How to Enable or Disable Preview Pane in File Explorer

The preview pane lets you preview files without opening them. Here is how to enable or disable the preview pane in File Explorer.

Windows File Explorer has a lot of options and features built into it. For a vast majority of users, these features and options are beneficial. For example, some like to see thumbnails, while others want to see file icons. The same is true for other things like removing quick access, settings This PC as the default in File Explorer, etc. One such useful feature in File Explorer is the Preview Pane. As you can tell from the name itself, the Preview Pane will show file previews without actually opening them. So, for instance, if you select an image file, the preview will appear in the Preview Pane. The same is true for other supported file types like text documents, PDFs, Word documents, etc.

By default, the Preview Pane will appear to the right side of the File Explorer. Generally, the preview pane is not that big and occupies a limited space only. You can drag it sideways to increase or decrease the overall area occupied by the preview pane. However, if your screen is small, you might have to disable the preview pane to increase the screen space.

This quick and straightforward guide will show you how to enable or disable the preview pane in File Explorer with just a few clicks or a keyboard shortcut.

Enable or turn on preview pane in File Explorer

The file preview pane in the File Explorer can be enabled by clicking on the “Preview Pane” option or with a keyboard shortcut. Here is how.

Press the “Alt key + P” keyboard shortcut to turn on or enable the preview pane. As soon as you press the shortcut, you will see the Preview Pane to the right of the File Explorer.

You can also enable the preview pane by clicking on the “View -> Preview Pane” option. Once allowed, you will see the preview pane in action, and the option itself will be highlighted with a white or blue border & background.

enable preview pane in File Explorer

Turn off or disable preview pane in File Explorer

To turn off or disable the preview pane in File Explorer, press the “Alt key + P” keyboard shortcut. You can also select the “View -> Preview Pane” option. As soon as you do that, the File Explorer will disable it instantly if the preview pane is active. If the preview pane is not active, File Explorer will enable it.

disable preview pane in File Explorer

That is all. It is that simple to enable or disable the preview pane in the File Explorer.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Scroll to Top