General Windows 7 Settings That Will Help You Understand Your Computer File System Better

There are some general Windows 7 Folder options that will help you better understand what's going on with your PC's file system. These options are not new, but just a little difficult to find if you're an inexperienced user. Under any open Windows Explorer Window, select the "Organize" Menu, select "Folder and Search Options". Go to the "View" tab, in here you'll be presented with three default options that really hinder your ability to troubleshoot a computer. The first one is "Don't Show hidden files, folders, or drives". These are hidden for a reason but if you accept this and don't go immediately to delete this files when you see them, you'll discover where Windows stores many of the settings and files your programs use. It's best to "Show hidden files, folders and drives" if you are cleaning up a computer or looking to backup settings and other files.

Another option I like to uncheck is "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" This really helps you to be familiar with the files that are supposed to be on a properly working system drive. There are situation where you are dealing with spyware or other programs that require you to be able to see files at this level.

These first two options are probably more of a preference and a minor aid in troubleshooting. The last option you should always have unchecked is "Hide extension for known file types". It is so rediculous to allow Windows to determine what extensions to show and which ones to hide. This promotes a lot of ignorance on the part of the end user. Often times they are unaware that files still have a three letter extension as a result. The only way to learn what types of files are opened by which types of programs is to better understand the creator types that are out there, and then being able to associate those files with a particular program you have on your computer that will open them.