How To Highlight Files in Windows Explorer

Dear Computer Lady,

Is it possible to change the formatting (bold or color) of a file name in windows explorer to easily differentiate between files?


Dear Linda,

This is not a feature that Windows offers, however, there are a couple of ways you might be able to work around this problem.

First, when a file or folder is compressed, windows changes the file name to a blue color. Based on this feature, you could compress the files or folders that you want to stand out.

You compress a file this way:

Right click on the file that you want to compress.
Click on “Properties” in the context menu.
In the file properties dialog box, click on the “Advanced” button.
Click to place a check mark in front of, “Compress contents to save disk space”.
Click the “OK” button to close the dialog box and save your changes.

Secondly, there are some file management programs that would replace Windows Explorer on your computer that might allow you to change the color of certain file names. I don’t have any experience with them, so I can’t give you much more help than that.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • rastringer
    • June 15, 2013

    There are several things you can do to make files stand out. You can name the file in all capital letters. Or you can add something after the name like === or ^^^ to make it stand out. Or there is a program called Folder Magic that you can purchase from It lets you change the color of the icon.

    • joanloy
    • June 15, 2013

    In reply to formatting file and folder names. I don’t format, but you can rename and change to upper case to make some files and folders easily recognized.

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