Windows Vista Help

Windows Explorer

1. How do I get the size of a Folder?

There are two ways:
Open the Properties of the Folder and it will display the Size (sum of files sizes) and Size on Disk (the difference is that the Size on Disk
is the number of clusters x cluster size).

You can also get the size, by hovering the mouse over the folder in question, and an information box (infotip) will appear with the approximate
size of the folder and a small list of subfolders and files in it.

2. How do I view properties of files?

You can right click the file, and select Properties or hover the mouse over the file in question and an information box will appear, you can also view
file properties on the Status bar at the bottom of the window.

3. How do I get a list of disks and folders in Explorer?

Explorer lists folders and disks on the left hand side for you. I shows some Favourite or common folders at the top left. You can change the layout via Organise,
Layout and the view from the Views menus.

4. Why are some folder names are shown in blue?

These folders are compressed. For example, some folders under windows such a hotfix files are compressed. To compress or uncompress a folder,
select the properties of the folder and click Advanced and tick or untick option to 'Compress contents to save disk space'.

5. Can I add items and programs to the right click pop up menu?

Some items are added via the Registry and is not easy to change. You can add program shortcuts to the Send To menu. You can do this via the
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\SendTo folder in your profile.

6. How do I make my Desktop a web page like Active Desktop on Windows 98?

It is not possible anymore to display web pages as a desktop background. Windows 7 now uses Themes and normal static Desktop backdrops and animated desktops using videos (for example, Windows DreamScenes).

7. When I open Task Manager, the tabs and menus are gone. How do I get them back?

To switch Task Manager to its typical display mode, double-click the top border of the window. If Task Manager is disabled, you can re-enable it using gpedit.msc in User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Task Scheduler.

8. I find Explorer too slow. What can I replace it with?

There are many replacements such as Directory Opus, Universal Explorer, AB Commander, and many others.

9. How do I configure specific desktop and other settings for all users?

If you have Vista Business, you can do this via Local/Group Policies using gpedit.msc which will allow you to configure settings for each machine (if your machine is in a Domain then use Active Directory Users and Computers to configure Group Policy).

10. How do I change the size of the Icons on the desktop?

Right click the desktop and select View and you can select Large Icons, Medium Icons or Classic (small) Icons.

11. How do I get rid of the large arrow on the shortcuts on the desktop?

Open Regedit and browse to HKEY_Classes_Root\lnkfile and set IsShortcut to nothing or blank.

12. How do I switch between programs in Windows Vista?

There are several ways. You can select the minimised windwo in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, you can press Alt+Tab to switch between windows or you can press Winkey + Tab to use the new 3D stack method to switch between programs. You can also load Task Manager and select the program in the Application tab and select Switch to.

13. How do I add shortcuts to the 'Send to' menu?

Just create the shortcut in the following location in your profile: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.

14. How do I add programs to the Explorer context menu?

a) Open Regedit
b) Browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell (for folders, for Drives use \Drive, for files use \* or \Unknown or a specific file type).
c) Create a new Key will the name of your choice and on the right side set the (Default) to the name to appear on the menu.
d) Create a new Key called command.
e) For context menu to deal with files, set the right side to the path of your command and optionally set the parameter to "%1"

15. How do I redirect my Pictures, Music and Documents folders to another drive and folder?

To redirect Documents folder, open C:\Users\<username> folder, locate the documents folder, right click it and select Properties. Click on the Location tab and now enter a new folder path to place your documents, click on Move to move existing documents to the new location. Most other folders can be re-located in the same way.

16. How can I delete or move certain files. I keep getting access denied message?

Some files and folders are protected by Windows to prevent accidental deletion or moving. The files are protected by the TrustedInstaller service and the Windows File Protection system. To get around this you can either:
a) Gain ownership of the files or folders. Open properties of the file/folder, select Security, Advanced, Owner and select a new owner.
b) If deleteing files, delete the contents of the folder before deleting the main folder.
c) Sometimes, you can move the folder or file to the desktop before you can be able to modify it.