Just as the title implies, how can you change the unit sizes displayed in Windows? Instead of displaying files like this:

|  Name  |      Size     |
| file1  | 3,932,160 KB  |

I will display it like this:

|  Name  |      Size     |
| file1  | 3840 KiB       |

Which gives a more accurate reading of how large a file or directory is. I'm more familiar with this on Linux desktops than Windows. When I read 3,932,160 KB, it confuses me when I try to read how big that is compared to 3480 KiB and be all like "Oh the file's only 3480 KiB".

You can pretty much change the memory units in Linux just by going to the display options and change it between decimal and binary or other memory units.

Now under Windows, there's no way to change that under Folder Options. So I was wondering if there's a registry hack or modification that can be done to change the display of size units for files and directories.

  • In Explorer? cmd using the dir command? Anywhere specifically? – Jonno Jan 16 '16 at 12:07
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    Don't you mean 3,932,160 bytes = 3,840 KiB? – David Marshall Jan 16 '16 at 12:33
  • @Jonno anywhere really, but in Explorer too. – user352590 Jan 17 '16 at 12:51

Further research shows this is not possible natively in Windows.

This cannot be changed. Windows Explorer will display the size column in the smallest unit, “KB” for simplicity. If you select your file and view the details pane, you will see the file in its true form, whether it’s MB or GB. There are third party programs that are able to do what you are asking, but unfortunately, I do not think it would come for free.


Using Third Party Software, including hardware drivers can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Third Party Software can be solved. Using Third Party Software is at your own risk.

There are some third party dir and explorer utilties you could try, such as TakeCommand and TotalCommander, which may provide such functionality.

  • that would be rather awkward to have to use a third-party utility just to do this. – user352590 Jan 18 '16 at 15:34
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    @user94959 I'm afraid it's not a case of it 'would' be, but it 'has' to be. There is no functionality natively I'm afraid. I agree it would be a very useful feature. – Jonno Jan 18 '16 at 15:39
  • just mentioning that WSL allows you to use ls -lh to see this. the new 'ls' command in PowerShell does not do this. There is some more information about powershell here stackoverflow.com/questions/24616806/… – nycynik Jan 15 at 0:17
  • wow, this is super annoying when you have a bunch of large drive mounts (12tb, 16tb, 18tb).. they all show as enormous numbers of kilobytes in the "Size" column! Thank you for the definitive answer though. – Jeff Atwood Apr 30 at 23:31

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