How to speed up FileBoss

How to force FileBoss to load and start faster

Unlike Windows Explorer, when FileBoss starts its default behavior is to load the folders and searches that were open when it last closed, but you can force FileBoss to start faster by telling it not to reload everything or just some types of folders. When this default feature is on it can really slow down when trying to access network files and rarely but sometimes stall because Windows has yet to resolve all network connections.

What to load and search for when FileBoss first starts is turned on by default but it can be modified or turned off completely using the Edit > Program Options menu item and display the Startup tab as shown here.

Speeding up the display of folders and items

While FileBoss is running there are other situations that might slow the display down (possibly slow enough that FileBoss becomes so non-responsive that it appears to have crashed) and three settings that should help things.

One quick principle: As far as FileBoss is concerned the size of the files, either individually or in total, is irrelevant except, of course when making copies. The only variables that matter when viewing a folder or searching for files are:

1) how many files there are;

2) how many first-level subfolders there are;

3) how many executable files there are – e.g., .exe, .com, .dll, .msi and others; and,

4) how many files trigger special icons (such as overlays) to be displayed along with the files.

And, of course, being on a network can amplify the effect of any of those conditions. (And a corrupted file system and the type of file system can make things difficult too, but those are beyond FileBoss’s control.)

Below are two settings that should ameliorate any slow performance caused by:

  • Folders that contain many, first-level subfolders.

When a new folder is displayed, FileBoss will check to see if that folder has any subfolders so that it knows whether or not to put a little plus sign to the left of the folder name indicating that that node of the folder tree can be expanded. Hard to believe but that check (using low level calls to Windows) can take some time. Normally it isn’t noticeable. But if there are many folders, especially on a network drive, then that check can slow things down.

Fortunately this check can be turned off from the main menu with the Explorer > Fast Folder Navigation option as shown below (note this only affects normal folder tabs, not virtual folders (search results).


The downside to this is that when Fast Folder Navigation is active, FileBoss puts a plus sign to the left of all folders listed in the navigation panel on the left side of a tab.

  • Slow File Icon retrieval.

The icons for some files can take Windows a long time to retrieve – especially over a network. But you can tell FileBoss not to retrieve icons for files but rather just display a drive, folder or file icon for each entry as appropriate.

Use the Edit > Program Options menu item and display the Views, Explore tab as shown here.

Note that the None option should not provide any significant improvement over the Drive, Folder or File option.

Version 4 will have an enhanced version of this and it will be on by default. In that situation all files and folders, except executables, will show their normal i.e., type-of-file icon yet the list of files and folders will display incredibly fast.

Posted in Display

How to display more tabs


FileBoss will display one or more tabs with each tab displaying a folder in the file system, a virtual folder, or an error / report log.
Typically, a tab will display the navigation tree in the left panel and the contents of the active folder in the right panel.

Five ways to create a tab displaying a file system folder

  1. Click on one of the drive buttons and then hold down the ctrl key while clicking on the folder to display.

    FileBoss always shows the root folder and displays up to the last ten folders that you visited and stayed on for a while.
    If you just click on a folder in the list it will change the current tab to view that folder.
  2. Click the New button on the main toolbar.

    This will create a new tab with the same contents as the current, or most recent, Explorer tab.
  3. Click a folder from the dropdown list of the New button .

    Which systems folders are displayed depends on the version of window you are using and your configuration.
    Note the you can add the current folder to this list and manage those folders with the last three options on the menu.
  4. Right click over a folder in a tab (either in the right or left panel) and select the Open in New Tab option.

    If the Open in New Tab option is not displayed select the FileBoss menu option at the top of the menu first.
  5. Select New > Explorer Tab from the main menu.

Two ways to create a tab displaying a Virtual Folder

  1. Select one of the New > Dynamic Virtual Folder > options from the main menu.
  2. Perform a search which will show the results in a new Virtual Folder.

In addition, FileBoss will sometimes open a new Virtual Folder to display files that caused errors when copying or renaming files (along with reasons and possible fixes).

Posted in Display

Do folder names have extensions?

The Answer?

The answer is an unqualified ‘Yes’ but it is certainly easy and understandable to think otherwise.

