By R.L. Creighton

Copyright 2005



            How prepared are you to accept computer help?  What do you do when you are told to go to the explore page and click on anyfile.exe, and find four files named anyfile and that’s all?


            The problem here is that people rendering assistance have configured their computers to allow them to see all of the file information contained in a folder. If you have not changed the setup, your computer retains the system defaults of hiding the extensions. This is easily remedied. 


            Microsoft in its infinite wisdom set the default to hide all file extensions and you have to change the default. Here is what to do. Right click on the start button and choose explore from the drop down menu. From the page that pops up, find the word tools on the menu bar across the top of the page and click on it. Next, slide down to and click on Folder options. Now click on the tab marked View. A new list will appear.


About half way down the list the will be a box with a check mark in it. To the right of the box it will say “hide extensions for known file types” remove the check mark by clicking on it. Once you have removed the check mark you will notice a button on the bottom right side of the information box that says Apply Click on Apply and then click on OK.  You will now have all file extensions shown and you will be able to find what you are looking for. I have no idea why Microsoft has made this so difficult. It need not be.


Another aggravation can arise out of the file viewing set up. The default from Microsoft, (another stroke of genius from the state of Washington), is small icons. This requires the listing of filed to cover a large page that you must scroll through to find the folder or file you desire. A simple solution is to go the Explore page as described above and find the menu bar listing View. Click on the word View and in the second section you can find the options: Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, List, and Details. Each of these will display the file listings in a different format.  Click on each format and see which style is your preference.


 Hint: Details uses a lot of space and is only helpful when you are looking for a file of a certain size or a file made on a specific date or time. Once you have determined your favorite (changes can be reversed at any time) go again to the menu bar, choose tools, then choose Folder Options, then choose View from the new Menu bar. The top listing offers you the option to apply your chosen view to all menu bars. Click on Apply to all folders then choose Apply from the bottom right. Click on OK  and you are done.


Now you have your system set up customized to your liking.  See how easy that was?


Any questions or comments about this or other PC Primer columns can be sent by E-mail to pcprimer@rollanet.org or 16075 State Hwy. F Rolla, MO 65401



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