how to fix file explorer doesnt highlight selected files and folders
how to fix file explorer doesnt highlight selected files and folders

how to fix file explorer doesnt highlight selected files and folders


Hey readers,

File Explorer is a crucial tool for navigating and managing files and folders on your Windows system. However, sometimes you may encounter an annoying glitch where File Explorer doesn’t highlight selected files or folders. This can be frustrating, especially when working with multiple items. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the causes of this issue and guide you through various methods to resolve it.

Section 1: Configuration Issues

Subsection 1: Enable Highlighting in View Options

One of the simplest solutions is to ensure that highlighting is enabled in File Explorer’s View options. To do this:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the "View" tab at the top of the window.
  3. In the "Options" section, click "Change folder and search options."
  4. In the "View" tab of the Folder Options window, uncheck the box next to "Always show icons, never thumbnails."
  5. Click "Apply" and then "OK."

Subsection 2: Adjust Highlight Color

If highlighting is already enabled but still not working, try adjusting the highlight color. Sometimes, the default highlight color may blend in with the background, making highlighted files difficult to distinguish. To change the highlight color:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 from the previous solution.
  2. In the "Colors" section, click the "Highlight selected items" drop-down menu and choose a different color.
  3. Click "Apply" and then "OK."

Section 2: Registry Tweaks

Subsection 1: Edit the FolderType key

In some cases, a corrupted FolderType key in the Windows Registry can cause File Explorer highlighting issues. To edit this key:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type "regedit" and click "OK."
  3. Navigate to the following key:
  1. Right-click on the "FolderType" key and select "Modify."
  2. In the "Value data" field, change the value to "{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}" (without quotation marks).
  3. Click "OK" and restart your computer.

Subsection 2: Check the "NoFileHighlight" value

Another registry value that can affect File Explorer highlighting is "NoFileHighlight." To check this value:

  1. Follow steps 1-2 from the previous solution.
  2. Navigate to the following key:
  1. If a key named "Explorer" does not exist, right-click and create it.
  2. Click on the "Explorer" key, right-click in the right pane, and select "New" > "DWORD (32-bit) Value."
  3. Name the new value "NoFileHighlight" (without quotation marks).
  4. Double-click the "NoFileHighlight" value and set the "Value data" field to "0."
  5. Click "OK" and restart your computer.

Section 3: Other Fixes

Subsection 1: Scan for Malware

Malware can sometimes interfere with File Explorer functionality. Run a full system scan using your preferred antivirus software to rule out any malicious interference.

Subsection 2: Create a New User Account

If the above solutions fail, try creating a new user account on your computer. This can help isolate the issue and determine if it’s caused by a corrupted user profile. To create a new user account:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to "Accounts" > "Family & other users."
  3. Click "Add someone else to this PC."
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new user account.
  5. Log out of your current account and into the new one.
  6. Check if File Explorer highlighting is working properly in the new account.

Table: Troubleshooting Methods

Solution Description
Enable Highlighting in View Options Ensure that highlighting is enabled in the "View" tab of File Explorer.
Adjust Highlight Color Change the highlight color to make it more distinct from the background.
Edit the FolderType key Repair a corrupted FolderType key in the Windows Registry.
Check the "NoFileHighlight" value Ensure that the "NoFileHighlight" registry value is set to "0."
Scan for Malware Run a full system scan to eliminate any malware interference.
Create a New User Account Isolate the issue by creating a new user account.


We hope this comprehensive guide has equipped you with effective solutions to fix the issue of File Explorer not highlighting selected files and folders. If you encounter any further challenges or have additional questions, don’t hesitate to refer to our other articles for more troubleshooting tips and Windows-related insights. Thank you for reading!

FAQ about File Explorer doesn’t Highlight Selected Files and Folders

1. Why are selected files and folders not highlighted in File Explorer?

This can occur due to outdated drivers, corrupted system files, or a malfunctioning File Explorer.

2. How do I update my display drivers?

  • Right-click the Start button and select "Device Manager".
  • Expand the "Display adapters" section and right-click your graphics card.
  • Choose "Update driver" and follow the on-screen prompts.

3. How do I repair corrupted system files?

  • Open an elevated Command Prompt (Run as administrator).
  • Type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and restart your computer.

4. How do I reset File Explorer?

  • Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc).
  • Find "Windows Explorer" in the Processes tab.
  • Right-click on it and choose "Restart".

5. How do I turn on focus mode in File Explorer?

  • Click the "View" tab in File Explorer.
  • Check the box for "Focus mode".

6. How do I adjust the window size and position?

  • Hover your mouse over the edge of the File Explorer window until the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow.
  • Drag the edge to resize or reposition the window.

7. How do I change the size of icons in File Explorer?

  • Click on the "View" tab and select "Medium icons", "Large icons", or "Extra large icons".
  • You can also adjust the icon size by dragging the scroll bar in the bottom-right corner.

8. How do I open multiple File Explorer windows?

  • Hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar.
  • Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl + N" to open a new instance.

9. How do I restore deleted files and folders?

  • If you accidentally deleted an item, it may be in the Recycle Bin.
  • Open the Recycle Bin and locate the deleted item.
  • Right-click on it and choose "Restore".

10. How do I prevent File Explorer from opening in Quick Access?

  • Click on the "View" tab and select "Options".
  • Go to the "General" tab.
  • Under "Open File Explorer to:", select "This PC".