How to Use File Explorer Options in Windows 10?

Learn to use each option in File Explorer!!


File Explorer Options in Windows 10: File Explorer is a file management tool that is used in Windows 10 while browsing files and folders. In File Explorer Options, you can change diverse settings for folders, files, and drives. You can decide what the items in File Explorer need to be displayed with the help of the File Explorer Options. Here, in this article, we will explain to you how to use File Explorer Options in Windows 10. We have listed every option with a short definition to make you understand clearly.

Table of Contents:

Three Diverse Ways to open File Explorer Options:

Open File Explorer Options – Using Start Menu

  • Go to the Start menu.
  • In the search option, you have to type File Explorer Options and click Enter to open it.
File Explorer Options - Start Menu
File Explorer Options – Start Menu

Run Command to access File Explorer Options:

  • Click on this shortcut Win Key + R to open Run.
  • You have to Copy and Paste the below command on the Run and click OK.
control folders
File Explorer Options - Run Command
File Explorer Options – Run Command

Simple Steps to create File Explorer Options Shortcut:

  • You just need to Right-click on the Desktop and select New. After that, choose Shortcut from the pop-up menu.
    File Explorer Options - Shortcut Creation
    File Explorer Options – Shortcut Creation
  • You have to enter control folders in the text box where you have asked Type the location of the item and then click Next.
    control folders 
    File Explorer Options - Shortcut Location
    File Explorer Options – Shortcut Location
  • In the subsequent window, the default name control will be displayed in the given space of Type a name for this shortcut.
  • You can leave the default name as it is or else give any name as per your wish and then click Finish.
    File Explorer Options - Shortcut Name
    File Explorer Options – Shortcut Name
  • Ultimately, the File Explorer Options shortcut is now created in your Windows 10 desktop.
    File Explorer Options - Shortcut Created
    File Explorer Options – Shortcut Created
  • You can access this tool with the use of this shortcut icon in any instance.

List of Tabs in File Explorer Options:

You can find the following tabs in the File Explorer Options.

  • General
  • View
  • Search

General Tab:

First, the Open File Explorer to, gives you two options Quick access and This PC.

  • Quick access – It shows frequently opened folders and files while launching File Explorer. This is helpful if you chiefly open the same files or folders.
  • This PC – It displays common folders such as Desktop, Downloads, Documents, etc and the list of drives, devices, and network locations. If you are using File Explorer for browsing dissimilar drives, so this option will be useful for you.
General - Open File Explorer to
General – Open File Explorer to

Browse folders:

  • In the General tab, under the Browse folders section, you can set the features like whether each folder needs to open in the same window or its own window.
General - Browse Folders
General – Browse Folders

Click items as follows:

In this Click items as follows section, you can choose how many clicks are required to open an item. You can choose either Single-click or Double-click.

  • If you choose Single-click to open an item, you can find two additional options that let you decide about the underlining the icon titles whether while pointing or consistent with the browser.
  • If you choose Double-click to open an item, then a single-click will select an item.
General - Click items
General – Click items


  • You can control whether to display recently used folders or files in quick access in this Privacy section.
  • Further, the Clear button helps you to clear the File Explorer history.
  • You can click the Restore Defaults button in order to set the default settings of File Explorer Options.
General - Privacy
General – Privacy

View Tab:

Folder views:

  • Once you have changed the options in File Explorer, it will be applicable to the opened folders unless you click the Apply to Folders button, under Folder views.
View - Folder Views
View – Folder Views

Advanced settings:

You can find here a lot of options that will be applicable to your file explorer. Here, we have listed each and every option in the Advanced settings with a short description for your easy understanding.

View - Advanced Settings
View – Advanced Settings
  • Always show icons, never thumbnails – If your computer or hard disk is already slow, you can stop showing thumbnails in folders that include photos and videos by selecting this check-box.
  • Always show menus – Choose this option to reveal all menus rather than pressing the ALT key every time.
  • Display file icon on thumbnails – If you want to view the file icon on thumbnails, you have to select this check-box.
  • Display file size information in folder tips – This option shows the information of file size.
  • Display the full path in the title bar – By default, file explorer will show the name of the folder at the title. You can enable this option in order to view the entire path at the title bar.

Hidden files and folders:

Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives – By default, this option will be selected in order to hide the files, folders or drives.

Show hidden files, folders and drives – If you want to view the hidden folders, files or drives, you have to click on this option.

  • Hide empty drives – By default, File Explorer will not show empty drives. You can uncheck this option to show empty drives.
  • Hide extensions for known file types – Windows will not display the known file type extensions. Some malware can use this feature in order to make you open any image file that executes any threats into your computer. It is safe to uncheck this option so that you can stay away from malicious items.
  • Hide folder merge conflicts – You can keep this option turned on as it prompts for file conflicts while copying or moving folders.
  • Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) – By default, this option will be enabled in order to protect vital system files.
  • Launch folder windows in a separate process – If a File Explorer window crashes, it will not affect the other by enabling this option.
  • Restore previous folder windows at logon – Enable this option to open the last folder that you have opened before signing out or restarting your system.
  • Show drive letters – It helps to differentiate between hard drives, removable drives, and partitions. Further, it assists you to troubleshoot stability issues.
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color – Tick this option to view encrypted and compressed items in different colors.
  • Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items – If you wish to view pop-up description while hovering the mouse pointer, you have to enable this option.
  • Show preview handlers in preview pane – If you choose this option, it will show previews for photos, videos, and documents.
  • Show status bar – This option displays the opened windows so that you easily toggle between details and large thumbnail views.
  • Show sync provider notifications – Turn off this option in order to get rid of Microsoft ads in File Explorer.
  • Use check boxes to select items – If you want to see check-boxes for selecting files or folders, you have to click on this option.
  • Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended) – This option controls whether you can utilize a simple wizard-driven interface while setting user access to shared resources, files, and folders.

Navigation pane: 

Expand to open folder – In File Explorer, if you open any folder, nothing will change in the left-side panel. If you want to expand it to the current folder, you have to enable this option.

Show all folders – You can see a standard list of folders such as Quick access, Desktop, etc.. on the left side of File Explorer. Enable this option in order to view all folders.

Show libraries – By default, this option will not be selected in File Explorer. If you want to use it, you have to click on the check-box.


In order to handle search inquiries, you can find the settings in the Search tab.

How to search:

  • By default, this option will not be enabled as it reduces the time while searching in file folders.
How to search
How to search

When searching non-indexed locations:

  • From here, you can modify things like whether or not to include system directories, compressed files, file names or contents as a part of non-indexed searches.
Searching non-indexed locations
Searching non-indexed locations


In this tutorial, we have illustrated how to use File Explorer Options in Windows 10. We have explained each and every option available in File Explorer in order to make you understand clearly. Kindly share your queries/feedback in the below comment section. Thanks for visiting TecKangaroo Keep Learning with us!!

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