Windows 10: Workaround for jumping explorer view

[German]A short note about workarounds for the strange behavior of the Explorer under Windows 10. The folder view suddenly jumps to the first folder. I saw this issue mentioned since Windows 10 RTM. There is a workaround.


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The Problem: Folder View Jumps

The problem occurs on Windows 10 when a user navigates between folders in Explorer. The user scrolls down a folder branch to see the bottom contents. Suddenly, the Explorer scroll bar automatically jumps or scrolls up and the top of the folder appears.

This is not only confusing and annoying, but can lead to renaming or similar operations that require constant re-navigation. What is particularly stupid is that this uncontrollable scroll problem occurs randomly in Windows 10. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes and sometimes only seconds.

The behavior can be found in all Windows 10 versions – I remembered having seen it in forums like this as early as 2015.

Win10 – File Explorer "jumps" to top of folder

I've been using Windows 10 for a couple days now, and this is something that's been continuously occurring since the upgrade and is fairly annoying.

In File Explorer, if the folder I'm in contains enough files that there's a scroll bar, it won't let me stay scrolled down. The folder view will "jump" back to the first files in the folder after a few seconds. This occurs no matter how far down in the folder I am. I tried changing the View option to see if setting it to a horizontally-scrolling view would stop it from moving, but it still pops back to the beginning of the folder. In order to ensure it's not me accidentally scrolling with my laptop's touchpad, I have scrolled down and then completely taken my hands away from the computer, and it still moves back up after a few seconds. The movement isn't slow, as if it was scrolled back up, but occurs immediately.

Any way to determine why it's happening or what I can do to stop it?

Somebody posted an answer, the culprit is the automatic Accent Color for your background. The advise was, to switch the automatic pick of the accent color off.

Accent color option
(Source: Microsoft)


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The bug had already come under my eyes several times, but I hadn't mentioned it here in the blog. Through a tweet by @PhantomofMobile pointing to Vishal Gupta's tweet, I becam aware again. Gupta took up the topic on askvgcom.

[Fix] File Explorer Automatically Scrolls / Jumps to Top of Folder in #Windows10 :https://t.co/cAShkIRYHw

— Vishal Gupta (@VishalGuptaMVP) 23. Juli 2019

Gupta mentioned beside the automatic accent colors that is can also be also due to the slideshow for background images that are displayed on the desktop. The linked article contains hints for a workaround.

@PhantomofMobile informed my by e-mail, that the fix outlined above also solved further issues with Winows 10:

Shuttering
Stuttering
Jitter
windows flashing
scroll bar flickering and refreshing as well as jittering. In FeedBack Hub as well. So far I have not noticed lagginess or sluggish response.

I can now open "Categories & sub" in FeedBack Hub as well. So far the Realtek audio and Intel graphics Drivers issues still persist, though
I AM STILL running my huge slideshow changing about every 10 secs. I put the Background color to Black. It is better under the Pictures anyway

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31 Responses to Windows 10: Workaround for jumping explorer view

  1. Sam B says:

    I am using Windows 10 Pro v.1809 build:17763.914. I've got the "folder jumping" problem, too. So I've tried resetting the Accent Color solution, but the menu's are a little different but worked with it, but, it didn't work for me. Perhaps the version numbers are significant, or perhaps it's my Display settings. Like, I'm running my dual displays in Dark App Mode. So there is no background colour or wallpaper…it's just black. Three colours in the menu bar (black, white. blue). So I don't see any changes in the accent colours, except when I select and deselect the windows I'm working with. Maybe I missed something…so I'm still looking for a solution. Thanks guys…

  2. tony nelson says:

    What absolute nonsense. As usual the propeller heads at MS are more concerned about 'colours' and 'slideshows' and all that frilly crap than writing resilient code. The 'explorer jump' emanates from many places and is linked to Win 10 repeatedly nuking the user profile – try setting the explorer window to maximum in properties. To make matters worse frustrated users are confronted by an MS 'consultant' who is semi literate and originated from the 'call center jockey' pool.

    • 7 Natives says:

      For some of us, "all that frilly crap" improves our productivity—significantly. Before you beat up "the propeller heads at MS", consider the possibility that yours may not be the only valid point of view.

    • Chris Foster says:

      Agree!!!! MS should focus on this issue and give us a one-for-all fix – even in a windows "update"… this basically renders Windows inoperable from a systems standpoint.

  3. Noah says:

    That doesn't work, this option is off by default, and trying to change it to either on/off does not solve the problem.

    Why doesn't MS try to solve this issue is beyond me.

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  5. dfb says:

    Yep, agree. Accent not selected and the problem still exists.

