How to Use Views to Better Examine Your Folders’ Contents in Windows 10

By Ciprian Adrian Rusen

When you first browse a folder in Windows 10, File Explorer automatically applies a view that’s optimized for the contents of that folder. However, the Ribbon has a multitude of view options in the Layout section of the View tab:

  • Details: For each file and folder, the Details view shows several columns with information, such as Name, Date Modified, Type, and Size.

    Each file has its own small icon that represents the file type.

  • Content: Each file and folder appears on a separate row, where you see detailed information about it, such as the date the file was last modified, its size, its author, and its length (for audio and video files).

    For picture and video files, you see a small preview of the content rather than a file icon.

  • List: Displays a simple list of folders and files, each with an identifying icon.

  • Tiles: Displays a medium-size icon representing each file and folder, along with information about their types and sizes.

  • Extra-large icons: Displays extra-large icons that are representative of the contents of each file.

    For pictures and video, you see a preview of each file.

  • Large icons: Displays large icons that are representative of the contents of each file.

    For pictures and video you see a preview of each file.

  • Medium icons: Displays medium icons that are representative of the contents of each file.

    For pictures and video you see a preview of each file.

  • Small icons: Displays small icons that are representative of the contents of each file.

    The Layout section of the View tab on the File Explorer ribbon.

    The Layout section of the View tab on the File Explorer ribbon.

You can easily switch between these views by clicking on them.

File Explorer remembers the last view that you used for a folder and applies it the next time you open it.