Windows Explorer 7: What’s New ?


Microsoft’s latest Windows 7 has revealed many fascinating features and some of them are taken and enhanced from Vista itself. One of the main features which was primarily introduced by Microsoft in Windows 95 was Windows Explorer, it was improved a great deal in Windows Vista. Windows Explorer is basically the graphical interface for exploring your windows file systems. It contains many important components of the operating system, in older versions of Windows(before XP) it was also called Windows Shell. Today, we will take a look at some minor enhancements which have been made to Windows Explorer in Windows 7 as compared with Windows Vista.

First lets compare the screenshots of both Windows 7 Explorer and Windows Vista Explorer, then we will proceed with the overview of some noticeable changes.

Windows 7 Explorer

Windows 7 Explorer Windows Vista Explorer

Windows Vista Explorer

Here are some of its note-worthy additions.

Simplified Navigation Pan

The navigation pan on the left-sidebar has been simplified in Windows 7 Explorer. It now organizes different options into multiple categories such as Favorites, Libraries, Home, Group, Local Computer and Network.


Customizable Address Bar

The address bar offers a great way to move around in the file system and perform some common operations. The address bar is still the same as Windows Vista, but in Windows 7 you can customize the Address bar. Now you can easily re-size the size of your Search or Address bar.

Address Bar

Recent Places

The Recent Places option has been added to the Windows 7 Explorer.  It lets you view the list of folder which you visited recently.

Recent Places


Windows 7 offers a great new feature called Libraries, it lets you organize all your files together in one place regardless of where they are stored. . If you wish to read more about libraries, you can check a detailed post about this feature here.

Windows 7 Libraries

Enhanced Network Explorer

There were only limited options regarding network configuration and troubleshooting in Windows Vista but Windows 7 has enhanced the network explorer. The Network Explorer lets you access the Network and Sharing Center.

Network and Sharing Center

Enhanced Search Capabilities

The search capabilities have been improved, the features like saved Searches and Search scopes help you in finding the information quickly and accurately.

Enhanced Search

Improved Search Field

The search field has been improved. It now shows the name of the area in which you are searching, for e.g. Search Documents, Search Computer, Search Pictures etc.

Enhanced Search

Thinner Detail Pan

The detailed pan is thinner as compared to the detailed pan of Vista, it isn’t a feature but still adds a cool look to the interface.

Thinner Detailed Pan