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viewtiful

Windows 8.1 Cursor Highlighting In Windows Explorer

8 posts in this topic

The function of the cursor highlighting a file/folder row in Windows Explorer, if the cursor is placed anywhere within that row, appears to have been introduced after Windows XP. I frequently navigate around Windows Explorer using the keyboard as it's so much faster than using a mouse. As a result, quite often two entries are highlighted, which can lead to confusion;

 

Windows81.png
 
I've enabled the option 'Hide pointer while typing' in the Mouse control panel, but the issue still occurs.
 
I've Googled around for a way of disabling this functionality, but have drawn a blank. Does anyone know of a way of disabling cursor highlighting in Windows Explorer?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by viewtiful
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Yeah, very very annoying and stupid. And if you have a lousy laptop TN monitor, like I do, it's sometimes even more difficult to tell the colors apart. You have to pause and analyze which item is the selected one and which is just the random place the mouse pointer happens to be. With all the people Microsoft has for UI and whatnot I don't understand how they come up with such glaring gaffes.

 

I've found no registry way to disable this when I researched it a few months ago on Windows 8.0. Maybe sometimes changed in 8.1, but I doubt it. The only solution I found is to edit the Windows skin/theme to remove the hover highlight, and use an unsigned theme service (I think it was UxStyle?). I still need to do this after upgrading to Windows 8.1.

 

By the way, there are two skin elements that need editing if you want it 100% solved: the hover on unselected items, and the hover on selected (i.e., keyboard selection focus; Ctrl-Arrows).

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I did find a workaround which I think reduces the possible accidental selection area and will only highlight the file/folder (as opposed to anywhere within the entire row), if the file/folder is selected

 

http://www.askvg.com/how-to-disable-full-row-select-functionality-in-windows-vista-explorer/

 

but I've not been able to get it to work in Windows 7 or 8, but I'll test on my 8.1 system.

Edited by viewtiful
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A tweak I know of that's at best only remotely related is one that changes the operation so that only the filename is highlighted, not the entire row.  It's available through a 3rd party tweaker tool called "Folder Options X".  It also has the welcome side effect of making the rows a little closer together vertically.

 

But this doesn't address your issue in that it is still possible to have both the cursor highlighting and an actual selection highlight active at the same time...

 

ExplorerHighlights.png

 

The only other thing I can think of is that possibly a theme implementation can affect this (I'm not sure, as I don't fool with themes much).  Thus this is the right forum in which to ask; a lot of theme tweakers hang out here.

 

-Noel

 

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Thank you NoelC. Going from the screenshot, I think Folder Options X must apply the "FullRowSelect", registry setting, referred to in the askvg.com article, I couldn't get working. So I may have to give it a shot.

 

Shae, I've not done any skinning/theming before, but Explorer extensions like OneNewExplorer shows promise. Hopefully they provide a more XP like explorer, because with each iteration of Windows Explorer, Microsoft introduces functionality I'll never use and more often than not, no option of disabling it and as a result reducing productivity/slowing me down.

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Yes, it does.

 

FolderOptionsXOptions.png

 

I've been using it almost since the day I installed Windows 8.1 late last year and I've had zero problems with it.  It makes Explorer incrementally easier to use, and may help slightly with your issue, in that moving the mouse a hair to the right will run it off the filenames and leave only the actual selection highlight for you to manipulate with the keyboard.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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Folder Options X does the same tweak but it does so programmatically I think, not using the registry tweak.

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And once again I have you, xpclient, to thank for originally pointing me to Folder Options X.  It has made my experience better.

 

-Noel

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