Folder Options is one of those reliable dialog boxes in Windows that enables you to change preferences for the native file manager in the operating system, that being File Explorer.

It has been a mainstay of the OS for many versions now, and you can still find it in Windows 11.

The three tabs available in this panel, General, View, and Search contain all you need to make related changes to either all folders on your system or only the currently opened one. Want to show hidden files? This is the panel you need. Want to display file icon on thumbnails? It’s all here.

Folder Options

How to open Folder Options in Windows 11

There are number of ways to get to Folder Options in Windows 11, and we will take a look at all available methods in this tutorial. A few of these methods are simpler than others, and at least one will require you to get the old File Explorer back in the new OS.

Let’s roll:

Open Folder Options via File Explorer

If you are rocking the new modern new File Explorer in Windows 11, then the Folder Options panel is right within reach. Press Winkey + E to open File Explorer, then click on the three-dot menu in File Explorer, and select Options. The Folder Options interface will pop up.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

Open Folder Options using Search

You can also directly get to the Folder Options panel by searching for it in Windows Search. Click the Search icon on the Taskbar, and then type Folder Options into the search box. Select the first search result to open it.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

Open Folder Options from the Control Panel

The good old Control Panel also contains a link to the Folder Options panel, though getting to it involves a lengthier route. First, first up the Control Panel, then go to Appearance and Personalization. See the File Explorer Options entry here? It’s just Folder Options.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

Open Folder Options from Run

The Run dialog box is another quick way to get to the Folder Options panel in Windows 11. Invoke it by pressing the Winkey + R keys. Then type control folders, and press Enter. Doing so will take you directly to the Folder Options panel.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

Use Command Prompt to open Folder Options

Open Command Prompt by searching for cmd in Windows Search, and selecting the first result. Type control.exe folders and press Enter to open the File Explorer Options window.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

Use the old Ribbon in File Explorer to open Folder Options

This is probably the method most of you are familiar with. It is possible to get the old File Explorer in Windows 11. And once you do that, you can simply open Folder Options using the old Ribbon section of the File Explorer.

With the restored File Explorer open, click on File in the top-left corner. Click Options here to open the Folder Options panel in Windows 11.

Open Folder Options Tutorial

You can also get to this via the View section in the Ribbon interface. Switch to it, and then click Options. Alternatively, it is also possible to click the little arrow, and then choose the Change folders and search options option that becomes available, and Windows will get you to the Folder Options panel.



The Folder Options panel remains on essential area of the operating system to manage how you view your files and folders in Windows 11. Options here includes settings to customize how File Explorer displays information, as well as how search is conducted.