ShellBrowser WPF Components

Native Explorer Shell Controls for WPF

All Included Components

You are developing in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and want to directly include Windows shell functionalities? With ShellBrowser WPF Components you can easily access, edit, and add features known from the Windows Explorer to your WPF app. Use these flexible and customizable components for a familiar interface, speeding up development and making your job much easier. All components are written in C# but can be used with other .NET languages. No fees and no external dependencies!



Use the ExplorerBrowser to add an entire Windows Explorer to your application. Easily integrate a wide range of features in your app. The WPF component minimally consists of a folder view. You can hide other panes such as a navigation tree, a file preview or details pane and command bars or display them at any time as needed. Using properties and events the ExplorerBrowser is widely controllable via code.


Display the shell namespace of Microsoft Windows in a tree looking and behaving like the Windows Explorer's left pane with a ShellTreeView. You can control and adapt the look and functionality of the tree, including multiple roots and "Quick Access" from Windows Explorer, displaying of files, shell context menus and drag-and-drop. The component can be easily synchronized with other ShellBrowser WPF components using WPF binding or a ShellControlConnector.


Display the contents of a folder in a list looking and behaving like the right pane of the Windows Explorer and customize it according to your needs using the ShellListView component. Features include various view styles, including thumbnail and details and tiles view, full automatic drag-and-drop support, customizable shell context menus, and column handling. The component can be easily synchronized with other ShellBrowser WPF components using WPF binding or a ShellControlConnector.

ShellComboBox and ShellAutoCompleteTextBox

Use the ShellComboBox to create a fully configurable Windows Explorer combo box for shell objects. Via the edit and auto completion mode you can select a path by typing directly into the control. An easy customizable set of locations can be reached quickly via the integrated dropdown list in the ShellComboBox.



The main part of a ShellAddressBar provides breadcrumb navigation known from Windows File Explorer. The current path is hierarchically split into "breadcrumbs" that can be browsed with a click. Or users may edit paths using the in place autocomple enabled editor. The component also includes a navigation history and a fully functional searchbox as optional panes. Queries are executed using the Windows Desktop Search, thus supporting the Advanced Query Syntax known from the search box in Windows Explorer. Results of a search will be automatically presented in an attached ShellListView or ExplorerBrowser component.


With the ShellFilePreview control you can view the content of files without opening them first. The .WPF control uses IPreviewHandlers registered in Windows for display, so the file types that can be previewed are the same as in Windows Explorer. The component can be easily synchronized with other ShellBrowser WPF components using WPF binding or a ShellControlConnector.


Use the ShellThumbnail control to display thumbnail images of files or folders using the same API calls the Windows Explorer employs. The control can be configured to show thumbnails or icons of files and folders, so you can use them in various contexts - as standalone component to display images or as part of an item template to display file icons in custom list controls. The component can be easily synchronized with other ShellBrowser WPF components using WPF binding or a ShellControlConnector.



The WPF ShellContextMenu can be used in place of a normal context menu in arbitrary WPF controls displaying a path or a list of paths for which it will show the shell context menu known from the Windows Explorer.




The BrowseForFolder is a wrapper for the folder selection dialog of the system. It ican be used in the same way as an "OpenFileDialog", but allows to select folders instead of files.

Non-visual Components



With the ShellChangeNotifier component you can receive and react upon information about changes in the file system, e.g. copy, move, or delete operations as well as any other relevant shell operations, like Net Shares und Unshares or the insertion or removal of media. You can configure the events you want to receive from the change notifier and restrict the part of the namespace that shall be watched for changes.


In WPF you can either synchronize several ShellBrowser components by binding relevant dependencies properties in the controls to your View Model. An alternative way is to use a ShellControlConnector to connect e.g. a ShellTreeView, a ShellListView and a ShellFilePreview, so that the ShellListView automatically displays the folder selected in the ShellTreeView and the ShellFilePreview the file selected in the ShellListView.