Win11: Issue with decreasing width of folder columns in File Explorer

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Hello everyone. A friend of mine has two computers (both Surface books) with the same version of Windows 11 (version 21H2 build 22000.613) and cannot make column widths in folders in File Explorer as small as he wants on one of the computers. We checked that both PCs had the same file explorer settings as well as view settings, tried doing "size columns to fit" as well as manually dragging, but nothing seems to work.

Anyone know of a fix?

small columns:
signal-2022-04-24-161446_002.png

columns that are too wide:
signal-2022-04-24-161446_001.png


Thank you.
 

Marin Jim

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Hello everyone. A friend of mine has two computers (both Surface books) with the same version of Windows 11 (version 21H2 build 22000.613) and cannot make column widths in folders in File Explorer as small as he wants on one of the computers. We checked that both PCs had the same file explorer settings as well as view settings, tried doing "size columns to fit" as well as manually dragging, but nothing seems to work.

Anyone know of a fix?

small columns:
View attachment 620

columns that are too wide:
View attachment 621


Thank you.
I'm having the same problem on my brand new Dell XPS. I notice no one has responded to your question with a solution!
 

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datavet

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Amazing lack of interest by present day Microsoft. I've been experiencing this problem for months. I know I am not alone.
 

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Bighorn

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It's quite simple on Win10 and Win11 File Explorer, just treat it like a spreadsheet, double-click a column heading and it will expand or shrink to the maximum characters or file/folder name. Or move the mouse to the tiny line between column names until it turns to a double arrow then click and drag as desired. Can also rearrange the columns, put one before or after another. But this is on a default install of Windows, using third-party add-ins may change things. Same for the Navigation pane, move the mouse to the right edge of the vertical scroll bar and click the double arrow then drag to make it wider or narrower.
 

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datavet

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It's quite simple on Win10 and Win11 File Explorer, just treat it like a spreadsheet, double-click a column heading and it will expand or shrink to the maximum characters or file/folder name. Or move the mouse to the tiny line between column names until it turns to a double arrow then click and drag as desired. Can also rearrange the columns, put one before or after another. But this is on a default install of Windows, using third-party add-ins may change things. Same for the Navigation pane, move the mouse to the right edge of the vertical scroll bar and click the double arrow then drag to make it wider or narrower.
Of course, when File Explorer works like it should, this is what we would see. However, manipulating columns as suggested failed and has been an issue for over a year. The columns will NOT shrink less than 360 pixels, and will snap back when tried. Changing the pixel width also fails. The value seems to default to 360 regardless of my efforts.
It would indeed be quite simple to set columns as before. Sadly, there is and has been an issue with File Explorer that has migrated from version 10 to 11. Microsoft support: please take this seriously!
 

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Bighorn

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Yes, the columns do seem to have a minimum width as do the ones in spreadsheet programs, probably to keep from hiding them entirely. Sorry to say I haven't been able to replicate the issue described, all appear to work as designed. As for File Explorer one can right-click the heading of a column and add or remove as desired. Maybe there's something in the More list that will work.

1678113074820.png
 

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Old-lag

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I think it is related to display scaling and use of an external monitor.
I my case the 16" laptop display is 3840x2160, which I use with 200% scaling to avoid everything being too small. So the effective resolution is 1920x1080. However, most of the time I am using an external 30" monitor at 2560x1600 resolution (which is evidently using 100% scaling).
The column adjustment won't let me shrink the "Size" column below 170 pixels (which is far too wide).
 

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Bighorn

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I think it is related to display scaling and use of an external monitor
You're probably right. Most things involving video/graphics/display rely upon what the adapter in the computer supports, What works well with the built-in screen doesn't always work well with attachments to the other ports.
 

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Hiwiz

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Indeed!! The solution is to physically disconnect the external Monitor causing the issue - Then configure the columns as needed, then re-connect the Monitor.
The set sizes will remain as you set them - until you try to change them again with the Ext. Monitor connected.
 

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Xploit Machine

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I have no problem with that, I just set the tabs NAME = 500, Size = 100, Type = 250 and Date Modified = 250 .. finally hit Apply To All Folders in the OPTIONS menu ..

Thats all I need and everything stays there forever, even I use longer date settings :)

1709383695760.png
 

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Bighorn

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Been gone awhile. One other thing to note, if a column is not as desired one can move the mouse to the right-edge of it until the double-headed arrow and double-click, will widen to the full amount of text in it. Click and drag resizes as desired.
 

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