opening different file types together in windows explorer

May 22, 2010
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Hello everyone,

I have to open various types of office files at once; such as publisher, word, powerpoint, excel and access.

In XP, I would just highlight all the files I wanted and press enter and they would all open. Under Vista and W7, I can only open one type of file at a time. For example, I select file1.csv & file2.xls (or pic1.bmp & pic2.jpg) and press enter expecting it to open both files. It doesn't even have the courtesy to give you an error message or a warning.

I've also observed that I can't open "too many" files, even if they have the same file extension. I've haven't figured out the criteria for "too many". Sometimes 8 files are OK, sometimes they are too many. Also no warning or error.


Fire cat

Established Member
Mar 7, 2010
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I'm not sure it is possible anymore. I think it was removed exactly for that; to avoid opening loads of files at the same time by mistake.

Maybe if you use an other file manager. You could try cloning (copying) the explorer.exe from XP and the run it on Windows 7 in compatibility mode for XP. I did that for the vista explorer, and it worked perfectly, after I ran it in compatibility mode for vista. So it should also work for XP.
You can find the explorer exe here:
Fire Cat
Oct 17, 2011
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Workaround Found

I have found a workaround in Windows 7 to be able to open files of different types simultaneously:

Download and install freeware ExporerXP:
Go to the desktop icon for ExplorerXP and open Properties.
Under the Shortcut tab select "Advanced" and then check "Run as administrator"
Under the Compatibility tab select "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and choose "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)"
Select OK to close the Properties window
Open ExporerXP using the desktop icon
Select multiple files of different types and hit <Enter> on the keyboard (right-click doesn't work)


^ The World's First ^
May 10, 2010
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This thread is 17 months old so the original poster probably found a solution or gave up by now. But Thank you edeeb because it's still possible it could help another user who happens to find this thread in a search.

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