How-To Geek

Vista Breadcrumbs for Windows XP

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

The same programmer that created yesterday’s Tabbed Explorer plugin also has another add-in that will give you Vista-style breadcrumbs in Windows XP. This application should be really helpful for those of you that aren’t ready to switch to Windows Vista yet, but want to get some of the new features.

Installation of this application is fairly simple, just unzip the files into the location you’d like to keep them, and then double-click on the QTAddressBar.exe file.


Select the Install option, and then click the Next button to register the component with Windows.


At this point you need to either log off and back on, or restart explorer.exe through Task Manager. You can select the File \ New Task option once you kill the process.

Assuming you are back from restarting explorer, now right-click on the toolbars area and do these two actions:

  1. Deselect Address Bar
  2. Select QT Breadcrumbs Address Bar


Now you’ll have an incredibly similar breadcrumbs implementation for Windows XP.


Of course, there are also some of you that don’t like the breadcrumbs in Vista, and there’s a way to disable those too.

Download QT Address Bar

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/5/07

Comments (7)

  1. Nikola

    Explorer crashed when logging off after the install, but I think it is not related. I find this piece of code very useful and have been waiting for *you* to finally blog about a XP port of the breadcrumbs. Thanks.

  2. Alex Railean

    This thing uses the .NET platform, this will force the system to load additional modules, which is not a good idea if your machine is not extremely fast.

    There are alternative ‘breadcrumbs’ tools, written in C or C++, they consume less resources. Try this one:

  3. Artemis

    This looked pretty neat, but unfortunately it doesn’t play nice with Styler Toolbar (it doesn’t conflict, it just messes up the look that Styler gives for the explorer toolbar).

  4. Suraj

    it didn’t install at all .. showed error! :( “The Application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application. .. any suggestions?

  5. Suraj

    never mind … got it fixed :P … reinstalled .NET n it got installed :)

  6. RonCam

    Just came back to browse your fascinating web site and stumbled across this hint …

    I’m looking at the illustration and wondering, how much of this functionality (not the identical appearance) can you get by creating a Shortcut on the Desktop to My Computer, then drag that Shortcut to (for example) the top Desktop border. Then, open new Toolbar’s Context Menu, click Auto-hide.

    When it opens, right-click on any entry and select Explore. I’ve found this quite helpful, but don’t have Vista or XP, so can’t say how close it comes to the functionality of the above hint. It certainly wouldn’t conflict with any other software or functions …

  7. DarkUltra

    Anyone else than me missing the option to breadcrumb to the desktop? I can “up” to the desktop in XP, but not breadcrumb there in Vista, thus its hard to access the desktop, recycle bin and network.

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!