Windows File Explorer is a program that is very integral to Windows operations. Here, you see different files, folders displayed in a hierarchy. The program lets you easily copy, move, rename, and search for files and folders. For example, you can open a folder that contains a file you want to copy or move, and then drag the file to another folder or drive. File Explorer is a File manager. It finds immense use in daily operations, ranging from opening files to transferring them to a different location such as USB drive.
The explorer is divided into the following areas:
- Navigation Pane – Seen on the left-hand side, navigation pane lists all the folders, library items and network connections
- Details Pane – provides details such as creation& modification date, size, etc. about files selected in the explorer.
- Preview Pane – The Preview pane gives a sneak preview of media and document files.
Sometimes, your Windows Explorer may not display the left side Navigation Pane properly or may appear all grayed out – a possible reason could be file or registry corruption. What do you do under such circumstances? Well, you may try this:
Explorer navigation pane missing
1] Run sfc /scannow to run the system file checker.
2] You may need to re-register the shdocvw.dll file which is used by Windows to add some basic file operations. The shdocvw.dll file is a system file that helps perform the navigation, history maintenance, favorites maintenance, HTML parsing, etc. So see if re-registering this dll file helps you resolve the issue.
Open and elevated command prompt, type the following and hit Enter:
regsvr32 /i shdocvw
After the command successfully runs, restart your computer. Your Explorer should now display the left folder pane properly.
3] If you are using Windows 10/8, you may want to check if you have by mistake unchecked the option to show the Navigation Pane.
Open File Explorer > View tab > Navigation pane > Ensure that the option to show Navigation pane is checked.
Hope something helps!