How to Configure Folder Options in Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7?

The Windows File Explorer has been redesigned and refilled with many new and advanced features many times; many features were included and excluded in the past but the Folder Options have always been there; since Windows 95, to be more precise. Folder Options is the most overlooked set of options in Windows. Here, you’ll find answers to all of the Windows File Explorer related questions.

Windows has configured one set of folder options that it thinks is good for each type of user but if you want more control of your File Explorer, and how it behaves then giving a visit to Folder Options can prove to be very helpful.

How to Open Folder Options in Windows File Explorer

Step 1: Press Windows + E keys together to open the Windows File Explorer.

Step 2: In the Toolbar Ribbon, go to the View tab.

If you keep your Ribbon minimized then the faster way to open Folder Options would be by clicking on the File tab in Windows File Explorer, and then clicking on the Change folder and search options button.

Step 3: Now, on the extreme right, click on the Options button to open Folder Options.

How to Configure Folder Options in Windows

All of advanced Windows File Explorer settings are arranged in the following three tabs.

  • General Folder Options
  • View Folder Options
  • Search Folder Options

General Folder Options

This is the default tab of the Folder Options window. The first option in Folder Options is Open File Explorer to:. By default, Windows + E keys open the Quick Access location in Windows. If you’d like to open This PC (or My Computer) instead then click on the Open File Explorer to: drop-down menu, and select the This PC option.

Under Privacy, both of the options are enabled by default. This would display your frequently used files and folders in the Quick Access window. It displays file and folders history so, from the Privacy point of view, these two settings should be disabled.

View Folder Options

The View tab has the most number of settings. Following are the ones that you should definitely consider changing.

  • Hide empty drives – Removes the entry of empty drives.
  • Hide extensions for known file types – This will display file format extension of each file store on your computer. This is the most important setting to change in your Folder Options.
  • Hide folder merge conflicts – Disabled by default, but it should be enabled. After enabling this, whenever you paste a folder to a location that already has a folder by the same name, you get a warning dialog box about the folder merge conflict.
  • Show sync provider notification – This provides information and tips about new features, updates, changes and other things about Windows in your File Explorer.
  • Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended) – If you don’t share your folders with other users on your network then you don’t want this feature enabled.
  • Navigation pane – Only the Show libraries options is worth enabling here. Other two will take over your Navigation pane completely.

Here are some of the options that you can try and see if you like them or not! At least the user should know what kind of options he has.

  • Use check boxed to select icons – If you don’t like or don’t want to use the Ctrl (Control) key to select multiple files and folders, then here is an alternative for you.
  • When typing into list view – If this option is enabled then every time you type a letter or word, Windows will start typing that text string in the Search box of that folder, and start searching for it. Disabling it (or using the default setting) brings back the sane behaviour where typing a letter takes you to the first file or folder that starts with that letter in that window.

Other options that you should only change when needed, and have it reset to their default setting afterwards.

  • Show hidden files, folder, and drives – By default, it’s set to Don’t. Enabling this will helps you find the hidden files.
  • Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) – This option is an extension to the one mentioned above. The above option will only show the User or Non-System hidden files whereas this option lets the user see the hidden system files as well.

Search Folder Options

This has the least amount of options. Not much to tweak here. The default configuration works pretty well. One option that may interest you is Always search file names and contents. This is an advanced search option. What this does is that it searches inside your files for the search string. So, if you searched Windows, then it will display not only the files with Windows word in their title, but also those files that have Windows word mentioned inside them. Pretty cool, right!

This way, you can personalize the File Explorer in Windows.

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