Details pane, the small pane that shows file details when selected, is one of the many useful features introduced first with Windows Vista, and is part of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 versions as well. In Vista and Windows 7, details pane appears across the bottom of Windows Explorer.
In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has moved details pane to the right of Windows Explorer (File Explorer). With default settings, the details pane doesn’t appear in Windows 8 and 8.1 Explorer and one has to turn on the same by clicking View tab and then clicking or tapping Details pane button.
Even though there is an option to turn on or off the pane, Microsoft hasn’t provided an option to move the details pane to the bottom of the explorer. Vista and Windows 7 users who have upgraded to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 might prefer to have the details pane at the bottom of Explorer.
As we mentioned earlier, there is no option present in Windows 8/8.1 to move the details pane and one needs to take the ownership of shell32.dll and edit the same in order to move it from the default location. Since shell32.dll is a system file and a corrupted system file might make your PC unbootable, manually editing a system file is not recommended.
If you’re a Windows 8.1 user and want to move the details pane, you’ll be glad to know about the availability of a free tool called Shell32 Details Pane Mod for Windows 8.1. Shell32 Details Pane Mod lets you easily move the details pane to the top or bottom of Windows Explorer with a few mouse clicks.
The beauty of this tool is that it first creates a backup of the original Shell32.dll file before replacing it with the custom one so that you can quickly restore the original file and style without any issues.
IMPORTANT: Create a manual system restore point before proceeding further as you’re going to replace the original Shell32 file with a custom one. Please follow the instructions carefully to make sure that you don’t end up with a custom Shell32.dll file without a digital signature and unbootable Windows.
This tool is compatible with only 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 RTM. If you’re on Windows 8.1 Preview, you can try out this tool only after upgrading to Windows 8.1 RTM.
How to move details to the top or bottom in Windows 8.1 File Explorer:
Step 1: Visit this page of MSFN forum and download Shell32 Details Pane Mod zip file. Note that if you’re using Internet Explorer browser to download this file, you might get “Shell32_Setup-1.6.exe is not commonly downloaded and could harm you computer” warning. Simply click Run button.
Step 2: Double-click on the downloaded executable to launch the setup of Shell32 Details Pane Mod. Again, you might get Windows SmartScreen warning here. Click Options and then click Run anyway button.
Step 3: Click Next button, accept the agreement and then click Next again. In the following screen, select either Details Pane Bottom (Windows 7 Default) option if you want to move the details pane to the bottom, or select any other style, click Next button, and then click Install button to replace the original Shell32.dll file with the custom one.
Step 4: Once the file is replaced, you’ll see a warning dialog box with “Before you restart your computer check the shell32.dll properties to make sure it has a digital signature. Do you want to restore the shell32.dll?” message.
The tool will automatically open the properties of Shell32.dll for you. If the Digital Signature tab is appearing, simply click the No button, and if there is no Digital Signature tab, you’ll have to click Yes button to restore the original Shell32.dll file.
IMPORTANT: If the file doesn’t has digital signature Windows might not boot or show blue screen when you attempt to reboot your PC next time. So make sure that the new Shell32.dll has digital signature or use the option to restore the original file.
Step 5: Once done, you’ll be asked to reboot your PC to apply the changes. After rebooting the PC, open Windows Explorer, click View and then click Details pane to see the details pane at the bottom or top of the Explorer.