Windows 8: Move Details Pane to the Bottom of Explorer

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Windows 8 comes with a powerful and redesigned Explorer interface. In the new File Explorer, Details pane is now placed with the Preview Pane, a layout aimed at users with widescreen. This change also prevents users from viewing both Detail and Preview paneat the same time, which is especially useful while viewing pictures or music files. If you’re not a fan of this new layout, here’s how you can move back the Details pane to the bottom of the Explorer window just like it used to be in Windows 7.

Details Pane Windows 8

Steps to Move Details Pane to the Bottom of Explorer Window

  1. Download Resource Hacker and install it.
  2. Copy shell32.dll file from C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to your desktop.
  3. Download Take, extract it, and add it to your Registry.
  4. Right-click on the original shell32.dll file in the system directories and “Take Ownership” of them.
  5. Backup the files by renaming shell32.dll to something like shell32.dll.bak in both system folders.
  6. With the files safely backed up, switch to your desktop and open the copied files using Resource Hacker.
  7. Expand UIFILE tree and you should be able to see subtrees 3, 4, 5, and so on upto 66.
  8. Resource Hacker Windows 8

  9. Go to UIFILE > 3 > 1033, replace the existing script in the right-pane with below one, then click on “Compile Script”:
  10. <duixml>
    <Element resid="FolderLayout" layout="shellborderlayout()" sheet="genericlayoutstyle">
    <StatusBarModule ModuleID="StatusBarModule" layoutpos="bottom" layout="filllayout()"/>
    <TemplateBackground id="atom(PreviewContainer)" height="53rp" layoutpos="bottom" layout="filllayout()">
    <TemplateBackground id="atom(PreviewShineLayer)"/>
    <PreviewBackground id="atom(BackgroundClear)" background="ARGB(0, 0, 0, 0)" layout="borderlayout()">
    <PreviewThumbnail ModuleID="PreviewThumbnailModule" MaxThumbSize="256" layoutpos="Left"/>
    <Element layoutpos="Client" layout="filllayout()">
    <PreviewMetadata ModuleID="PreviewMetadataModule" NullSelectPropertyString="prop:*System.OfflineStatus;*System.OfflineAvailability" layoutpos="Client"/>
    <Sizer id="atom(PreviewPaneSizer)" sizingtarget="atom(PreviewContainer)" FramePersistType="2" SlidesUpAndDown="true" layoutpos="top" DownOrRightGrowsTarget="false"/>
    <TemplateBackground id="atom(ReadingPane)" layout="filllayout()" layoutpos="right">
    <PreviewThumbnail ModuleID="ReadingPaneThumbnailModule" HideProperty="PreviewHandlerRunning" Vertical="true" layoutpos="client" background="ARGB(0, 0, 0, 0)"/>
    <ReadingPaneModule ModuleID="ReadingPaneModule" layoutpos="none"/>
    <Sizer id="atom(ReadingPaneSizer)" sizingtarget="atom(ReadingPane)" GrowTargetFirst="true" SlidesUpAndDown="false" PrioritySizer="atom(PageSpaceControlSizer)"
    DownOrRightGrowsTarget="false" FramePersistType="2" layoutpos="Right"/>
    <ProperTreeModule id="atom(ProperTree)" ModuleID="ProperTreeModule" sheet="documentslayoutstyle" layoutpos="Left"/>
    <Element id="atom(ViewHostContainer)" layoutpos="Client" sheet="documentslayoutstyle" layout="borderlayout()">
    <ViewHost id="atom(clientviewhost)" layout="borderlayout()" layoutpos="client">
  11. Download this text file and replace script in UIFILE 4, 5, 6, 19, 20, and 21 the same way.
  12. Replace same contents in the other shell32.dll file as well.
  13. When done, save both files and close Resource Hacker.
  14. Copy the modified files back to their respective system directories.
  15. Verify the file exists, and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

That’s it! You should have the Details pane at the bottom of the Explorer window now, and you should also be able to open both Preview pane and Details pane at the same time.

All seems good, but there is a little downside to this hack. You’ll get UAC prompts with “unknown publisher” whenever you perform an operation that requires elevated permission. However, if you don’t edit system files quite often, there’s nothing much to worry about.