windows desktop looks like a folder! (long)



My Windows XP desktop looks like it's an explorer folder. On the left side of my entire computer screen is the bar that is normally in a windows folder. It squeezes out the complete right half, icons and all, of my desktop! The bar contains the "folder basics" "details" and so on, allowing me to "share this folder" or "create new folder." When I click on "create new folder" I actually get a new folder on the desktop!

Here is what I have done to try and resolve the problem:

1. Rebooted many times in vain.
2. Went to desktop properties and checked to see if I have any web items selected for my desktop. I don't.
3. Tried to go to "control panel" and click folder options. However, when I click folder options nothing happens.
4. Tried to open windows explorer to get to folder options and again, nothing happened when I tried to open explorer.
5. Scanned for viruses. Nothing there.

Any suggestions? all.. will be greatly appreciated!!!!! Thank you!


OSNN Gamer
try restore or create a new account for yourself transfer all your short cuts to your new account & delete the old 1 - Join the club...
see my enigma below.....


Ah, ZigZag.. I am not crazy after all!
I did try system restore. I suppose I will have to create an entire new user account and transfer over my shortcuts. UGH.
I am not even sure how I started this whole problem, but I, too, tried arranging/unarranging/everything with the "arrange icons by ->" menu.

I did this once myself on my first (shakedown) installation of XP and haven't been able to recreate it. I just tried the 'show desktop icons' trick in your other thread 2joints&abrew... no luck. I'm wondering if it's because I have the XP Powertoy "Virtual Desktop Manager" running. Anyway, that's my suggestion, go here, install the virtual desktop manager and see if it gets carried over to all your desktops or not.

Electronic Punk

Staff member
Political User
Lonman, thats definatly not the reason. I once had exactly the same thing happen and the only powertoy I use (and then remove) is TweakUI...

Sure it has something to do with Activedesktop, but thats not something I enjoyed playing with..

I also remember older versions of TweakUI could fix various folders that forget what they were... perhaps this is the case!


OSNN Gamer
I've since tried to recreate it & now it wont have it, I have neither power toys or virtual desktop manager, StyleXP seems to have done the trick my right click / show desktop items is no longer there - very strange ....

Phreak This

You do remember that XP cleans up your dekstop by placing unused iscons in a folder, right? Just wondering.....:rolleyes: :eek: :cool: :eek: :confused:



I finally went back to a very early restore point and my computer went back to normal. However... I also cross posted this to the Microsoft Support Forum and recieved a response telling me this was a common problem.. He suggested this weblink for a fix.

I can't vouch it works or will not kill your computer.. but thought I'd forward it on to you anyway.. since you were as frustrated as I!


OSNN Gamer
he he he well done problem solved thank you very much ...
it gives me the regisrty key that needs deleting.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00021400-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}\shellex\ExtShellFolderViews\....delete this key -{5984FFE0-28D4-11CF-AE66-08002B2E1262}