  6. Guy Lambert says:

    Agree. Really annoying problem and all the 'solutions' I've seen make no difference

  7. Mark Munkholm says:

    deactivate quick launch. file explorer, view, options, change folder and search options, uncheck it, click apply. (sets it to "This PC)

    also many other 3rd party apps will interfere with file explorer. for awhile, getting rid of them was a very good fix. but it became spastic again.

    the thing with random color selection? you can try activating that in settings, then deactivating it, (if you'd prefer your own color)

    check the box, let it pick one, uncheck it and recheck your preferred color. it also seemed to reset file explorer and settle it back down.

    doing all of these has seemed to stabilize file explorer.

    • Rob says:

      I have no idea what you're talking about with "Quick Launch". There is no such option in the File Explorer options, but I'm having the problem, and I've always had the "Open in" option set to "My PC".

  8. Mark Munkholm says:

    what I was trying to say in my above reply is, turning "automatically pick colors… " on, then back off and re selecting " my preferred color", SEEMED to stabilize file explore for me. it might be worth a try. I did it because that kind of thing will work for other problems and I also prefer my own choice of color. I am NOT trying to mislead anyone or waste their time here!!! (along with my other suggestions.)

  9. Michael Newman says:

    This is a shockingly persistent problem and massively annoying.
    I would launch Explorer and scroll down to perhaps the last drive, open that and open another folder, then a few seconds after launching Explorer the view would be reset, jumping back to the top page somewhere.
    Thanks Mark Munkholm for the tips about Explorer options. I had 2 options checked: under "Privacy", "Show recently used files in Quick access" and "Show frequently used folders in Quick access". Now I've unchecked both of these and now I'm able to launch Explorer, scroll down to where I wanted to be, and it would be maybe a minute or two before the view makes its jump. Actually it hasn't changed now for the whole 5 minutes or so that it took me to type this post!
    So that seems like a fix provided you don't want to use those auto population options for Quick access. Explorer apparently populates one of those soon after you launch it and resets the view then.
    The basic rule that Microsoft needs to implement is to not jump / reset the view when the Explorer Window has been changed by the user. Or if they can't tell that, don't reset it if that window is "on top" especially if it has the focus.

  10. Michael Newman says:

    I have no idea why but the problem has returned.
    I've made sure that there's no slideshow set, no quick access options.
    16 seconds after launching Explorer it resets its window.

  11. Ketan Sunder says:

    So has anyone found a solution as yet?? Damn man, I thought I was the only one facing this issue since I re-installed to a previous Windows 10 version from the latest Windows 2004 update. And here, after almost 2 weeks I find dozens having the same issue! Could someone highlight all of we users somewhere where someone can resolve this issue??!!
    I would really appreciate if there was a more concrete fix to this bugging issue.

  12. Midwest Ed says:

    View tab/Options tab/Change folder and search options/View tab (in Folder Options popup window)-Advanced settings-Navigation pane (scroll all the way to bottom/"Expand to open folder" check box – UNCHECK THIS BOX then click Apply to (all) Folders. Then click "OK"

    • Rob says:

      That's not the fix. The "jumping" issue continues, even with "Expand to Open Folder" and Display "Pick Accent Colour from Background"/etc. deactivated

  13. Lynda says:

    This worked! Thank you Midwest Ed!
    View tab/Options tab/Change folder and search options/View tab (in Folder Options popup window)-Advanced settings-Navigation pane (scroll all the way to bottom/"Expand to open folder" check box – UNCHECK THIS BOX then click Apply to (all) Folders. Then click "OK"

    Finally, this has been a pain for years – tried all the other settings.!

  14. Midwest Ed says:

    I've since discovered the left side folder tree view can still act strange. Instead of the selected folder "jumping" to the bottom, it can jump to the middle or sometimes the top. Both are way better than the bottom.

  15. Dennis says:

    Bravo! Worked for me. I have been suffering this bug for months now!

  16. Felicity says:

    So "Expand to open folder" is already unchecked for us but it's still jumping. Any other solution to try? Thank you! It's driving us crazy!!!

    • Emily says:

      Hi felicity – see my fix below – the only thing that worked for me was reinstalling windows & deleting personal files (after backing up to a portal UBS drive). good luck

  17. Emily says:

    Any help please on this – have tried ALL the suggested fixes and none work. I only have one picture for theme & auto select option wasnt ticked to start with. As per Felicity, above, the "expand to open folder" was not ticked for me either. I've tried selecting all these things and unselecting them, to try an force a fix, but nothing at all works. THis is very frustrating for me as am trying to collate research – its been an issue since i first got my lap top over 2 years ago .,

    • Emily says:

      UPDATE ON FIX – NOW WORKING FINE

      Right, so i literally tried all suggestions i came across, to no avail. I have now managed to fix the problem by reinstalling windows (just did the standard reinstall from device, but did delete all personal files after having backed up to portable drive).

      This has worked and completely fixed the issue – if like me you aren't getting anywhere with the other options, reinstall is probably the only option.

