How do I get Windows File Explorer to display details by default?

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How do I get File Explorer to display details by default?

File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer in Windows versions prior to 8) defaults to show files as icons and to hiding some files from you.

That’s not what I want.

Not only am I a control freak who wants to see all of the files and details by default, but even after all this time, there are actually real security issues associated with File Explorer’s choice of default display.

There are several options you can manipulate, and it’s fairly easy to make them the default.

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What’s a .DAT File?

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I have a “.dat” file on my computer, and I’d like to open it up and see what’s inside. What is a .dat file, and what application do I use to look at it?

Bottom line: there’s really no way to tell from just the filename.

The problem is that many applications use the file extension “.dat” to indicate a file that contains data.

But that’s exactly all it tells us. It doesn’t tell us what kind of data or how that data is formatted and represented.

In other words, it doesn’t give us a single clue as to what the file is or what program we should use to open it.

We need more information and there may be one way to get some.

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One Change You Should Make to Windows File Explorer Right Now to Stay Safer

The vast majority of Windows default settings boil down to a matter of personal preference.

Over the years, as I’ve installed Windows over and over again on new machines, test machines, and more, I’ve slowly adapted to simply accepting the default settings rather than re-applying a large number of customizations every time.

There’s one setting that I and many other security-conscious folks feel that Microsoft simply got wrong. It’s a setting that you should probably change right away.

You don’t want Windows Explorer to “Hide extensions for known file types”.

Read moreOne Change You Should Make to Windows File Explorer Right Now to Stay Safer

This file does not have a program associated with it – what does this mean and what do I do?

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How can I create an association in Folder Options? I get this error message when attempting to open picture attachments on Outlook Express: “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options control panel.”

A file can contain anything. Under Windows (and under MS-DOS before it), the convention was established that the characters following the last period in a file name, called the file “extension”, tells you what kind of data that file contains. “.EXE”, for example, is an EXEcutable program. “.JPG” is a jpeg compressed image file, “.TXT” is a plain text file, and so on.

In addition to knowing what type of data a file contains, Windows also needs to know what program should be used to access that file.

If that information is missing, then “This file does not have a program associated with it…” is one of the possible error messages.

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