Basically, I have a large body of assorted media (text, images, flash files, archives, folders, etc...) and I'm attempting to organize it.

Windows Explorer has a rating column, but there seems to be no way to modify the rating of the files short of opening them in their type-specific software (e.g. Media player, or Photo viewer). However, this does not work when the file is of an unsupported type (.rar, .swf ...), or a directory.

I'd be more than willing to consider a file-manager replacement (I've alreadly looked at quite a few, Directory Opus, Total Commander, etc...), or even a solution that stores the rating metadata in a hidden file in each folder, or a separate database. The one real critical requirement is the ability to sort by rating, and being filetype-agnostic.

Basically, is there any way to categorize a large collection of assorted files by rating that will work with any file type, including directories?


Ideally, there would be an easy way to add arbitrary columns to windows explorer, and edit them directly. However, there seems to be no way to do this. The rating column is the next best thing.

For what it's worth, at this point I've more or less given up on finding something that can do what I'm looking for as described in the question. I'm now mostly using a special-purpose python webapp to manage a lot of my media content (it's a great way to learn web-programming).

  • You might get an answer if you started accepting answers to older questions. – Zian Choy Nov 18 '10 at 2:36
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    As soon as I get valid answers to most of my other questions, I'd be more than happy to accept them. – Fake Name Jan 13 '11 at 7:00
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    It sounds like Fake might enjoy a "cataloging" program. like the programs you could catalog all your CDs Or DvDs or Music with, but for files instead. I have seen many of those when wandering freeware, but it is not my thing. The stored "database" has stuff libraried from everywhere , and can easily be re-sorted and tagged and commented. – Psycogeek Sep 30 '11 at 12:49
  • @Psycogeek - Yeah, pretty much. As an aside, This question is kind of less valid now, because I have mostly switched to Mac for my casual computing (which I what I want the cataloging application for). No solution there, either, though. – Fake Name Oct 1 '11 at 3:25

I made a really tiny program in AutoHotKey that does what you want.
It displays files and folders and there is a rating column that you can click to set a rating between 0 and 5. It displays '--' if the file has not been rated yet. You can click on the column headers to sort. Double click on a folder to go into it or a file to open it.

The data is stored in a .ini file in the same directory as the program.

You can download the binary here: rater.exe (mirror)
And the source (in AutoHotKey language): rater.ahk (mirror)

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  • I'm sad no one suggested a better answer. I would be thankful to see the same program with explorer integration. – Benjamin Crouzier Oct 5 '11 at 22:46

The rating column in Windows shows the rating metadata found in media files; Windows does not maintain this data itself. You can edit it by right clicking the file, choosing "Properties", and then selecting the "Details" tab.


In the case of non media files (rar, swf), there is no rating metadata, so there's no way for Windows to show or allow you to edit this information so you will definitely need some other software to do this for you.

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    I'm aware of this. What I am looking for is a extension for explorer which adds and populated additional columns. This was possible through things like iColumnProvider in XP, and should still be somewhat available in 7, though a different API. – Fake Name Jan 13 '11 at 6:57
  • I'm hoping to find some explorer extensions which do this, though I have done some research into how it could be done myself. However, I'm not a skilled enough programmer to write a complex thing like this myself. – Fake Name Jan 13 '11 at 6:58

I've been searching for a solution to this problem of Rating and Tagging folders in Windows 7. On my recent search I found your question and later on I found this useful tool. Taggtool.

It can also tag/rate Folders, just like files. and you can search based on these tags. I've started using this tool and its very efficiently organizing my huge collection of documents, images, videos, and other types

Try it here: http://www.taggtool.com/.

Remember to "Run as Administrator" while executing the setup, as it needs permissions to access the File System. You might also want to increase the Font size from the Settings, once you've iinstalled the system

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  • This program is not the same as what you have suggested. – Ted Taylor of Life Dec 19 '16 at 2:09

The best that I found is a external program called XnView http://www.xnview.com/ it's freeware for personal use. Yoy can rate folders and files and assing a color, i found one bug (but solutionable) that is if the classfied material disk changes unit name (G: F: etc) the classifications disapear. The solution is to use the Description feature instead, you can put a number (or wat you want) there, dose data is saved in a file in the same directory of the classified data (so is very useful and independent of what computer you use)

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This is what works on Win7:

in your folder, right click -> Sort by -> More...

Then scroll to 'Rating' and check the checkbox.

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    Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. He wants to change the rating not just display it. – DavidPostill Oct 15 '15 at 22:00

I've used the tag and some special character ■, which are recognized by explorer, at least for the files I'm using (office). Not perfect but does the trick for me

What I meant is that you can use a number of characters to "rate" your file ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ v good ■ ■ ■ ■ good etc...

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Had the same problem just now and this worked perfectly: After you go to the "Details" tab in Properties, there's a link on the bottom of the window that says "Remove Properties and Personal Information." Click on that and select "Remove the following properties from this file" (the options on top). Then check the Rating box and click "Ok."

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It's simple. In Windows explorer, first click on Organize and show the details pane. Then click on a file which has the rating column attribute displayed (you may need to enable the ratings column first). At the bottom details pane, the rating stars are also shown. Double click on a star rating you want to assign. A save button appears, then click save and it will update the rating attribute for that file.

Note that if the file is currently locked, such if the file is open in another program such as a music player, then you cannot alter the file metadata.

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    This only works for files where windows explorer knows how to alter the file metadata, e.g. not at all for any of the files I care about. – Fake Name Apr 6 '16 at 16:58

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