How To: Show All Files Within Windows Mobile File Explorer
This is a Windows Mobile Device 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 Windows Mobile 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:
- Open the Windows Mobile File Explorer application.
- Scroll down to the blank area at the bottom of a directory listing.
- Tap and hold the stylus on the blank space underneath the last file in the directory listing.
- Select “show all files” from the popup menu which appears.
The directory listing should now display all files within the folder. Unfortunately since file extensions are not visible you may end up with multiple entries with the same name. For example, TOMSTRICKS.exe, TOMSTRICKS.dll, TOMSTRICKS.txt and TOMSTRICKS.pdf will all be listed as “TOMSTRICKS” in Windows mobile File Explorer.
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 associated with an application it should be launched automatically. If there is no association a message box will be displayed stating “TOMSTRICKS.xyz is not a valid executable”. This message box will display the full file name (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 TOMSTRICKS.log into TOMSTRICKS.txt).