Customize Windows Explorer Tooltips - gHacks Tech News

Customize Windows Explorer Tooltips

Whenever you hover your mouse cursor over a file or folder in Windows Explorer or the Desktop you will notice that a tooltip appears that lists some details about the current file or folder.

Update: Please note that Windows does not display tooltips anymore when you hover over files or folders in newer versions of the Windows operating system.

The Information displayed are related to the file extension. If you hover the mouse over a Adobe pdf file the tooltip contains information about the author, title, date modified and size. Executable files however display information like company name and version of the application.

These Windows Explorer tooltips can be customized in the Windows Registry to display the information selected by the user. It is possible to remove information and add new ones as well.

Windows uses a general setting for all files that do not have their own tooltip information. Those tooltips display the Type, Author, Title, Subject, Comments, last Write access and the Size.

file information popup

Open the Registry (Windows-R, type regedit, hit enter) and navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*. The right pane should contain a key called InfoTip which begins with prop: and then the variables that are currently shown in the tooltip. Just remove an entry if you do not need it or add another one currently not listed.

windows explorer tooltips data

A setting in the Folder Options menu which can be accessed by clicking on Tools in Windows Explorer activates or disables those tooltips. A click on Tools > Folder Options > View opens the configuration menu. Search for the entry "Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items" and check it to activate the setting.

Here is a list of all available general tooltip variables. Make sure your setup looks like this afterwards. The variable on the left will be displayed in the first line and each variable will be placed in a row beneath afterwards.

prop:variable1;variable2;variable3

  • Accessed
  • Attributes
  • Created
  • DocAuthor
  • DocComments
  • DocSubject
  • DocTitle
  • Modified
  • Name
  • Size
  • Type
  • Write

Customize tooltips for specific file types:

The general setting only works if no custom tooltip is defined for a file type. To lookup a specific file type you have to select the file type in the same Registry key, for example .bat. Check the right pane again and take a look at the default key, remember the Data entry which in the case of .bat files is batfile.

Now scroll down and look for the batfile entry in the same Registry structure. Click on the entry and take a look at the right pane. If no InfoTip key is visible the file extension uses the general tooltips. If you want to change that create a string InfoTip and add the variables that you would like to it. Remember to begin with prop:

Customize tooltips for multimedia file types:

Multimedia files are special because their tooltips can be changed in either one of the entries below:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\audio
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\video

Just click on an entry and select the InfoTip from the right pane. You might realize that those entries contain additional variables that can be used. The video InfoTip setting for instance contains those additional variables:

EpisodeName, ProgramDescription, Duration, Bitrate, Dimensions, Protected

For audio files those are:

artist, album, year, track, duration, type, bitrate and protected

And for images:

Dimensions, WhenTaken, CameraModel

Summary
Customize Windows Explorer Tooltips
Article Name
Customize Windows Explorer Tooltips
Description
You may customize information displayed in tooltips in Windows Explorer so that only information you require are displayed.
Author
Advertisement

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


Previous Post: «
Next Post: »

Comments

  1. John Shaw said on February 10, 2008 at 1:45 pm
    Reply

    Just get “Info Tag magic, it’s better :D

  2. sbw07 said on February 26, 2008 at 1:07 pm
    Reply

    Is it possible to search these tooltips using Windows’ built-in search?

  3. jsmith said on March 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm
    Reply

    Is it possible to completely disable those tooltips in Windows XP’s Explorer? Not only for folders, but for files as well. Every time I move the mouse to over an another file, it shows that d**n yellow tooltip box placed over few next files in list (I’m using detailed list view). It’s very annoying to search for some file, when those tooltips are always popping over, not letting me to see next files.

  4. Zarko said on August 14, 2009 at 7:49 am
    Reply

    Any commen on the new prop names (at least in 2k8):
    InfoTip REG_SZ prop:System.ItemType;System.Size;System.DateModified
    QuickTip REG_SZ prop:System.ItemType;System.Size;System.DateModified

    Like, would the old/short names still apply, does this change mean that all Shell properties are now a fair game (list is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb760781(VS.85).aspx), for all “HKCR\*” values?

  5. Jim said on February 2, 2010 at 5:46 pm
    Reply

    Thank you. This is exactly what I was looking for!

  6. Jason said on May 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    Reply

    Thanks. I was looking for the way to disable the tool tip altogether. It is quite annoying when in Details mode.

  7. compugor said on August 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Reply

    This didn’t work for me in Windows 7 Pro, 64-bit:
    tried to add DocTitle;DocAuthor;DocSubject tooltip to PDF files
    (default = AcroExch.Document). Yes I restarted Windows after making the registry change. Any suggestions? …hesitant to change /* key.

  8. iLucato said on May 11, 2012 at 10:33 am
    Reply

    This week I got to Edit and add into the tip tools the keywords, but now I forgot from where/what menus I have used to reach it. I know there is a way without using Regedit that I can select the info I want to show into the tooltip, but I just forgot how to do it via menus. Does anybody remember it on W7?

  9. valeria said on January 9, 2016 at 6:01 pm
    Reply

    Hi!
    This is an excellent article, but unfortunately doesn’t work on Win 10.
    We need to use the proper property names
    Such as
    System.ItemItemTypeText
    System.Author
    System.Title
    …etc.
    See the left side of listed properties on https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb760781(v=vs.85).aspx

    Furthermore it is not enough to hack HKCU * InfoTip but also the QuickTip
    These properly written setting works for me on Win 10 64 bit

    1. valeria said on January 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm
      Reply

      I mistyped HKCR * InfoTip and QuickTip

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.