Folder Options

Controlling what files you see

Window allows you to control what files you see. Sometimes this is helpful, other times it can be frustrating and limit what you see when you look at a folder or external media. If you do not feel limited by what you see, leave it as it is currently set.

If, however you want to see all your files and have educated yourself to know what they are, you will want to see them all.

A word of warning: Many of the files are system files needed by Windows. If you feel compelled to delete any of these your system may not work properly or may not even start. Educate yourself before deleting files that you don't understand. See our Help on File Types for a better understanding of what they mean.

To change what files you view go to Windows Explorer or your C:/ drive. Left click on Folder Options....

Folder Options


This takes you to Folder Options. Click on the View tab to see all folder view options.

Folder Options


The first section is Folder Views where you can change the views for separate folders, if you wish.


The Advanced Settings are our real interest. We will discuss each. You select whether or not you want that option by checking or unchecking the box. All options are set to the Windows Default and can be restored to that by clicking the Restore Defaults button at the bottom.

Leave the first three options checked.

Check Display the contents of system folders ONLY if you want to see the Windows system files. It's probably safest to leave this box unchecked.

It's a good idea to check the next two boxes: Display the full path in the address bar and Display the full path in the title bar. This puts the full path in address box and in the blue title bar. Handy so that you know exactly the file path that you are taking.

Do not cache thumbnails just saves a little disk space if you use the thumbnail view for pictures. Only check this if you are short on RAM

or computer memory.

In Files and Folders leave Do not show hidden files and folders checked.

Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. You should familiarize yourself with the basic Windows file types by looking at our Help topic on filetypes.



More Folder Options










Then scroll down to the rest of the Folder Options.

leave Hide protected operating system files checked unless you are an expert.

Check Show Control Panel in My Computer. It is handy to have the Control Panel icon in My Computer.

Leave the rest of the options at their defaults.


Then check the Apply and OK buttons to close Folder Options.







If you ever want to go back to the default folder options, simply go back to Folder Options and click the Restore Defaults button.