Minimalist Explorer Breadcrumbs For Windows XP

When Windows Vista and Windows 7 came into the market, it was quite obvious to conclude that Windows XP would lose its popularity. However, the fact is that several smart geeks have not left Windows XP as it is comparatively more stable in terms of efficient execution of programming tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio .Net.

So, are you one of these geeks who still want to stick to Windows XP? If yes, then do read this article to know how to receive the most loved novel feature of Windows Vista and Windows 7 in Windows XP.

Do you know the most admired feature of Windows Vista and Windows 7? Well, it is the breadcrumb navigation in the Explorer, the most useful utility that offer a shortcut way to browse to the required folder rather than going step by step. If you have seen an e-learning course, you must have come across the breadcrumb navigation wherein a bar exists at the top to offer the hyperlinked course path in the form [Home] --> [Chapter] --> [Topic] --> [Title].

Extending the scenario in Windows Explorer, a breadcrumb in the form Desktop --> My Computer --> C: --> Documents and Settings is now possible wherein each arrow, when clicked, displays a drop-down list showing the items (not sub-items) existing in that corresponding location. For instance, if you click the drop-down arrow after C:, you get to see the items stored on the drive.

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Although the feature of breadcrumb navigation was introduced for the first time in Windows Vista, you can happily have it in Windows XP by downloading and installing a free utility, Explorer Breadcrumbs. Let us now see how to use this utility.

Where To Find For Explorer Breadcrumbs

You can safely download the latest version of Explorer Breadcrumbs from When you download, it will be saved as bctoolbar-setup-1-3-0-1.exe.

However, before you install it, just check your C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory for three .dll files namely, MSVCR71.dll, MSVCRT.dll, and MSVCP71.dll without which this utility will not function properly. In case you do not have them, download them by visiting, unzip them, and copy them to the specified directory. In case of any of them already existing on your machine, download only the ones that are not there and reboot your computer.

How To Install And Use The Explorer Breadcrumbs

Before you start the installation, ensure that no program or window including Windows Explorer is running on your computer. Now run the .exe file to open the installation wizard and follow the instructions. After installation, the toolbar is visible to the right of the Address bar by default in the Windows Explorer. Kindly note that the breadcrumb navigation toolbar is visible only when you open the Explorer window via My Computer instead from the Start menu.

Now, you can just click on the specified arrow or location in the path to go anywhere in that hierarchical path. As a tip, you can move the toolbar to the extreme left below the Address bar for observing the full navigation. On the extreme right of the toolbar, a button exists that allows you to change four toolbar settings. I leave these settings for you to try. Do share your experiences on the same!