Even though I haven't done anything out of the ordinary, one day, out of the blue, I cannot see or use the columns when in details view in the File Explorer. No matter what I do, I just couldn't see the columns in the file explorer. In case you are wondering, this is how it looked like in the file explorer.
Since I take a lot of screenshots for various tutorials, I use the details view almost every day to quickly sort through the files based on name, size, date, dimensions, etc. When there are no visible columns to sort files in the file explorer, it can be a bit hard to sort files. Sure I can use the context menu's "Sort by" option but it is not as intuitive as clicking on the columns to sort files.
What is the cause?
So, after doing a bit of research, I find a way to fix the problem. Turns out, there is a registry value called WebView that is somehow modified. This modification is preventing the details view from showing the columns. So, all we have to do is normalize the value and we are golden.
If you are facing the same problem as me, follow the below steps to fix columns disappearing in file explorer's details view.
Warning: to fix the issue, we need to make a simple change to the registry. Though simple, I recommend you to backup the registry before proceeding. This allows you to restore registry when needed.
Fix Columns Disappearing in File Explorer's Details View
1. First, press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. In the run dialog box, type
regedit in the blank field and press Enter to open the Windows Registry Editor.
2. After opening the registry editor, copy the below path, paste it in the registry editor's address bar and press Enter. You will be instantly taken to the required folder where the target value is located.
3. Once you are here, you will see a whole bunch of values on the right panel. From those values, find and double-click on the "WebView" value. Generally, you will find it at the bottom of the window.
4. In the Edit DWORD Value window, make sure that the "Hexadecimal" radio option is selected, type "0" in the value data field and click on the "Ok" button save the changes.
5. You are done editing the registry, close it.
6. Even though you've modified the registry, the changes are not yet applied. To apply the changes, you need to restart Windows Explorer. You can do that from the task manager. So, right-click on the taskbar and select "Task Manager" option.
7. In the task manager, find the "Windows Explorer" process, select it and click on the "Restart" button. This action will restart the file explorer.
8. After restarting the Windows Explorer, open the File Explorer, go to the folder of your choice and select "View -> Details". If the target folder is already in the details view, change it to some other view and select the details view again. This action will refresh and shows the columns.
Note: if it didn't work, try restarting the system after making the registry change.
Hope that helps.