Hotkey To Change Explorer View, Show/Hide Navigation Bar, Detail Bar

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The first time you open a folder in Windows Explorer, it opens in the standard view or a view which it thinks is the best for the folder content. Most of the time Explorer gets it correct, but even if it doesn’t you can easily change views by clicking on ‘Change your view’ button in the top-right corner of every Explorer window.

Switching views by mouse is easy but not quick. Sadly Explorer doesn’t have a proper keyboard shortcut to change views. The closest thing to a keyboard shortcut is to press ALT+V then (still holding down ALT, release the V) press D (Details view) or L (List view) or T (Content view), and so on.

This wasn’t working for me, so I wrote a AutoHotkey script (App download link at the end of post) for a better way. With the script running in the background, you can switch views by pressing Alt+ 1 to 8  keys, which covers all Explorer views:
Windows Explorer Views

  • Alt+1: Detail
  • Alt+2: List
  • Alt+3: Smal Icons
  • Alt+4: Medium Icons
  • Alt+5: Large Icons
  • Alt+6: Extra Large Icons
  • Alt+7: Tiles/ Extended Tiles
  • Alt+8: Content

While I was on it, I added two other hotkeys to show/hide navigation pane and detail pane. Press Alt + N to show/hide navigation bar and Alt + D to show/hide detail bar. For preview pane use Alt + P.

This script just simplifies several keyboard functions into an easy to use hotkey. One little issue you might have with the script is visible area flickering – caused by Explorer menu bar. To stop the flicker, you could either permanently disable the menu bar (not recommended) or make it permanently visible. You can ‘always show menu’ bar by changing the setting from Folder Options.

Download WEVS (Windows Explorer Views Switcher):  WEVS (222.94 KB)