Windows 7 files properties


  • In Windows XP, it was possible to edit a file's properties by adding a title, an author, etc... Then, I could view the specific properties in details mode, by adding the desired fields in the view pane. Why this is not possible anymore in Windows 7?

    I have a Windows 2003 server (DC) which is also my file server. When I browse my network drives through my Windows 7 explorer, even if I include the title and author of the file in the view columms, nothing appears. Also, I cannot edit the file's properties like I was able to do so with XP. I've read somewhere that this function was removed with Vista...

    This is causing me a lot of problems because I need to view/edit these files' properties ; for the past 10 years we input valuable information in these fields and we need to see them in the Windows explorer before opening them.

    Has anyone found a solution to this? I have to decide very soon if we move to Windows 7 or we keep Windows XP.

    Thanks everyone for your time and effort on this one


    I'm very pleased to see I'm not the only one being affected by this! Don't forget to tag my post as helpful if you're also affected by this. Thanks everyone and let's hope Microsoft will hear us!

    • Edited by Fred9777 Monday, May 31, 2010 6:28 PM
    Tuesday, November 17, 2009 8:37 PM

All replies

  • Yes I second this question. I need to access file properties in Windows 7 in the same way that it works in XP details tab.. but the file properties must also be available for PDFs and non Office file. Need tags, authors, comments and other meta data in consistent way for all Windows files!    Thanks, Steve
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 6:11 PM
  • I hope someone from Microsoft reads this! I just need to know if it's possible or not: I have to make a big decision by the end of this week.

    FYI @Steve2343: a friend at work found a stand-alone program designed for Vista where you can manually edit a file's meta data. It doesn't correspond to what I need because the application doesn't run as a service and it doesn't integrate with explorer's contextual menu, nor properties, which for me is a huge loss of time compared to Win XP.
    Thursday, November 19, 2009 3:10 PM
  • Hi,


    If you highlight a file in Windows Explorer, its detail information will be displayed in the status bar on the bottom.


    For the items, such as tags, authors, comments, it should be related to the file properties. You can also right-click on the file and select “Properties”, switch to “Details” tab and the entries should be the same as what it is displayed in status bar.

    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    • Marked as answer by Nicholas LiModerator Monday, November 30, 2009 3:55 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Fred9777 Thursday, November 03, 2011 7:22 PM
    Friday, November 20, 2009 10:27 AM
  • Thank you Nicholas for you response...

    However it doesn't solve my problem. Highligthing a file in Windows Explorer will indeed show the file's details at the bottom, but I can't edit them. Right-clicking on a file will do the same: I can't see nor I can't edit a file's properties that was created with Windows XP and resides on a Windows 2003 server. I've even made a test by creating a file in Windows 7 and I wasn't able to edit it's properties. (non-mp3, non-office).

    To put you in context, we have a technique where people input a valuable information in the title field of a file (not the title of the file itself). This information helps others to open the file according to this piece of information. Imagine, we have almost over 3,500 files that are built this way. Windows 7 is not only not showing the information, but I can't edit, like I'm used to do with XP.

    Friday, November 20, 2009 1:54 PM
  • Finally we went back to Windows XP...

    Friday, November 27, 2009 1:53 PM
  • I have XPSP3 and I installed Windows 7 in parrallel (dual boot) this week.

    Last spring, at a client's site, working with Vista, I was very upset with this change of behaviour in the Explorer and I just hoped that what I considered as a bug or just an oversight would be corrected in Windows 7.

    Until someone comes up with a fix (Microsoft or other) I will stay with XP because I make extensive use of the file properties (summary mainly) in Explorer to manage and navigate in my disks.

    Friday, December 11, 2009 6:51 PM
  • Are you trying to be unhelpful?  Because you are succeeding by not addressing follow up questions. 
    Sunday, February 14, 2010 4:32 PM
  • I am saving Title property with a file with XP with no problem. This is where we keep descriptions of our video files (instead of having 50 character file name). If I move the same file to Win7 I cannot see the Title anymore. You said:

    For the items, such as tags, authors, comments, it should be related to the file properties. You can also right-click on the file and select “Properties”, switch to “Details” tab and the entries should be the same as what it is displayed in status bar.

    but this is NOT the case as Title does NOT appear.