  18. Ferd says:

    The suggestion to turn off the option to expand to the current folder is just trading a significant usability feature to swat at an annoyance. The jump happens for a variety of reasons – in my case it's that I've just opened or newly put the focus on Explorer and am looking for a folder in the Navigation Pane while Windows tries to figure out what the currently active folder is. By the time Windows figures this out, I'm almost always one step away from clicking on (and therefore moving the active focus to) the folder I want, but when Windows syncs itself up with wherever I was in the Folder tree last – BOOM – it moves me there because it's so proud it's found its bearings again. Telling Explorer not to expand to current folder is not a fix for this issue, but it does make it near impossible to tell where you are when you're at the bottom of a path looking at only a list of files in the right-hand pane and trying to figure out where in the world you are in the folder tree. No thanks. Michael Newman had it right with the suggestion of rules the Microsoft coders need to follow for how the Navigation Pane should behave. This problem has been around since Windows 8 at least and still doesn't have a solution; none of the above "solutions" are fixes and most of them aren't even acceptable (or functional) workarounds for most users.

  19. Rob says:

    yeah, this isn't the fix. It's may of 2021, and the problem still isn't fixed.

    It's not background slideshow; I've never had it activated

    It's not accent colour; I manually set my own accent colour

    It's not having "Expand to Open Folder" active; I've never had that active

    It's not my mouse drivers needing to be updated; I just updated them, and it persists.

    It isn't fixed by logging out then logging back in again

    It isn't fixed by restarting

    The hardware and Devices Troubleshooter finds nothing wrong.

  20. Junia says:

    Rob, you are spot on in your complaint and in your great summary of what is NOT the solution!
    I wonder whether this has not been messed up (again!) by some recent Windows 10 update. Up to when I closed down my PC one week ago, this was not happening. When I came back from a trip one week later (3rd May) and switched on the PC again, this problem emerged!
    I have already spent hours trawling through dozens of online posts on this issue, without any satisfactory solution (as you well described).
    Could it be some Registry setting which is making File Explorer behave as such (and brought about from time to time by naughty Windows updates)? And, if this is the case, does any clever user know which Registry key could be controlling this and how to edit it?

  21. Harri says:

    I have been a geek since DOS 3. I have seen a lot of new things and abilities created over the past 30 plus years. HOWEVER, one thing has ALWAYS stayed the same. A LOT of people experience the SAME problem with their operating system and go to the forums for advice and/or a fix.
    Guess what happens?
    First – most of the (dumb) answers given come from (experts) who simply DID NOT READ THE STATED PROBLEM.
    Second – in rare cases, someone who actually cares will suggest a fix that might work some of the time for some of the people.
    Third – one or more moderators will default to the item "First"
    Fourth – some Microsoft programmer is laughing their ass off because they (maybe) created the problem in the first place. (perhaps they were bored)
    Fifth – the problem remains unsolved for months or years . . . .

    • guenni says:

      Sixth: That's Windows as a service (WaaS) to keep users busy ;-)

      PS: My experience, starting with DOS 1.0x (and photo copied documents from IBM/Microsoft) long time ago. Glad, we left the bugs from MS-DOS area behind, but not amused, to find many new flaws in every Windows version. Glad, that I don't depend on Win10.

  22. Thomas F. says:

    Hi.

    Since yesterday, we have had a problem with at least two PCs (including my own), tested with three different keyboards (Dell, Cherry, Logitech).

    When I try to rename a directory in Windows Explorer on the left side (tree view), Windows goes crazy after entering some letters (especially with "z" and spaces), highlights the whole text, prints some random letters and "presses" ENTER or goes up some directories. This does not happen with any other program.
    After a restart, this problem has disappeared for the time being, but it seems to be some kind of new(?) bug.

    Regards,
    Thomas

  23. Jagz says:

    Someone mentioned reinstalling Windows as a fix.. not always possible for everyone.. I got around it by using a different file manager.. there's lots but this one is free and open source. Seems to do the job..

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/files/9nghp3dx8hdx?rtc=1&activetab=pivot:overviewtab

  24. Marko says:

    I have been convinced for many years that MS sabotages their OS in order to lure people into the next version. Windows NT came out in 1994 as I recall. It was their rock solid industrial OS that used the NTSF file system. In effect it became XP. MS knew how to make a stable OS while they were selling the "blue screen" home editions. Billy G made his first $40B via fraud and deception.

    At the advice of an "expert" I converted to MS Security Essentials. It let two trojans into XP. It was 6 months until end of support for XP. I reinstalled XP and programs. The last step was the MS updates. Updates were installed, restarted. Message appeared that my computer had a corrupted boot file and could not start. I have very little doubt that MS sabotaged XP to force me into Vista. It turned out that Vista was the only OS that worked right everyday until end of support. Then Win7. Another pile of junk. Now fun with Win10. Win11 (remember when they said Win10 was as far as it would go?) It took weeks to find out where MS had moved all the controls. Win11 will have some "deletions." Probably for more advanced spyware.

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