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Posted 1 Oct 2002


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FolderTreeView Control

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4.87/5 (33 votes)
25 Oct 20023 min read
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 note 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 successful or not.

The method used to retrieve 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 OSs 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 - feedback on how it works with other OSs 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.

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Comments and Discussions

AnswerPossible Improvement to DrillToFolder() Pin
Charles Jenkins9-Oct-14 3:25
MemberCharles Jenkins9-Oct-14 3:25 
GeneralNot able to see Entire Network in My Network Places Pin
remane24-May-07 2:34
Memberremane24-May-07 2:34 
GeneralCompiling on Vista, executing on XP - error Pin
splattne215-Mar-07 3:55
Membersplattne215-Mar-07 3:55 
QuestionRe: Compiling on Vista, executing on XP - error Pin
Dynamite Jones27-Jul-07 5:37
MemberDynamite Jones27-Jul-07 5:37 
AnswerWhy are you Developing on Vista!? Pin
redfish3411-Oct-07 14:05
Memberredfish3411-Oct-07 14:05 
GeneralRe: Why are you Developing on Vista!? Pin
datacore29-Oct-08 21:22
Memberdatacore29-Oct-08 21:22 
QuestionHow to remove the A: drive(diskette) from the tree? Pin
rytek909-Feb-07 4:47
Memberrytek909-Feb-07 4:47 
QuestionConnection to Live ID? Pin
Seikilos11-Jan-07 9:57
MemberSeikilos11-Jan-07 9:57 
AnswerRe: Connection to Live ID? Pin
Seikilos15-Jan-07 7:44
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QuestionHourglass Cursor in ExpandBranch Pin
goondoo2717-Nov-06 12:20
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AnswerRe: Hourglass Cursor in ExpandBranch Pin
goondoo2720-Nov-06 6:08
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QuestionHow To Remove Network Neighbourhood, Internet Explorer and Recyle Bin ? Pin
scorpion_pgm8230-Aug-06 2:22
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GeneralList All Computers in the network Pin
Shailesh Ha28-May-06 23:35
MemberShailesh Ha28-May-06 23:35 
GeneralRe: List All Computers in the network Pin
datacore22-Jun-06 20:58
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QuestionProblem with icons colors Pin
Galanty22-Mar-06 23:43
MemberGalanty22-Mar-06 23:43 
AnswerRe: Problem with icons colors Pin
SiliconMind23-Mar-06 0:15
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GeneralRe: Problem with icons colors Pin
Galanty24-Mar-06 8:21
MemberGalanty24-Mar-06 8:21 
AnswerRe: Problem with icons colors Pin
nguyen_freddie17-Jan-10 17:55
Membernguyen_freddie17-Jan-10 17:55 
GeneralDrillToFolder and unc-path Pin
tabor252-Mar-06 5:29
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GeneralPay attention to shell extensions Pin
Liviu7-Feb-06 4:10
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QuestionRe: Pay attention to shell extensions Pin
SiliconMind22-Mar-06 4:53
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QuestionWhat about the hidden directory ? Pin
bilb0t1-Feb-06 3:22
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GeneralExcellent Pin
-Dy24-Jan-06 10:25
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GeneralPerformance and network neighbourhood Pin
rubberring8-Nov-05 10:32
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GeneralRe: Performance and network neighbourhood Pin
dario7711-Jan-06 7:06
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