To change file, folder and search options and settings in Windows Explorer in Windows 7, follow the below given steps:
1) Click on Start menu and then, click on Computer.
2) Then, click on “Organize” and click on “Folder and search options”.
3) In Folder options dialog box, go to “General tab”
i) Under Browse folders, select option “Open each folder in the same window” for opening folders in the same window when you click them. If you want to open the folders in new window then select option “Open each folder in its own window”.
ii) Under Click items as follows, select option “Single click to open an item (Point to select)” if you want to open folders by a single click. The default setting is “Double-Click to open an item (single-click to select): You can also select option “Underline icon titles consistent with my browser” to make the icon folders underlined. Option “Underline icon titles only when I point at them” will underline the icons of the folders when you hover over them.
iii) Under Navigation pane, you can select “Show all folders” for displaying all the folders icons and “Automatically expand to current folder” to automatically expand the icons in navigation pane to show current folder.
4) Click on “View” tab,
Under Files and Folders,
i) Always show icons, never thumbnails: If you select this option, only icons will be displayed for a folder icon and thumbnails for a folder will never be displayed.
ii) Always show menus: This option if enabled will always how the menu bar.
iii) Display file icon on thumbnails: If you select this option, thumbnails will be displayed for a folder. These thumbnails will have the icon of default program for opening the particular file.
iv) Display file size information in folder tips: If you select this option, a folder will display the file size information when you hover over them.
v) Display the full path in the title bar (Classic theme only): If you select this option, complete path of the folder will be displayed. This option will only work for Classic theme.
vi) Don’t show hidden files and folders: If you select this option, hidden files and folders will not be displayed. To hide any folder, right-click on the folder and select “Properties”. Then, select “Hidden” under “Attributes”. Click on “Apply” and then “OK”.
vii) Show hidden files and folders: If you select this option, hidden files and folders will be displayed.
viii) Hide empty drives in the computer folder: If you select this option, empty drives will be hidden in the navigation pane.
ix) Hide extensions for known file types: If you select this option, extensions for files will be hidden and only the file name will be displayed.
x) Hide protected operating system files (Recommended): If you select this option, operating system files will be hidden.
xi) Launch folder windows in a separate process: If you select this option, contents of the folder are saved in separate region in memory. If for any reason if the folder crashes it will not make the system to be hung.
xii) Restore previous folder windows at logon: If you select this option, then the folders which were opened before will be restored.
xiii) Show drive letters: If you select this option, the drive letters will be displayed for a drive. For example C:
xiv) Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color: If you select this option, folder names of encrypted folders will be shown in green and folder names of compressed folders will be shown in blue.
xv) Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items: If you select this option, and when you hover over a folder, file or a desktop item, a pop-up description will be shown.
xvi) Show preview handlers in preview pane: If you select this option, preview pane (on the right side) will always show the contents of a file you have selected.
xvii) Use check boxes to select items: If you select this option, then each file and folder will show a check-box which you can use to select these files and folders.
xviii) Use sharing wizard (Recommended): If you select this option, a sharing wizard opens when you are sharing a file or folder to another user.
xix) Automatically type in to the Search box: If you select this option and if a folder is open and if you start typing then, the text will directly go to the search box at the top right corner.
xx) Select the types item in the view: If you select this option and if a folder is open and if you start typing then, the file or folder which matches to the text you have typed in will be selected.
5) Click on “Search” tab,
Under What to search,
i) In indexed locations, search file names and contents. In non indexed locations search file names only: Here you can set up what needs to be searched in indexed and on indexed locations. This search option is fast.
ii) Always search file names and contents (this might take several minutes): If you select this option, for non-indexed locations, contents of the file will also be searched. This search option is slow.
Under How to search,
i) Include subfolders in search results when searching in file folders: If you select this option, then, sub folders will be included in the search results.
ii) Find partial matches: If you select this option, and when you start typing, the search is started and a partial match is found.
iii) Use natural language search: If you select this option, then you can enter search query in natural language format. For Example, you can use text: “picture games” for Windows to look for pictures with file name or folder name “games”. By using this option you can do complex search using simple English sentences and keywords.
iv) Don’t use the index when searching in file folders for system files (searches might take longer): If you select this option, then the search is performed like old methods, without using the index. It will take longer to do this kind of search.
Under When searching non-indexed locations,
i) Include system directories: If you select this option, for non-indexed locations, the program files will also be searched. If you are a regular user it is not recommended to select this option because you wouldn’t want to change the program files in your computer.
ii) Include compressed files (ZIP, CAB…): If you select this option, for non-indexed locations, compressed and cabinet files will also be searched.
6) Click on “Apply” and “OK”. You can also click on “Restore defaults” to set the default settings.