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Implementing a common File system browser with a ListView

, 24 Sep 2003
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A ListView Control like the one used in Windows Explorer
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Sample Image - FileSystemListView.jpg

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Very often, we need to have a control for browsing the user file-system in order to select files or folders in our applications. But Microsoft did not include a control like that with Visual Studio .NET, so I gave it a try and developed a ListView component very similar to the one used in Windows Explorer.


  • Please note that Shell operations are not implemented and are not planned.
  • The "My Documents" icon is not the good one.

Key Features

  • Use the System ImageList for retrieving the icons (pretty fast)
  • Allows to get back to the parent folder (..), so you don't need a companion control or other button for doing that. (AllowParentFolderSelection property)


Just drag the component onto your form and call the control's Initialize() method in the form Load event.


So this is it. Maybe it will give you a good start for a more complete version.


  • Thanks to Furty for his works with his TreeView control. It gave me ideas for mine and I used the Shell32 stuff he discovered in coding his control.
  • SystemListView code developed and borrowed from Steve McMahon. Click here for his article.


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.

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About the Author

Jonathan Gauthier
Architect CGI
Canada Canada
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

AnswerRe: Hidden Folders? Pin
Jos Branders, 31-Oct-09 7:52
memberJos Branders31-Oct-09 7:52 
GeneralAdd sorting capability Pin
DemonFox, 5-Sep-05 1:28
memberDemonFox5-Sep-05 1:28 
GeneralRe: Add sorting capability Pin
Mark Johnson, 24-Aug-07 21:00
memberMark Johnson24-Aug-07 21:00 
GeneralProblem finding bug.. Pin
dermoultam, 16-Aug-05 20:55
memberdermoultam16-Aug-05 20:55 
Generaladd context (right-click) menu with delete file, rename file, create directory, delete directory Pin
Kenneth Scott, 30-Jun-05 18:20
sussKenneth Scott30-Jun-05 18:20 
GeneralAdd . (currentfolder) to control and also add missing files Pin
Kenneth Scott, 30-Jun-05 18:05
sussKenneth Scott30-Jun-05 18:05 
GeneralRe: Add . (currentfolder) to control and also add missing files Pin
Kenneth Scott, 2-Jul-05 14:17
sussKenneth Scott2-Jul-05 14:17 
GeneralException during browsing of &quot;My Network Places&quot; Pin
om, 31-May-05 23:26
memberom31-May-05 23:26 
GeneralHELP - Don't show ZIP and PDF files ! Pin
Le_MuLoT, 8-Apr-05 7:43
memberLe_MuLoT8-Apr-05 7:43 
GeneralRe: HELP - Don't show ZIP and PDF files ! Pin
Le_MuLoT, 15-Sep-05 11:38
memberLe_MuLoT15-Sep-05 11:38 
GeneralExecuting Selected Files Pin
Le_MuLoT, 8-Apr-05 4:36
memberLe_MuLoT8-Apr-05 4:36 
GeneralAny one implemented this in Pin
Vanjari, 22-Sep-04 4:26
sussVanjari22-Sep-04 4:26 
GeneralRe: Any one implemented this in Pin
eelisMX, 23-Sep-04 5:40
membereelisMX23-Sep-04 5:40 
Generalvisual studio .net 2005 beta Pin
Anonymous, 11-Sep-04 17:16
sussAnonymous11-Sep-04 17:16 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pin
WilsonProgramming, 8-Nov-04 14:41
memberWilsonProgramming8-Nov-04 14:41 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pin
WilsonProgramming, 9-Nov-04 11:43
memberWilsonProgramming9-Nov-04 11:43 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pin
zarrandreas, 13-Feb-06 12:30
memberzarrandreas13-Feb-06 12:30 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pin
lcalabrese, 12-Dec-08 2:24
memberlcalabrese12-Dec-08 2:24 
Generalimplementing Pin
nicbiondi, 3-Aug-04 8:14
membernicbiondi3-Aug-04 8:14 
GeneralRe: implementing Pin
hollandridderkerk, 15-Aug-04 22:00
memberhollandridderkerk15-Aug-04 22:00 
GeneralRe: implementing Pin
nicbiondi, 16-Aug-04 7:31
membernicbiondi16-Aug-04 7:31 
GeneralBase Folder Pin
hollandridderkerk, 5-Jul-04 5:57
memberhollandridderkerk5-Jul-04 5:57 
GeneralRe: Base Folder Pin
Chris Hambleton, 18-Aug-04 8:47
memberChris Hambleton18-Aug-04 8:47 
GeneralUsing the mouse to select items. Pin
mpalle, 5-May-04 11:01
membermpalle5-May-04 11:01 
GeneralError message Pin
bunkscene, 3-Jan-04 16:34
memberbunkscene3-Jan-04 16:34 

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