How to Change Windows Explorer Default View


Windows Explorer is a file manager that allows computer users to access every file and folder on the system. Use Windows Explorer to locate files, delete folders or unwanted files and to run .exe programs. The default view in Windows Vista and Windows XP is different than in the Windows 95 through Windows 2000 releases. The new default is a folder tree view with a left-side task pane. But you may want to change the display, especially if you are used to a pre-Windows XP folder view.

Change Default View

  • Click on the \"Start\" icon and choose \"All Programs.\"

  • Click on the \"Accessories\" folder icon.

  • Right click on the \"Windows Explorer\" icon and select \"Properties.\"

  • Click on the \"Target\" text field. Erase the existing text in the field using the backspace key on your keyboard.

  • Type in \"%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,c:\" to display Windows Explorer in a details view (no images or thumbnails, only folder list).

  • Click on \"Apply,\" and click on \"OK\" to confirm your changes.

  • Type in \"%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e\" to display Windows Explorer in tile view. This will show thumbnails of image and .pdf files.

  • Click on \"Apply,\" and click on \"OK\" to confirm your changes.

  • Close the display window by clicking on the \"X\" on the top-right corner.

  • Go to \"Start,\" \"All Programs,\" \"Accessories\" and click on \"Windows Explorer\" to see the changes.

Change Folder Display

  • Click on \"Start\" and select \"Control Panel.\"

  • Choose the \"Classic View\" option.

  • Double click on the \"Folder Options\" icon.

  • Place a check mark next to \"Use Windows classic folders.\" This will hide the side task pane and display Windows Explorer folders in a list style.

  • Click on the \"Apply\" button and \"OK\" to confirm changes.

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