Customize Windows 7 Explorer
The options to customize Windows 7 Explorer are almost the same as in Windows XP. You can change the views, click behavior, appearance of hidden/system folders, etc. using the Folder Options dialog.
Before looking at the Folder Options, let us see how to customize Windows 7 Explorer to display the Preview pane or the Menu bar that are not visible by default. To have the Windows 7 Explorer display Preview pane and/or Menu bar, click on Organize and select Layout. You will get a list of Windows 7 elements, including the Preview pane and Menu Bar (Fig 4 below). Just select the elements that you wish Windows 7 Explorer to display when you open it.
One of the important things about Windows 7 Explorer is the way it presents the details of any drive, folder or library. You may want Windows Explorer to display the items as a list if there are too many elements or as thumbnails for more details. To change the current view, just click on the View button towards top-right of the window. You will get a menu showing not only the different view types but also options to select size of items (Fig 5 below). To customize Windows 7 Explorer for presenting files in a particular arrangement, use the Arrange By button on the top-right corner (Fig 6).
The Folder Options dialog offers you several options such as whether to show hidden files, show/hide file extensions, open files with double click or a single click and more. You can access the Folder Options dialog from Organize -> Folder and Search Options. The options applicable to a particular folder are available under the View tab of Folder Options dialog (Fig 7). You can set global options such as applying a folder view setting to all folders on the drive, through the General tab (Fig 8).
TIP: By default, Windows 7 Explorer shows Libraries, Favorites, Computer and Network as explained in the What is New in Windows 7 Explorer section above. If you wish, you can select Show All Folders under the Navigation pane of Folder Options to get that old Windows Explorer look.
As said earlier, there are not many options available to customize Windows 7 Explorer. Still, you can personalize it by combining the options with Windows 7 Explorer context menus.