Fix For When Windows Explorer in Vista Stops Showing File Names

By Lowell Heddings on August 22nd, 2007

If you’ve experienced a problem where Windows Explorer in Vista decides to suddenly stop showing the file names in certain folders, you are in luck, because it’s an easy fix.

The problem is encountered because Windows mistakenly thinks you’ve classified the folder as a Pictures folder and chosen the option to hide the filenames.

What, no file names?


To resolve this problem, right-click in the blank space of the folder and choose the Customize This Folder option from the menu.


Now select the Customize tab, and then choose Pictures and Videos as the folder type.


Either show the file menu, or just hold down the Alt key, and then you will be able to deselect the Hide File Names option, which will instantly show the folders.


Here we are, now we’ve got file names again…


Note that you should probably go back into the customize this folder menu and change the folder type back to All Items instead, but that’s up to you. You could also reverse this tip if you want to hide filenames in a folder.

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 08/22/07
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