If the file explorer on your Windows 11/10 computer is not showing the left navigation pane, you can find below the steps to fix the problem of left pane missing in file explorer.
Left Navigation Pane Missing in File Explorer
When you open the file explorer on a Windows computer, it provides immediate access to desktop, downloads, photos and other most commonly used locations on the computer.
Hence, the problem of missing left pane in file explorer window can make it really difficult to navigate to location of files and folders located on your computer.
Luckily, this problem can be fixed in most cases by using the following trouble shooting steps.
1. Restart File Explorer Process Using Task Manager
Restarting the file explorer process is known to help fixing common file explorer problems.
1. Right-click on the Start button and click on Task Manager.
2. On the Task Manager screen, right-click on Windows Explorer entry and click on Restart.
After this, open file explorer and see if it is now showing the left pane.
2. Enable Navigation Panel
It is possible that you may have accidentally disabled the file explorer navigation pane on your computer.
Open File Explorer > Click on the View tab in top-menu bar > hover mouse over Show and click on Navigation pane.
Note: Make sure the Navigation pane is checked (has a check mark).
If you are using Windows 10, open File Explorer > switch to View tab, click on Navigation pane and select Navigation pane in the menu that appears.
After this, you should find the left navigation pane showing in file explorer on your computer.
3. Perform a Complete System Shutdown
Click on Start button > type CMD in the Search bar > right-click on Command Prompt in search results and select Run as administrator option.
On Command Prompt screen, type shutdown /s /f /t 0 and press the Enter key.
Allow the computer to shut down > After 30 seconds, restart the computer by pressing the Power button.
4. Clear File Explorer History
The problem could be due to presence of corrupted or outdated files in file explorer history.
1. Open File Explorer > Click on 3-dots icon and select Options in the drop-down menu.
2. On File Explorer Options screen, scroll down to Privacy section and click on the Clear button next to Clear File Explorer History option.
3. Click on OK to close the Folder Options window.
5. Re-register shdocvw.dll file
Re-registering shdocvw.dll file can help in fixing file explorer related problems.
1. Click on Start button > type CMD in the Search bar > right-click on Command Prompt in search results and select Run as administrator option.
2. On Command Prompt screen, type regsvr32 /i shdocvw and press the Enter key.
3. Close the Command Prompt window and see if the Left Pane is now showing in File Explorer.
6. Repair System Files Using SFC
In rare cases, the problem could be due to system files becoming damaged or corrupted.
Type Command Prompt in the Search bar > right-click on Command Prompt App in the Search results and select Run as administrator option.
On Command Prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press the Enter Key on the keyboard of your computer.
Patiently wait for Windows to scan the computer for system file errors and fix them.