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FolderTreeView Control

, 25 Oct 2002
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A simple explorer-like FolderTreeView control for C#

Sample Image


This is an all-new version of the FolderTreeView control I posted here at CodeProject some weeks ago. The control now starts in the Desktop namespace, and a new drilling method has been added so the startup folder can be specified. Please note that this control is not intended to have all of the functionality of the actual Windows Explorer TreeView - it is a light-weight control designed for use in projects where you want to supply a treeview for folder navigation, without supporting windows shell extensions. If you are looking for a control that supports shell extensions you should be looking at the excellent ËxplorerTreeControl submitted by Carlos H Perez here at the CodeProject website.

How it works

After calling the InitFolderTreeView() method, a dummy Desktop not is created as the root node, and then the shell's Desktop namespace is iterated to populate the first level nodes. The child nodes are then iterated, checking only for the presence of sub-child nodes. If sub-child nodes are found, a dummy node is inserted so that the [+] will be displayed for folders that can be expanded. When the BeforeExpand event fires, the folder being expanded is checked for a dummy node. If a dummy is present, it is removed and the node's children are re-populated. If the node's children have already been populated no further action occurs.


The FolderTreeView control is based on 3 classes:

  • FolderTreeView - The FolderTreeView implementation
  • ShellOperations - Supporting Shell Operations
  • ExtractIcons - Shell Icon Extractor
The control naturally derives from the System.Windows.Forms.TreeView, exposing 1 new property, GetSelectedNodePath() which returns the currently selected node's full path. There are 2 new methods: InitFolderTreeView() must be called to populate the TreeView - normally you would call this in your Form's OnLoad event. The 2nd method is DrillToFolder(string folderPath) - this will recurse through the tree looking for the specified folder path, returning a boolean to indicate if the search was sucessful or not.

The method used to retreive the icon for the Desktop root node works fine, but is perhaps not the best way to go about it. This control has NOT been tested in Win9x, NT or 2000 - feedback on these OS's would be much appreciated. Of course if you improve this control I would appreciate the update, and if you have any feedback to offer, please post it below.


Version 1.11:

  • Updated the GetDesktopIcon() method so it returns the shell's small desktop icon rather than the large version
  • Added code so that the Desktop node would return the full desktop folder path
I have now tested the code on Windows Me without problem - feeback on how it works with other OS's would be appreciated!


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer
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Furty will code for food.

Comments and Discussions

AnswerPossible Improvement to DrillToFolder() PinmemberCharles Jenkins9-Oct-14 4:25 
GeneralNot able to see Entire Network in My Network Places Pinmemberremane24-May-07 3:34 
GeneralCompiling on Vista, executing on XP - error Pinmembersplattne215-Mar-07 4:55 
QuestionRe: Compiling on Vista, executing on XP - error PinmemberDynamite Jones27-Jul-07 6:37 
AnswerWhy are you Developing on Vista!? Pinmemberredfish3411-Oct-07 15:05 
GeneralRe: Why are you Developing on Vista!? Pinmemberdatacore29-Oct-08 22:22 
QuestionHow to remove the A: drive(diskette) from the tree? Pinmemberrytek909-Feb-07 5:47 
QuestionConnection to Live ID? PinmemberSeikilos11-Jan-07 10:57 
i am confused, everytime i use this control and click on the network folder icon on root, the programm tries to connect to the internet, the host is stopped by zonealarm, but why want it connect to it?
Once i let it connect and it presented me a logon for MS Live ID.
When i deny the connection, i get a "Windows live id connection error" message.
"Your request cant be send because the windows live id service is unavailable" where i can retry or abort, both leads me back to the message and my programms is trapped in that loop.

