Windows 7 Tutorial

Hide or show classic menus in Windows Explorer for Windows 7 + Always show menus

Windows 7 by default hides most menus, in favor of toolbars that combine buttons and "dropdown" buttons; but the "Classic Menus", as they are called, often give you access to more functionality in whatever program you happen to be using; in this tutorial, we will show you how to display the menus in Windows Explorer: first, we'll explain how to show them on an "as needed" basis, and then we'll explain how to customize Windows Explorer to always show the classic menus.


Show the Windows Explorer classic menus on demand

Without changing any of your current settings, Windows 7 allows you with a single keyboard shortcut to display the Windows Explorer menus; note that this "trick" works in all applications that run with available menus hidden by default: launch Windows Explorer to test this out (press the Windows+E keyboard shortcut, or choose "Open Windows Explorer" after right-clicking on the Start button).

Once inside Windows Explorer, just press the Alt key on your keyboard: as soon as you do, the main menus will appear at the top, right below the address bar: now click on the menu you want:

Temporarily display the classic menus in Windows Explorer

Tip: to open a Windows Explorer menu right away, you can use the accelerator keys, highlighted (underlined letter) in the screenshot above; directly press Alt+F for the File menu, Alt+E for Edit, Alt+V for the View menu, Alt+T for Tools, etc. The accelerator keys are hidden by default in Windows 7, but a later tutorial Windows Explorer how to show these permanently. Open a menu with a keyboard shortcut, and Windows automatically displays these letters underlined.

Always display the menu bar in Windows Explorer

Let's now show you how to show the classic menus at all times: click on the "Organize" button in the toolbar, and click on the "Layout" submenu; then, select "Menu bar":

Make Windows 7 always show the menus in Windows Explorer

Several things will happen: first, Windows 7 will now display a checkmark next to "Menu bar"; the menu headers (File, Edit, View, Tools, and Help), will now be visible all the time. Finally, since this is a persistent setting, Windows Explorer will "remember" this option, and apply it automatically whenever you launch it, until you manually decide to hide these menus!

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