Is there a keyboard shortcut to switch to a specific view in windows 7 explorer, e.g. "details", "list", "large icons" etc?

Or do I have to use the mouse to change the view via dropdown menu "Change your view" / toggle views by clicking the icon (which does not toggle through all of the views).

Why I want this: if I navigate to a folder Windows guesses which view might be the best. Sometimes it is right, sometimes it is wrong. Then I want to quickly change, e.g. to "list" to see more files, or to "details" to see columns, or "to extra large icons" to get thumbnails. I think this is quicker via keyboard than via mouse.


I have accepted the sort of obvious answer, using multiple shortcuts to remote control the hidden menu. Currently I am using an AutoHotkey script, inspired by an answer to a related question:

#IfWinActive ahk_class CabinetWClass
; alt+1 list
; alt+2 details
; alt+3 large icons
; alt+4 extra large icons
!1::Send !v{down 5}{enter}
!2::Send !v{down 6}{enter}
!3::Send !v{down 2}{enter}
!4::Send !v{down 1}{enter}

With this I can switch the views I use with alt+1 to alt+4. (Note that the script in the linked answer makes Explorer look for files containing the 'v' character. I fixed that.)

Both solutions have one disadvantage in common: showing and hiding the menubar leads to visible flickering. To fix this the menubar would have to be displayed permanently. Or maybe AutoHotkey knows some tricks to execute a menu command without making the menubar visible first. But I don't know about that.


What about ALT + V + D for details, ALT + V + L for list, etc?

  • 1
    For international users, replace the V and the D in Alt, V, D by the first letter of View and Details in your language. In French, the shortcut is Alt, A, D – Clément Oct 28 '12 at 15:29
  • 2
    it's a shame but i don't think it works for windows 8 – RoboShop Apr 27 '13 at 13:11
  • 2
    Doesn't work for Win 10 either – whitneyland Feb 18 at 1:28

In Windows 8 (And later versions) you can use the following shortcuts for View modes:

CTRL + SHIFT + 1 Extra Large
CTRL + SHIFT + 2 Large Icons
CTRL + SHIFT + 3 Medium Icons
CTRL + SHIFT + 4 Small Icons
CTRL + SHIFT + 5 List
CTRL + SHIFT + 6 Details
CTRL + SHIFT + 7 Tiles
CTRL + SHIFT + 8 Content

In Windows 7 for English exhibition language you can use the the following:

ALT (Left) + V + X = Extra large icons
ALT (Left) + V + R = Large icons
ALT (Left) + V + M = Mediom icons
ALT (Left) + V + N = Small icons
ALT (Left) + V + I = List
ALT (Left) + V + D = Details
ALT (Left) + V + S = Tiles
ALT (Left) + V + T = Content

  • 7
    It is Ctrl + Alt + [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8] for me on Windows 10. – Omar Tariq Oct 20 '15 at 5:33
  • @OmarTariq, I'm on Windows 10 and neither Ctl+Shift+[1–8] nor Ctrl+Alt+[1–8] work :( – rensa Jul 23 '18 at 5:23

You can use Strg (Control on US keyboards) + Scrolling Wheel. With this combination you can switch between the views. It isn´t a keyboard shortcut, I guess, because you need to use the mouse but maybe it will do the trick.

  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion. Not really what I am looking for though: it takes many spins of the wheel to get to a specific view (which is what I asked). Also, if I already use the mouse I might just as well select the view directly ;-) – deepc Sep 6 '10 at 2:29
  • Note that ctrl+scroll does not allow switching to detail view, only from it. I ended up here because I wanted a fast way to switch back to detail view when I accidentally do just that. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Jun 14 '17 at 7:22

In Windows 7

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. System
  3. Advanced system settings
  4. At Advanced tab, click on "Performance settings"
  5. Click Advanced tab. Place a check into the box: "Show thumbnails instead of icons"
  6. Click Apply and OK.

The above does the trick.

  • 1
    This isn't an answer to the question about what keyboard options are there for changing the view – SteveC Jun 7 '17 at 7:26

In Win 8 : ctrl + Alt + <1,2,3,4,5,6..etc> will change the file explorer view.

In win 8.1, 10 : ctrl + shift + <1,2,3,4,5,6..etc> will change the file explorer view.

I learnt this from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVo8chgq6A


  • 1
    This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute. – DavidPostill Apr 20 '16 at 20:18
  • While I'm fine with you posting a duplicate answer. This is someone just trying to help DavidPostill, the answer doesn't work in Windows 10. At least not Windows 10 1809 :( – Dale Dietrich Apr 3 at 13:32
  • @selva - The question was about Windows 7 not Windows 10. – Ramhound Oct 9 at 17:42

For me, on the Surface I bought in January 2018, it is CTRL-SHIFT-#, where # is 1, 2, 3, 4... etc. When # is 1, it is Extra Large, and then it goes down in size from there. I guess you have to do some trial and error depending on what machine and OS you're using.

  • How is this better than Ricardo Bohner's answer? – Toto Feb 6 '18 at 17:55
  • Ricardo did not refer to Win 10. Omar T. commented on Ricardo's answer but gave a different key combination. Only my post tells users that CTRL-SHIFT-# is a potential key combination for Win 10. Specifically on the Surface. – Larry Feb 7 '18 at 18:45
  • This doesn't work in Windows 10 1809 – Dale Dietrich Apr 3 at 13:33

protected by Ramhound Oct 9 at 17:42

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