Opening a SharePoint Document Library from within Windows Explorer - WSS3 and SharePoint 2010

Written By: Rob Fisch -- 9/30/2010 -- join -- contribute -- (23) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Document Management, Features, MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, WSS3


What happened to "Open with Windows Explorer" in SharePoint 2010?


Don't worry. It's still there. They just put in a place that's hard to find the first time.

In WSS3 and MOSS 2007, there was a handy feature under the "Actions" menu of document libraries called "Open with Windows Explorer". This does what it says it does. It opens an Explorer window and allows you to copy, paste (or drag) document files to and from other libraries or file folders on the local PC or network file shares.

Note: When using this feature, it by-passes the filling out of metadata columns. And when a SharePoint column has a required field it can cause issues. But it's very handy for administrators that need to move large amounts of files around. Make sure to temporarily disable required fields.

So what happened to this menu option in SharePoint 2010?

In the ribbon bar of a document library, click on the "Library" tab of "Library Tools". Maximize the browser window. Unless you maximize the window, you will not see the text next to the icon. That's why this feature is easy to miss in SharePoint 2010.

Click on the option and a Windows Explorer window will pop up and you can manage files easily.

(Administrator's note: I would not show this feature to most users. It can defeat the purpose of a document library where you want to encourage users to use the extra metadata columns that you provide for tracking and analysis purposes. It's probably obscure for a reason. )

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