Folders in Windows 7 have not been changed generally compared to the previous versions of Windows. In fact most of the options we will cover in this article have been in the menus since Windows XP, and you can use the information to set previous operation systems too.

Why would you want to change the default settings. How to do it?

Ability to change folder options is pretty useful when you personalize your Windows. You can set up everything the way you feel comfortable – be it options for viewing hidden or system files, be it the default view for new folder window to be “Detailed list”. Every Windows’ user has some style he is used to. Changing folder view options is done in the “Control Panel”, by opening “Appearance and Personalization” menu and selecting “Folder Options”. Options in the main tab are self explanatory – “Single click to open file” is similar to web page opening – clicking the file name once, not twice, will open it. “Open each folder in its own window” will change new folder window opening – the window from which you try to open new folder will not be reused, new one will be created instead.

What do all these advanced settings mean?

Advanced view settings are under the “View” tab. As I have limited space for this article I will cover only more important of these and rarely used ones will be left for another, more specialized post.

Click “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, and then click “OK” to show all files including hidden ones. As you can see, hiding a file is not a guarantee no one will be able to see it, so encrypt important files instead of hiding them.

Clearing the “Hide extensions for known file types” check box, will show extensions added to file names that are known to the OS – such as .zip, .jpg, .avi and so on – helpful once you get used to it, as some different file types have same icons.

Unchecking the “Hide protected operating system files” check box will allow you to see important operation system files and enter some system folders. Changing this option is recommended only for advanced users, as playing with system files may render your Windows inoperable.

Selecting “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder” is extremely useful if you have, for example, a card reader device. All these empty drives, created when you plug it in, will be hidden until you put a flash card in some. Also, empty DVD drives will be hidden from “Computer” view.

There are other options, so you if you need some change of folder view setting, check them – it may be there, to help make your Windows’ folders view pleasant and informative.