Windows Mobile Tip: Show all files within File Explorer

show-all-files.PNGThis is a Windows Mobile Pocket PC specific tip which takes some people a little while to discover (especially if using a Windows Mobile device isn’t part of their day to day job).

By default the File Explorer application does not show all files. As well as files specifically marked as hidden, it will hide files with a series of “special” file extensions such as *.dll.

In order to show these files you must enable the “Show All Files” option, which can be achieved by following these steps:

  1. Open the File Explorer application.
  2. Scroll down to the blank area at the bottom of a directory listing.
  3. Tap and hold the stylus on the blank space underneath the last file in the directory listing.
  4. Select “show all files” from the popup menu which appears.

The directory listing should now display all files within the folder. Unfourtantly since file extensions are not visible you may end up with multiple enteries with the same name. For example, foo.exe, foo.dll, foo.txt and foo.pdf will all be listed as “foo”.

If the icon associated with a particular file extension doesn’t help you determine the type of file, you can tap on the file. If the file is assoicated with an application it should be launched automatically. If there is no association a message box will be displayed stating “ is not a valid executable”. This message box will display the full filename (including extension) of the file.

A future blog entry will outline how developers can extend the functionality of built in applications such as File Explorer. We will develop an extension that allows us to rename the file extension of a file (i.e. change foo.log into foo.txt).

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