Tutorial Thursday

One of the best features that I have found in Vista is the nicely designed Windows Explorer. It makes it easy to navigate through your folders, and allows you to put frequently used folders in the sidebar on the left side. Best of all is the great breadcrumb navigation that allows you to navigate backwards through folders with ease.

Vista’s Windows Explorer

Getting those breadcrumbs in Windows XP is actually very easy, thanks to a free application that was just released last week called QT Address Bar (Download Mirror). If the name sounds familiar, that’s because we previously wrote about a program they make called QT TabBar which puts tabs in Windows Explorer.

So now back to the breadcrumbs. I’ve only seen one other application (found on Lifehacker) that did something like this, but it didn’t take on the same appearance of Vista’s Windows Explorer. QT Address Bar is about as close as it gets, and here’s the simple steps needed to set it up:

  1. Download QT Address Bar (Download Mirror) and install it. The installation is a one-click process so it only takes a second. Oh, and the uninstallation is just as easy since all it really does is register a few things with the operating system, so you won’t find any folders in the Program Files.
    QT Address Bar
  2. Either logout of Windows XP and log back in, or restart the computer.
  3. After you’re back in Windows, open Windows Explorer. Don’t panic, you’re not supposed to see QT Address Bar yet! Right-click on a toolbar and select the QT Breadcrumbs Address Bar option from the menu:
    QT Address Bar
  4. Now that the QT Address Bar is visible and working, you should consider removing the normal address bar by right-clicking on a toolbar and unchecking the Address Bar option.
    QT Address Bar
  5. Now have fun with it! QT Address Bar actually goes one step beyond what Vista does by allowing you to deeply navigate folders from within the breadcrumbs. You can even right-click on a folder from within the breadcrumbs:
    QT Address Bar

There ya go, now everyone still using XP can benefit from one of my favorite things in Vista’s Windows Explorer. Let us know if you have any other tips on how you bring some of Vista’s features into Windows XP!

QT Address Bar (Download Mirror)

Thanks to the anonymous tipster for pointing out this program!