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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

GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberCpei1-Mar-11 20:06 
GeneralAdd-in Code to select a default custom Folder on opening Pinmemberkabamaru13-Dec-10 10:35 
QuestionDoesn't seem to work on VS 2005, have any idea why? Pinmembertrogov11-Dec-07 21:46 
AnswerRe: Doesn't seem to work on VS 2005, have any idea why? Pinmembertrogov17-Dec-07 6:30 
Moved the line and it works!! Great!
QuestionUpgrading To .Net 2.0 PinmemberAndreGr13-Nov-06 0:45 
AnswerRe: Upgrading To .Net 2.0 PinmemberAndreGr14-Nov-06 3:34 
Questionhow to get selected filename Pinmembercskurdal1-Sep-06 8:25 
GeneralWhy you didn't post the whole project ?! Pinmembermark_md427-Jul-06 23:55 
GeneralRe: Why you didn't post the whole project ?! PinmemberJonathan Gauthier30-Jul-06 0:49 
QuestionHidden Folders? PinmemberDaniel Schaffer23-Jan-06 5:29 
AnswerRe: Hidden Folders? PinmemberJos Branders31-Oct-09 7:52 
GeneralAdd sorting capability PinmemberDemonFox5-Sep-05 1:28 
GeneralRe: Add sorting capability PinmemberMark Johnson24-Aug-07 21:00 
GeneralProblem finding bug.. Pinmemberdermoultam16-Aug-05 20:55 
Generaladd context (right-click) menu with delete file, rename file, create directory, delete directory PinsussKenneth Scott30-Jun-05 18:20 
GeneralAdd . (currentfolder) to control and also add missing files PinsussKenneth Scott30-Jun-05 18:05 
GeneralRe: Add . (currentfolder) to control and also add missing files PinsussKenneth Scott2-Jul-05 14:17 
GeneralException during browsing of &quot;My Network Places&quot; Pinmemberom31-May-05 23:26 
GeneralHELP - Don't show ZIP and PDF files ! PinmemberLe_MuLoT8-Apr-05 7:43 
GeneralRe: HELP - Don't show ZIP and PDF files ! PinmemberLe_MuLoT15-Sep-05 11:38 
GeneralExecuting Selected Files PinmemberLe_MuLoT8-Apr-05 4:36 
GeneralAny one implemented this in PinsussVanjari22-Sep-04 4:26 
GeneralRe: Any one implemented this in PinmembereelisMX23-Sep-04 5:40 
Generalvisual studio .net 2005 beta PinsussAnonymous11-Sep-04 17:16 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta PinmemberWilsonProgramming8-Nov-04 14:41 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta PinmemberWilsonProgramming9-Nov-04 11:43 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pinmemberzarrandreas13-Feb-06 12:30 
GeneralRe: visual studio .net 2005 beta Pinmemberlcalabrese12-Dec-08 2:24 
Generalimplementing Pinmembernicbiondi3-Aug-04 8:14 
GeneralRe: implementing Pinmemberhollandridderkerk15-Aug-04 22:00 
GeneralRe: implementing Pinmembernicbiondi16-Aug-04 7:31 
GeneralBase Folder Pinmemberhollandridderkerk5-Jul-04 5:57 
GeneralRe: Base Folder PinmemberChris Hambleton18-Aug-04 8:47 
GeneralUsing the mouse to select items. Pinmembermpalle5-May-04 11:01 
GeneralError message Pinmemberbunkscene3-Jan-04 16:34 
GeneralRe: Error message PinmemberJonathan Gauthier4-Jan-04 4:04 
GeneralRe: Error message PinmemberLe_MuLoT8-Apr-05 6:45 
QuestionCan this be used in a Console App? How? PinsussAnonymous19-Dec-03 8:32 
AnswerRe: Can this be used in a Console App? How? PinmemberJonathan Gauthier4-Jan-04 4:05 
GeneralSorting Pinmemberryanul12-Dec-03 12:31 
QuestionNo Draging? Pinmembersfdkuhudkj13-Nov-03 13:14 
AnswerRe: No Draging? PinmemberJonathan Gauthier4-Jan-04 4:07 
GeneralGreat Control Pinmemberzorbal23-Oct-03 23:11 
GeneralRe: Great Control PinmemberJonathan Gauthier24-Oct-03 17:09 

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