Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Explorer

Navigation:  Appendices > Windows Refresher > The Windows Explorer >

Customizing the Appearance of the Windows Explorer

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

By default, if you click on the My Computer icon on you desktop, the Windows Explorer will appear as a plain window where drives, folders and files are displayed using cute but uninformative icons : most of the names are truncated and no information about each element (size, date modified, ...) is shown.


The first thing to do is to make you explorer window show hierarchical and detailed information as in the screenshot above. To do this, go to the toolbar at the top of the explorer window and click on the Folders button :


We now see the directory/folder structure to the left, which will be useful to navigate the file system.



However, the right side still contains cute but uninformative icons. To be able to view and sort files, go to the View menu and select Details.


The overall look of the Windows Explorer is now satisfactory, but if ones looks at the finer details, one sees that many important details about the file system are hidden from us. The interface has been dumbed-down in an attempt to hide the file system details from the average user. To make the interface smarter, select the Tools menu then the Folder Options menu item and then select the View tab and set the options as shown below.


Now that we have the Windows Explorer looking the way we want it to look, we need to make sure that it always looks like this in the future whenever we launch it. To do this click on the Like Current Folder button located at the top of the dialog.



The changes you have made will only apply to any new instance of Windows Explorer that you launch in the future (ie. none of the currently open instances of Windows Explorer will be affected).

Topic 171360 updated on 07-Jul-2003.
Topic URL: