Windows 7 Folder Options

Windows 7 folder options has become far more powerful that that of the past versions of windows. You can use it to change the status of viewing hidden files and folders, change permissions, allow different events t0 trigger, and manages sharing options for the network you are on.

Here is a quick guide and breakdown of the Windows 7 folder options:

Note: to open the folder options in Windows 7, head over to the start menu, and type: “folder options” into the search function.


Once the menu pops up, you are ready to setup and configure the folder options to act in the way you want it to. I will break down each area of the “general” tab by numbering the areas 1,2 and 3. Follow the guide below to understand the purpose of 1,2 and 3 respectively in the folder options menu.


1) “Browse folders”

Browse folders will offer you 2 options for how you want windows to open a folder when you click on it. For example, if you leave section 1 as the first choice, you will see each folder you open in the currently active window. This will also allow for you to click back, forward, and allow for easier historical navigation.

If you prefer to have a new window open up each time you double click the folder in your current windows, choose the second setting. This is a recommended options if you are always transferring files, have a hard time finding room on your desktop, or if you have a large monitor or more than 1 monitor. This option is also helpful as you can cascade the folders easily in Windows 7.

2) “Click items as follows”

Opening folders is usually done by double clicking a folder, or by single clicking and then pressing “enter” on the keyboard. There are other ways to open a folder in Windows 7, namely with the “single click to to open an item” option in the Windows 7 folder options. If you opt for this option, you will highlight a folder by simply hovering over them, and then if they are currently highlighted, a single click will be able to open the folder. I recommend this option to people who are accustomed to web browsing, as this is a very similar way to browse on your computer itself. Additionally, if you have a mouse built into a laptop that is hard to use, sometimes a double click is difficult, and therefore this method of opening folders may appeal to you.

“Underline icon titles consistent with my browser” will turn folders into “links”, as in they are single click links to open each one. Keep in mind that even if your folders open with a single click, you can still right click folders for the sub-menus at any time, and you can use the direction keys on your keyboard to select the folder without actually opening it.

3) Navigation pane

“show all folders” is basically going to auto-expand all of the sub-folders in the current directory. I do not recommend using this option unless you have a specific purpose to.

“automatically expand to current folder” acts as a “red light” per se, where all folders will automatically expand until the currently opened folder, providing a sort of “footprint”. This is very helpful with sub-folder heavy directories such as a wedding list.

This is all for the first menu option in the folder options. Stay tuned for a breakdown of the second and third tabs!

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