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  1. #1
    Star Lounger PStepanas's Avatar
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    Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP1)

    There's lots of talk on the web about how best to prevent Search looking inside compressed folders. Naturally, the best solution is on the Lounge! But that's not what I was actually looking for.

    In Windows Explorer, double clicking a ZIP file will usually open the file in a separate window. The only way to make XP expand it like a folder within the Explorer window seems to be right-click|Explore. I want to make this the default action.

    Unfortunately, Explore doesn't appear in the normal place for a context menu item, and I don't know what options/DDE commands to use with zipfldr.dll to create a new Explore menu item.

    If anyone knows how to make Windows Explorer expand a ZIP file as a folder in the left folder pane as the default double-click option, please let me know.

    Thanks in advance,

    Paulius

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP1)

    This behavior is Windows default. To restore it, click Start | Run, type

    regsvr32 zipfldr.dll

    and hit Enter. To turn it off, use command

    regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll

    However, if you install an archiving program such as WinZip, WinRar or similar, your .zip files were associaded with this program and you can see them like separate files. To restore Windows default, you must cancel the association (you can do it from Options menu in the program).

  3. #3
    Star Lounger PStepanas's Avatar
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP

    Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Here's (a lot) more detail.

    I'm quite happy with the way Windows XP treats ZIP files, so I haven't installed any third-party GUI compression programs.

    The only problem I have is when using Windows Explorer (the one with the folder pane on the left and files on the right -- using Classic View). Here, what I'd like WinXP to do is automatically list all ZIP files as part of the folder tree on the left. But I doubt it can, so no big deal.

    Failing that (and this is what I was asking about): Usually, when you double click a ZIP file in Windows Explorer, it pops up a new window (assuming it's not using one window for all folders) with the first-level contents of the ZIP file. It does this using a files-only view that I term "Explorer". This is distinct from Windows Explorer with its single window and folder pane on the left. In the original Windows Explorer window, WinXP also adds the ZIP file to the folder pane as if it were a normal folder (which is what I wanted it to do in the first place -- see above).

    If you check the context menu for a ZIP file, you can see that the first option, "Open," is the default action (for when you double-click). The third action is "Explore." If you select Explore, WinXP opens the first level of the ZIP file in the right-hand pane of the same window, as well as adding the ZIP file to the folder pane as if it were a folder. What I want is for WinXP to do the latter action as its default when I double-click on a ZIP file. That is, I want Explore to be the default rather than Open.

    In other words, I want XP to treat a ZIP file in the right-hand, file pane of Windows Explorer exactly the same way as it treats a normal folder: double-click to enter that directory.

    Any suggestions?

    Much thanks in advance,

    Paulius

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP

    I can't give you the exact syntax, as I have WinZip installed on all my Windows XP systems.

    From Windows Explorer choose the Tools menu, Folder Options, then click on the File Types tab and scroll down the list till you find the entry for ZIP files. Click Advanced, Choose Explore from the list of Actions and then click Set Default, now OK your way out of all the menus.

    StuartR

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP

    <hr>...automatically list all ZIP files as part of the folder tree on the left.... <hr>
    I think that's what kaplinb was telling you - that left-pane behaviour IS the XP installation default. You should try his restoration command and see what happens. If it doesn't work, there must be something else tweaked in your system. BTW, I used his second (unregister) command a long time ago to stop the default behaviour.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger PStepanas's Avatar
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP

    I'm astonished, but you're at least partly right!

    I'm not astonished that you're right, mind you, just that such a simple procedure as kaplinb's would actually work on what I thought was basically a fresh install of WinXP.

    Anyway, now my ZIP files do indeed automatically appear in the left folder pane, which is fantastic! (if a bit slow).

    Unfortunately, double-clicking on a ZIP file in the right-hand file pane still pops up a new window without a folder pane. This may be related to my "Open in new window" setting, which shouldn't (but apparently does) apply here. Maybe I can see what changes in the registry when I turn this setting on and off.

    Thanks for your help, everyone,

    Paulius

  7. #7
    Star Lounger PStepanas's Avatar
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    Re: Set Explore as default action for ZIPs (XPP SP

    That was one of the first things I tried, StuartR.

    Unfortunately, "Compressed (ZIP) File" doesn't even have an "Explore" action on my installation of WinXP; it only has "find" and "Open". Yet "Explore" still appears on the context menu for ZIP files, so it's being generated by something else (maybe another class or class id?).

    The "Open" action uses a DDE call to zipfldr.dll, so even if I did create an "Explore" action, I'd need to know which procedure in the DLL to call and what parameters to pass. I was hoping someone might know where to find this information.

    In fact, there seems to be a class id for "Compressed (zipped) Folder Context Menu" which simply refers to zipfldr.dll, so perhaps the context menu is hard-coded into the DLL. I'm going to see if I can find an SDK that includes this DLL, but any pointers would help.

    Thanks,

    Paulius

  8. #8
    Star Lounger PStepanas's Avatar
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    Solution: Explore compressed files by default

    Well, it took a lot of looking, but I finally figured it out!

    This is all you need:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREClassesCompressedFolderS hell]
    @="Explore"

    In other words, set the default action for the above key to "Explore".

    Now why didn't anyone know that? :^)

    I also figured out how to create a new action for compressed folders that would do what I want (and could be set as the default). Simply create a new action and populate it with the same fields that the existing "Open" action has. But then replace the DDE message, "[ViewFolder("%l", %I, %S)]", with "[ExploreFolder("%l", %I, %S)]".

    You'd really think these things would be documented somewhere, but even the MSDN library is entirely silent! Sigh.

    Couple that with kaplinb's suggestion to reregister the zipfldr.dll as a service (which made Windows Explorer automatically display ZIPs in the folder pane) and we have a complete solution!

    Hope this helps someone else in the future!

    Paulius

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