How to switch between views in File Explorer with keyboard shortcuts

With Windows 8, the File Explorer application got the Ribbon interface, which exposes all the possible commands for quick access to regular file management features. This is an improvement for all users, but especially for new users who were not familiar with all features of Windows Explorer and did not use them. The Ribbon UI is a way to discover all useful features for them.

One of the tabs in the Ribbon is the "View" tab. From there, you will be able to switch between various views inside the Explorer window - each view represents files and folders differently. In this tutorial, we will see how to switch between those views quickly, using very simple keyboard shortcuts.

In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, you are able to press CTRL + SHIFT + <1,2,3....8> keys on your keyboard to switch between views! For your convenience, I have made a table which contains the keyboard shortcut you have to press to switch to the corresponding view.

ShortcutView in File Explorer
Ctrl + Shift + 1Extra Large Icons
Ctrl + Shift + 2Large Icons
Ctrl + Shift + 3Medium Icons
Ctrl + Shift + 4Small Icons
Ctrl + Shift + 5List
Ctrl + Shift + 6Details
Ctrl + Shift + 7Tiles
Ctrl + Shift + 8Content

That's it! Using these shortcuts, you can get the desired layout for files and folders in File Explorer and avoid frequently switching Ribbon tabs just to change the view. This is a really useful change in Explorer which saves your time and mouse clicks.

See the following video, if you have any questions:

7 thoughts on “How to switch between views in File Explorer with keyboard shortcuts

  1. zydrius32

    So this doesn’t work for Windows 7?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yeah, that’s a pity.
      In Windows 7, use ctrl+mouse scroll

      Reply
      1. zydrius32

        It doesn’t work in my Windows 8.1 too O.O. Maybe this is because of Folder Options X function ’Column headers in all views“..

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Quite possible. Never tried the F O X application.

          Reply
  2. selvakumar_m

    Sorry Explorer views is not changing using Ctrl + Shift + (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) in Windows 8

    Reply
    1. Bob

      Then something else is stealing your keystrokes because it works. Try with the other Shift and Ctrl keys on your keyboard (left or right side).

      Reply
  3. selvakumar_m

    it is working fine with win 8.1 and win 10. but it is not with windows 8. I tried with different combination like left and right shift&control keys. I cannot able to arrive a shortcut.Can anyone help?

    Reply

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