    Another problem that I have is that we include the Title column with Windows Explorer. It helps us see the decription of the file instead of wondering what ND456.avi is. Works fine with XP, but if I transfer the file to Win7, the Title colum is blank, and I've tried it with many files

    Thanks, Dejan

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010 12:45 PM
  • Has anyone had any luck with this? I don't have the option of going back to XP as W7 has been force upon me from mgmt and I need to get to this information.

    To the person or persons responsible for this, you have created a huge inconvenience for me.

    Friday, May 14, 2010 6:18 PM
  • The solution of adding column details or clicking the file for the properties does not work for all situations.  In my situation, I'd like to know the audio properties.  Under XP / Server 2003 you can go under 'advanced' in the details tab and see the audio properties.  None of the options for Audio Sample Size, Channels, Audio Sample Rate, or Audio Format are available.  Most importantly I need the Audio format and sample size because I need to determine if the wav file is PCM or u-Law.


    Try adding those columns in Windows Explorer.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010 5:09 PM
  • I was having the same problem when I would try to edit the details of my music.  After much frustration, I was able to edit the details, but not by right clicking on the file.  When I highlighted an individual file, the details appeared at the bottom of the window, and there I was able to edit them.  The corrections show up in the details tab in the properties window, but from there it can't be edited.  Hope this helps.
    Monday, October 04, 2010 3:53 PM
  • Bizarre. I too am having this problem but let me add some info which suggests that Windows Explorer in Win7 might be misbehaving.

    I have a collection of old Crystal Reports files (extension .rpt) that were created ages ago in WinXP. We used and still use a string in the Comments field in Explorer to determine what data needs to be prepared in the SQL data sources for each report (some reports require custom extra data). Now these reports have continued to work on Win7 proving that the comment field is still alive and well. The Crystal API happily reads this Comments field. I can't see it in Win7 Explorer, but I can zip the rpt files up and unzip on a WinXP machine and see the Comments fields there large as life.

    They are nowhere to be found on Win7. Now here's the strangest part... in Win7, I can go to the Details view in Explorer, rclick on the headers and customize, then check the "Comments" item in the checkbox list, thereby creating a Comments column in the Details view. Comes up ok, but is empty. Do the same thing to the same files in XP and I see all those Comments.

    Anyone got any idea what is going on here? And indeed, in Win7 I would like to continue using this Comments property, but having to go back to XP to edit it when it needs changing or creating seems a bit ridiculous.

    • Edited by daveb491 Monday, December 20, 2010 12:22 PM typo
    Monday, December 20, 2010 12:19 PM
  • The solution is to install windows xp mode in windows 7 and then you can use it to see the file properties or run any windows xp program like you did previously.
    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:31 PM
  • Is there an enterprise solution? We edit mp3s, mp2s, and many other file formats and not seeing the comments is BIG problem. Just deployed Windows7 and Office10. Office files are fine. We are talking about hundreds of files here, need a Windows solution not a work around or one by one solution.

    Problems are:

    Comments are not visible in file properties from folders (right click, properties), add the comments column to a folder view and you get an empty field.

    Cannot edit comments.

    Monday, March 07, 2011 3:06 PM
  • Windows XP stores the file-summary information (mostly, depends on the file-type) in Alternate Data Streams (NTFS) and Windows 7 doesn't support the readout of this data anymore (though it's still in/on the files), cos it's writing the info edited through the file-details into the files. I'll start a new thread addressing this specific problem later.
    †I wanna live, I wanna love, but it's a long hard road out of hell!†
    Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:14 AM

    tells how to add comments, and it really works, and it "sticks" and doesn't go away.  At least, it worked for me to add whatever comments I wanted to add, and they remain avialable for viewing after they are added.  As the link will show, the comments are made in the "details" tab.



    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 5:39 PM
  • Unfortunately, that still does not address the original authors need to view older documents, which is the issue we are currently running into.

    We have recently ugpraded a few individuals to windows 7. They utilized the comments field under WinXP to create notes for our legal department. Unfortunately, the property shows, but does not show the data. Has any one seen another application that can view this data?

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011 3:53 PM
  • A word of note, I found that I am able to view the information utilizing "Microsoft Office Picture Manager" from Office 2k3, can anyone confirm any of the new versions of office?

    Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:06 PM
  • If you just have to read the data, you could use the details-view of Explorer++ (32bit-NightlyBuild).
    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 4:49 PM
  • Nicholas,


    You've completely misunderstood the issue and your answer is NOT an answer or solution to this question. 

    I'm currently running into this same issue with PDF files. The Document Properties (e.g., Title, author, etc.) visible in Windows XP Explorer are NOT the same as those contained in document metatags used by Windows 7 Explorer. I found a utility called PDFShellTools to allow Windows 7 to provide support for viewing PDF metatags in Explorer, but the second part of my problem is finding some way to copy all of the Title field info from the former Document Properties to the new metatag Title field. Anyone have any scripts to do this?




    Wednesday, November 02, 2011 9:12 PM
  • Hi, I was wondering if anyone has an answer to this problem. I also found PDF-ShellTools but the problem is it is NOT free. It is over 60 Euro's for a single license. I don't have that type of money and this was free on XP. Why did they change it? Is there not an easy fix anywhere? I really need the Author and Title and Summary sections to work on PDF's and I don't know what to do. I do not have the expertise to create a shell program to do it myself. Please help. zwbookworm
    Saturday, November 12, 2011 1:06 PM
  • On my windows 7 64 bit machine, Windows 7 explorer showed the PDF file Metatags consistently after I downloaded and ran PDF Xchange viewer from Tracker software which includes a pdf shell extension to enable those features. 

    You have to reboot your computer for the PDF-Xchange Viewer changes to take effect, and you have to right click on the top row in the Explorer window and select "Tags"or "Subject" etc, that you want to show in the Explorer column.  Thanks to the guys at Tracker for writing the shell extension to bring back previous XP functionality, plus making it part of their freeware version.

    And you can edit those PDF properties with something like "Quick PDF Tools" from Debenu or "PDF Info" from Bureausoft, also both freeware...

    • Edited by mackadee Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:03 AM
    Friday, December 16, 2011 12:35 AM
  • Have a solution been found ?

    I have the same issue, I am creating pdf-files where I am using Author and Title to contain data, so the recipients can sort the files from these properties.

    I can see the data in the properties in Windows XP but when I am looking at the files/properties from a Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7.


    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 10:18 AM
  • I stumbled on the very same problem and still venting my frustration.

    The experiment is simple

    From the XP file explorer set the "comment" property on *.txt or *.pdf files and make the property visible in a new column of the explorer. Then repeat, using the Win7 file explorer on the same file system and directory : the explorer stubbornly refuses to let you show the"comment" property and let you change it.  And sure enough the help files tells explicitly that you can't do that with *.txt files (but of course it works for all MS-Office files).

    Getting a straight answer from Microsoft for the reason and justification of such a change for non-Office files seems impossible. At best. when you get an answer it is like Microsoft did not understand the question, or you get an explanation again on how to do it with *.doc and *.docx.

    It looks like if Microsoft did not want to give you the reason at any cost . May I it wants you to go to Sharepoint ? (another interesting topic ! )

    At least I see that I am not alone here

    Thank you all and pray that Microsoft see the light

    Saturday, October 13, 2012 3:29 AM
  • I stumbled onto this problem yesterday and spent many hours reading forums to try to understand it.  As best as I can fathom, this is the situation:

    In WinXP Microsoft used a NTFS file system feature called "Alternative Data Streams" to allow users to associate certain metadata (such as comments) to files.  ADS does pose security risks, as nefarious parties can hide executable files, or maybe terabytes of random bits, in the metadata fields and wreak havoc.  However, rather than removing ADS from the NTFS file system, Microsoft just removed the Windows Explorer functions that access ADS and allow users to add and edit file comments.  To make the situation more confusing, many file formats have their own special structures that allow the storage of various types of metadata.  Windows 7 knows about some of these native file format features and incorporates them into Windows Explorer.  So, the file "comments" in Windows 7 are not the "comments" in Windows XP!  It is possible in Win7 to read and write ADS metadata from command line (the old DOS) prompts, but this is not very useful for the for the casual user.  This forum has the best discussion of the issue that I have found:  Note that the old XP metadata is still there in Windows 7, it is just very awkward to find or edit.

    Sunday, October 14, 2012 11:06 PM