It’s easy to preview files without opening them in Windows 10 thanks to the Preview Pane feature in File Explorer. You can see thumbnails of most images, videos, audio files, and some text-based documents. Here’s how to turn it on.
First, open File Explorer. To do this quickly, press Windows + E, or click the folder icon on your taskbar if File Explorer is embedded there. You will also find File Explorer in your Start menu.
In the menu bar at the top of the File Explorer window, click “View.”
Find “Preview pane” in the top left of the toolbar and click.
The Preview Panel is now activated. Navigate File Explorer to the folder that has the document you want to review. When you select a file, you will see a preview thumbnail on the right side of the window.
File Explorer also has a related feature called the Detail Panel. To turn it on, click “View” in the Explorer menu bar, then click “Details panel” in the toolbar (it’s right next to the Preview panel options).
When you highlight a file with the Details pane turned on, you will see a small thumbnail (for the time the file is in effect) and some details about the file, such as its size or date created, on the right side of the window.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Viewing the Preview and Detail Panels
It is also possible to quickly switch the Preview and Detail panel using keyboard shortcuts. This is how you do it.
To open or close the preview pane, press Alt + P.
To open or close the details panel, press Alt + Shift + P.