Has somebody an explanation for me?
AnswerRe: Connection to Live ID? PinmemberSeikilos15-Jan-07 8:44 
QuestionHourglass Cursor in ExpandBranch Pinmembergoondoo2717-Nov-06 13:20 
AnswerRe: Hourglass Cursor in ExpandBranch Pinmembergoondoo2720-Nov-06 7:08 
QuestionHow To Remove Network Neighbourhood, Internet Explorer and Recyle Bin ? Pinmemberscorpion_pgm8230-Aug-06 3:22 
GeneralList All Computers in the network PinmemberShailesh Halankar29-May-06 0:35 
GeneralRe: List All Computers in the network Pinmemberdatacore22-Jun-06 21:58 
QuestionProblem with icons colors PinmemberGalanty23-Mar-06 0:43 
AnswerRe: Problem with icons colors Pinmembersir_mad23-Mar-06 1:15 
GeneralRe: Problem with icons colors PinmemberGalanty24-Mar-06 9:21 
AnswerRe: Problem with icons colors Pinmembernguyen_freddie17-Jan-10 18:55 
GeneralDrillToFolder and unc-path Pinmembertabor252-Mar-06 6:29 
GeneralPay attention to shell extensions PinmemberLiviu7-Feb-06 5:10 
QuestionRe: Pay attention to shell extensions Pinmembersir_mad22-Mar-06 5:53 
QuestionWhat about the hidden directory ? Pinmemberbilb0t1-Feb-06 4:22 
GeneralExcellent Pinmember-Dy24-Jan-06 11:25 
GeneralPerformance and network neighbourhood Pinmemberrubberring8-Nov-05 11:32 
GeneralRe: Performance and network neighbourhood Pinmemberdario7711-Jan-06 8:06 
QuestionControl in Designer with DLL Compilation Pinmemberakiriwas8-Oct-05 18:13 
AnswerRe: Control in Designer with DLL Compilation PinmemberGav_Roberts2k518-Oct-05 4:03 
QuestionHow to add create/delete folder? PinmemberTiger xing7-Oct-05 20:18 
GeneralException removing folder with Directory.Delete PinmemberSergio Camilleri30-Mar-05 2:55 
QuestionExcellent - License? PinsussAnonymous3-Mar-05 14:17 
AnswerRe: Excellent - License? PinmemberFurty18-Mar-05 13:17 
GeneralGreat stuff Pinmemberderhamyh2-Mar-05 16:36 
GeneralExcellent! Pinmemberscottfm28-Jan-05 10:27 
QuestionAnyone had luck with fileSystemWatcher with this control? PinmemberIndyJason7911-Jan-05 1:52 
GeneralTip to remove Recyle Bin & Zip File Nodes PinmemberIndyJason792-Jan-05 18:59 
GeneralRe: Tip to remove Recyle Bin & Zip File Nodes PinmemberNigai18-Mar-05 9:44 
GeneralThis in VB?.... PinmemberBrad Fackrell26-Oct-04 5:33 
GeneralRe: This in VB?.... Pinmemberzsavov30-Mar-05 17:27 
GeneralName of the root node PinmemberNigai10-Oct-04 10:49 
GeneralRe: Name of the root node PinmemberFurty10-Oct-04 15:01 
GeneralRe: Name of the root node PinmemberNigai11-Oct-04 21:42 
GeneralMy network places - Windows 2000 Pinmembergraham.ball19-Aug-04 4:42 
GeneralRe: My network places - Windows 2000 Pinmembergraham.ball19-Aug-04 5:34 
GeneralGetFolderIcon PinmemberYura Tigiev26-Jul-04 0:17 
Generalmy network places Pinmemberthen52030-Mar-04 22:52 
GeneralWindows XP shadow Pinmemberaiolia9-Feb-04 17:15 
GeneralRe: Windows XP shadow Pinmemberdgentils8-Mar-04 18:03 
GeneralRe: Windows XP shadow Pinmembera020912926-Mar-04 13:17 
GeneralRe: Windows XP shadow Pinmemberdgentils26-Mar-04 14:12 
GeneralRe: Windows XP shadow Pinmembera020912927-Mar-04 8:32 

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