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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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How do I open Desktop icons with a single click?

Desktop icons are normally double-clicked to open.Q: I am unable to use a single click to open a desktop icon. Can you help please?

A: Windows 7’s desktop icons traditionally require a double-click to open.

A single-click does the trick on the Start menu and Taskbar, but the Desktop wants that extra effort of a double-click.

But if you don’t like that setup, here’s how to make a single-click open icons on the Desktop, as well:

  1. Open any folder, and click the Organize button near the top left corner.
  2. Choose Folder and Search Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the “Click Items as Follows” section, choose “Single-click to open an item (point to select)”
  4. Click the OK button.

That lets you open desktop icons — and icons within folders — with a single click.


Comment from Rob Kruckman
Time November 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Andy: I really liked both of your dummies books, XP and 7. They were very helpful to a non geek. Keep up the good work.

Comment from Mehdi Shahrifar
Time October 7, 2012 at 12:26 am

This explanation was the best. Thank you so much to share your knowledge.

Comment from Betty Schneider
Time December 8, 2020 at 8:29 pm

I’ve tried repeatedly to locate the Organize button in my desktop folders, but in vain. Would you kindly help me make it thru this barrier or let me know of another way to create single-click desktop icons?
Thanks much in advance!

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time December 14, 2020 at 11:04 am

>Betty: In Windows 10, open a folder and click the View tab from the top.

From the View tab, click Options, and choose Change Folder and Search Options when the menu drops down.

When the Folder Options window appears, choose “Single Click to Open an Item.”

Then click the Okay button to save your changes.

Comment from Phillip J Perry
Time September 9, 2021 at 7:31 am

There is no organize button on the top left corner of any folder.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time September 24, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Phillip: There was in Windows 7, which is when I wrote this post. If you’re using Windows 10, read what I wrote to Betty, two comments above this one.

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