Windows Vista File Explorer used to display column headers regardless of whether it was in the Details or List view.

However Windows 7 displays column headers only in the Details view.

  • Details View - column headers are present

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  • List View - column headers are missing

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How can I display column headers in the List view mode as it did in Windows Vista?

  • I am willing to go all out with my reps for helping me getting over this Windows 7 annoyance. – dance2die Mar 29 '10 at 23:53
  • 3
    I don't understand. Why do you want headers when there's only 1 column? – Hugh Allen Mar 30 '10 at 3:03
  • @Hugh my guess is that he wants to be able to click on it to change the sorting method back and forth. – cregox Mar 30 '10 at 19:01
  • @Hugh: as Cawas mentioned, i would like to sort and filter list while in non-details mode. – dance2die Mar 31 '10 at 1:00
  • OK I've updated my answer to mention sorting and filtering. – Hugh Allen Mar 31 '10 at 2:58

I don't understand why do you need this... But you could achieve a similar view with the details view by removing every details except name. (Right click the header)

  • Is only 8 years old now...but still applies to Windows 10...We need this because we want to sort by different things, even if we cannot see them! e.g. in icons view we still want to sort by name up/down or maybe file size! – Etherman Oct 18 '18 at 15:41

In Vista it was considered a feature. It must have confused some people though - for example,

pray do tell, why oh why does an icon based list view have column titles !!!!!!

So for Windows 7, Explorer reverted back to the behavior of XP - to quote Microsoft:

Note that column headings are available only in Details view.

So the bottom line is that displaying column headers in List View is not possible (without some serious hacking).

You can however still filter and sort via the Search Box and the menu.


The solution (open source, freeware, so you can see how it does what it does): go to https://github.com/ijprest/Explorer7Fixes

and download latest version (Explorer7Fixes., register dll, then logoff or restart to see changes.


I guess it's a one way to solve your problem: Open "Folder Settings" under "Control Center". When the window appears, select general tab and click default setting button below. It works In Windows 7 which is based on Vista. Good luck!

  • There is no "Folder Settings" in Control Panel, not control center. And an option called "Folder Options" under control panel doesn't have any tweaks available to show column headers – dance2die Mar 15 '10 at 1:34

This still applies to Windows 10. Sometimes I want to sort by different things in icon view e.g. sort by name up/down or maybe by file size.

I use Classic Shell and Classic Explorer: http://www.classicshell.net/

Classic Explorer has an option to "Show sort headers in all views".

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