Disable, Enable check boxes to select items in Windows 7 / 8 / 10

You may have noticed that in Windows File Explorer, there are small check-boxes to the left of the file or folder names, that help you select items for carrying out file operations. If you need to select non-consecutive items to carry out any files operation like Copy, Move, Delete, Cut, etc., these boxes help you select the items. There is also a single box, on the left of ‘Name’ that will help you select or deselect all the items.


Windows explorer disable check box

You can if you wish disable or enable these checkboxes according to your preferences. To do so, go to the Windows 8 Start Screen and type Folder Options. Click on the search results to open it.

Under the View tab, scroll towards the end of Advanced settings.


Here you will see a setting Use check boxes to select items. Check or Uncheck the box as per your preference and click on Apply/OK.

You will no see that the check boxes will disappear, if you have chose to not show them.


You can also effect this change via the File Explorer UI itself as follows:

Enable check boxes to select items

As mentioned earlier, these check boxes work for files, folders as well as all desktop items. Works on Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Have a nice day!

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Ashkan

    thanks for the tip. it’s a handy feature for laptop/trackpad users. but i don’t know why i prefer the traditional ctrl/shift + click method.

  2. Yes – that does the job too. 🙂

  3. Mido Siriano


  4. PanicPlanet

    Totally helped they were driving me crazy…thanx

  5. cheers, very handy those boxes – didn’t like them at first, now i can’t live without ’em! 😉

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