice tool. Saves users time.

  2. Syahid Ali
    December 5, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Love the way it inserts nicely on top of Explorer. Must try it myself.

    • Aibek
      December 6, 2007 at 3:27 pm

      Yeap, definitely check it out. I am very picky when it comes to installing new programs, but FileBox eXtender is definitely worth a try.

  3. Carsten
    December 2, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Mark, I've been on the hunt for a similar tool since long, with a slightly different functionality goal: I wanted to access my favorite folders from any load/save menu. I keep all papers I read in one big folder and never understood why I had to navigate to there over and over again.
    Finally I found the Autohotkey script Favorite Folders. With one press of a button I can navigate to my favorite folders from every file dialog (and that is the difference to your solution).
    See my blog entry.
    or download the newest Favorite Folders script here.
    Requires Autohotkey.

  4. Linda Martin-Peoples
    December 3, 2007 at 3:58 am

    Great time-saver!
    Thanks Mark!
    ~Linda~

  5. Oliver
    December 2, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    With Microsoft's Tweak UI you can modify or replace the places bar which is shown on the left side of file dialogs.

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