Actually folder names follow the same naming conventions as regular files and can have extensions. The official Windows File System spec puts it this way, everything after the last dot is an extension. $RECYCLE.BIN being one of the most common examples:

$Recycle Bin

However it is easy to think that folders don’t have extensions for two reasons:

1) Most folders don’t have extensions (or a dot (.) in their names)

2) Windows explorer defaults to displaying folder names (and filenames) as one unit so that the extensions aren’t highlighted.

Show the folder name as in Windows Explorer

This second point can be easily emulated in FileBoss.

Right-click over a column header and set up the small menu as shown below. Be sure to click the   button before exiting. (You may have to do this twice, once in a normal explore tab and once in a Search Results (Virtual Folder) tab.

Posted in Windows Tech

Separating Multiple Paths and Patterns

Graphic showing Example of Multiple Paths and PatternsPart of FileBoss’s power comes from being able to enter multiple paths and multiple file patterns into command fields allowing, for instance, a set of files to be copied to multiple folders at one time or to include or exclude a series of file patterns.

This short post will explain how to separate those paths and patterns along with how and why to change the default characters. Read more ›

Posted in Copying, Renaming

How to Copy to Multiple Destinations – Part 2

More ways to copy
There are several ways to copy one or more files and folders to multiple destinations.In this post explain how to do it using by simply entering multiple target folders into the destination(s) field of most copy routines.In Copy to Multiple Destinations – Part 1 I show how to do this using Dynamic Virtual Folders to hold the destination folders.

Adding Multiple Folders to the Destination(s) Field

Destinations Field of Copy Dialogs Read more ›

Posted in Copy to Multiple Destinations, Copying

How to Copy to Multiple Destinations – Part 1

More ways to copy
There are several ways to copy one or more files and folders to multiple destinations.In this post explain how to do this using Dynamic Virtual Folders to hold the destination folders .In Copy to Multiple Destinations – Part 2 I show how to do this it by simply entering multiple target folders into the destination(s) field of most copy routines.

Using Virtual Folders for Multiple Destination(s)

The Simple Steps Are

  1. Create a Dynamic Virtual Folder and populate with the target folders.
  2. Select the files and folders to be copied and copy them to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).
  3. In the DVR created in step 1 select the folders to which you want to distribute the files.
  4. Use the Copy to Selected Folders… command to complete the action.

One way to think of this process is that you are pasting the copied files into multiple folders at one time. Read more ›

Posted in Copy to Multiple Destinations, Copying, Dynamic Virtual Folders, Virtual Folders

Long Filenames – How Long is Too Long

A quick plug to help pay the bills. To see how FileBoss can help you find long path names on your system and what to do with them see Finding Long Filenames and Paths.

m-find-long-filenamesThere is a lot of confusion and much speculation on the Internet as to what constitutes a filename or path that is too long for Microsoft Windows. 256? 260? 259? 32,000+? 180? 247? 248? The confusion is understandable since all those – and more – are correct and they are wrong and they are sometimes correct and wrong at the same time. Read more ›

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Posted in Filenames, Long Filenames, Renaming

Online Help Integrated into Main Website

The online help section of held the same contents as the help file that comes with FileBoss.

It has now been folded into the main website where there are nearly 200 web pages that explain how to accomplish most any task you may have. The elimination of the web help section is part of a reorganization of the website that will allow new online help the will include videos and dynamic content.

Naturally the help file that is part of the FileBoss installation package is (and will continue to be) available through FileBoss’s Help menu. And if you need to have the help file separately it can downloaded by clicking

And of course all of the file management tools are listed at


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Posted in News, Website

Admin Shares come to FileBoss

(Note: this post applies to features in version 2.6 and later. Version 2.6 will be released in January 2013.)

072911_1714_AdminShares2.pngStarting with FileBoss version 2.6 FileBoss not only recognizes administrative shares when they are typed into the command bar but will also display them in the folder list on the left and in the contents view on the right. And of course they can be used as targets of any copy operation. Read more ›

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Posted in Accessing folders, Sharing

Increment Numbers in File Names

072911_2300_Incrementfi1.pngFrom a recent question to support:

How do I rename two thousand files that are numbered p_0098.dat, p_0099.dat….p_2098.dat so that all the numbers are incremented by 1,000. I tried but an error kept popping up saying that the file could not be renamed because a file by that name already exists.

This one is easy though it may not be immediately obvious. Read more ›

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Posted in Renaming
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