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If you've upgraded to Windows 7 from a previous version of Windows, you may be dismayed to see that image files are displayed in List or Details View—that is, when you open a folder full of photos, you see the file names of the images, rather than small versions of those images.
The reason, apparently, is that showing small versions of images uses more computer resources.
However, most camera users do prefer to see their pictures rather than a list of often meaningless file names.
It's easy enough to change from the default set-up, either one folder at a time, or in every image folder on your computer.
Open a folder full of images.
Above the list of files, on the right, you'll see something like this.(I drew the red arrow; it's not part of the real picture.)
Click the little down arrow and you'll get this.
You can pull the slider up and down or just click on any of the offered views. The appearance of the files displayed in the folder will change according to your choices. Try different views until you decide which you like best.
My preference was for Large Icons. You may prefer something different.
From now on, the files in that folder will always be displayed in the way you've chosen—unless you change it. top
If you wish, you can make all image folders be displayed in the same way.
At the top left of the open folder, there's a menu item Organize. Other items on this menu bar vary from folder to folder.
When you have the opened folder looking the way you want, click the down arrow beside Organize.
Up pops a menu.(If you're concerned that this menu looks different from yours, don't worry. I use the Windows Classic theme, but the words and actions are exactly the same.)
Click on Folder and search options.
In the next dialogue, the General tab will be at the front. That isn't what you want. Click the View tab.
On the View tab, click Apply to Folders.
From now on, each folder of images should be displayed in the same way as the present one.
Even though it says "all folders of this type", I've currently got a Large Icons view in folders full of nothing but text files. I'm sure I'll iron that out in a week or two.
In previous versions of Windows, you moved to the next folder up by clicking an icon similar to this one.
In Windows 7 this has been replaced by Back and Forward buttons like those in Internet browsers.
There's even a history drop-down, so that you can return to a folder you've opened recently.
I'm really warming to Windows 7! It seems to be getting everytrhing right.
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you. My email address is here.