Four ways to open files with a single click, instead of a double-click, in Windows

Are you tired of opening files and folders in Windows, by double-clicking or double-tapping on them? Do you want to open them like on your smartphone, with a click or a tap? You can do that if you change a particular setting in Windows. In this guide, we share four ways in which you can change the double-click action with a single click. Read on:

NOTE: This guide covers Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Some methods only work in Windows 7. Others work on all Windows operating systems. They are highlighted accordingly.

How the single-click works in Windows

By default, you can open files in Windows, by double-clicking on them. You can change this behavior and open files with a single click. When you set Windows to work this way, and hover the mouse pointer over a file, the pointer turns into a hand symbol. If you click or tap on this file, it is opened by Windows, with the associated app.

The same with folders: if you hover the mouse pointer over a folder, the folder gets underlines, and the pointer turns into a hand symbol. Again, a click or a tap opens the folder.

If you want this behavior enabled, continue reading this article.

1. How to enable the single-click from Windows Explorer (Windows 7 only)

If you are using Windows 7, open Windows Explorer. Then, click on Organize and, in the menu that opens, choose “Folder and search options.”

The Folder Options window opens. Here, go to the “Click items as follows” section and choose the option that says “Single-click to open an item (point to select).” To apply this setting, click or tap OK.

Opening files and folders now works with a single click.

2. How to enable the single-click from File Explorer (Windows 10 and Windows 8.1)

If you use Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, open File Explorer. If you don’t know how, read these tutorials:

Click or tap the View tab on the ribbon. Then, click or tap the Options button on the right-side of the View tab.

The Folder Options window is displayed. Go to the “Click items as follows” section and choose “Single-click to open an item (point to select).” To apply this setting, click or tap OK.

Now,Windows opens files and folders with a single click or a single tap, instead of a double-click or a double-tap.

3. How to enable the single-click using search (all versions of Windows)

Another option is to open the File Explorer window by using search. In Windows 10, use the search box near the Start button (in Windows 10) and search for “folder options and then click or tap on the appropriate search result.

In Windows 7, click the Start button, and search for “folder options and click or tap on the appropriate search result.

In Windows 8.1, go to the Start screen and type “folder options.” In the list of search results, choose Folder Options.

In the Folder Options window, go to the “Click items as follows” section and choose “Single-click to open an item (point to select).” To apply your setting, click or tap OK.

4. How to enable the single-click using the Control Panel (all versions of Windows)

This method too works in all versions of Windows, and it involves using the Control Panel. If you need help to open it, read these guides:

In the Control Panel window, go to “Appearance and Personalization.”

Then, in the list of options that opens, click or tap “File Explorer Options.” Beneath it, there’s also a link that says: “Specify single- or double-click to open,” which takes you to the same place.

The Folder Options window opens. Here, go to the “Click items as follows” section and choose “Single-click to open an item (point to select).” To apply your change, click or tap OK.

Now you can open both files and folders with a single click.

How to revert this change and open things with a double-click

If at some point, you want to go back to the default behavior of opening files and folders with a double-click, you can follow the same methods described earlier and, in the end, in the Folder Options, choose “Double-click to open an item (single-click to select).” To apply this setting, don’t forget to press OK.

From now on, Windows opens both files and folders using a double-click instead of a single click.

Do you know other methods for changing this setting?

These are the ways we are aware of setting Windows to open files and folders with a single-click instead of a double-click. If you know others, don’t hesitate to share them below, in a comment. Also, if you have issues or question, feel free to get in touch.