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Set Icons in Win7 / Vista to Open With a Single Click Instead of Double-Click

One of our readers wrote in yesterday asking about how to set Windows 7 or Vista to open files and folders with a single click, and I realized that was something I’d never written about before, so I figured I’d write it up.

This change is nothing new, the setting has existed since Windows 9x and likely most of you know how to activate it, but in case you don’t, here’s the quick and easy setting change.

With this change, just hover over an icon and you’ll see the underline:

 image

And a single click will open up the folder.

Changing the Setting

Open up any folder, click on Organize and then Folder and Search options.

image

Then change the “Click items as follows” section to “Single-click” instead of “Double-click”.

image

You’ll notice the setting underneath it, which determines whether icon titles are underlined or not by default. The default setting is only when you point at them, so your icons will look normal:

image

If you change that setting to “Underline icon titles consistent with my browser”, you’ll see the titles on all items, all the time:

image

Personally I just prefer to leave Windows to the default double-click, but a lot of people prefer single clicking, and now you know how to do it.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/22/08

Comments (12)

  1. Michael

    Thank you!

  2. Nxqd3051990

    It’s an old trick from Windows, not only Vista :) It’s remind able

  3. 0zSpitt

    i use a logitech trackball mouse, i’ve been using the single click for a while, i like the speed.

  4. Chrozinc

    Or you can go to control panel-select classic view-folder options….

  5. Gen2ly

    Well done how-to-geek, always enjoy coming to this site and seeing what you have learned. Personally :) to me, the default double click seems a bit antiquated :D. Oh well, we’ll see.

  6. P4Nt4rN^ G33K

    THX alot man!!really helps me! >_<

  7. ISLAND-MU

    Thanks a lot! I thought that this was excluded from Vista! Really easy it is!

  8. Bbbymk

    Thanks a lot! I’d forgotten how to switch it.I really prefer single clicking to double.

  9. Jim

    I just had a new machine built with OS7. I can not for the life of me figure out how to change the mouse to one click action. I dragged over every folder to see “desktop” like your instructions say to do, but no dice. With XPpro you could right click properties and change it there. Is there another way for OS7? Thanks.
    Jim Dent

  10. jaree

    Like Jim, I, too, had been struggling with how to do this…….feel really stupid now….many thanks for your help

  11. muhammad kc

    Thans a lot

  12. SDreamer

    Using a Tablet PC now, I realize how much quicker it is to navigate heirachies using one click, but the thing I didn’t like was the underlining. If you put consistent with your browser, then you’ll see lines all the time, if you put only one hover, you see lines but only when you hover. There is a way though to make underlines to never show. Not sure if this works with other browsers, but using IE9, I just went to Internet Options>Advance, and I put Never to underline hyperlinks. Now my Explorer window, when set to consistent with browser never underlines anything, since it is being consistent with the browser. Makes it looks a lot neater, imo.

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