Windows 10 Quick Tips – Single vs Double-Click

linksWhen you see a link on a website while you’re surfing the internet and want to see what it links to, you click it, right? You click it once– not twice, nor thrice. Just once.

I like consistency and would like to have my computer system work the same way everywhere. Having to click something twice to make it work in one place and only having to click something once in another place makes no sense to me. Besides, the fewer times I have to click that mouse, the better. It’s better for the mouse and it’s better for me by helping to retain any sanity that may still remain. If running a program, any program, involves tons of clicks, then the interface sucks, and needs to be updated.

This week’s Quick Tips post will show you how to put links under all your Desktop icons so you can treat them like single-click links consistent with how your browser behaves.

Make It All Single-Click

Open the Control Panel and choose File Explorer Options (To open the Control Panel, simply click on the Start button and type control panel. It should be right at the top of the list.)

Note: If you would like to have a handy Control Panel icon on your Desktop, then please read this Windows 10 Quick Tips – Special Desktop Links article to learn how.

That should bring you to a window that looks like this:


Windows gives you a couple choices here. Remember what I said about consistency? Well, guess which route I take…

Bonus Tip

By clicking the View and/or Search tabs at the top of the File Explorer Options window shown above, you will find a lot more ways to change the default behavior of your system. Read them carefully and change only a couple at a time. If you change a lot of things all at once, it can become difficult to remember what you’ve done if you decide to revert to the previous settings (the Voice of Experience). Have fun!!

Willy-Nilly Double-Clicking People

I have a friend and client who double-clicks everything. And I mean everything— she even double-clicks links on websites! Despite all my advice, I have been unable to break her of this terrible habit. It can cause unexpected problems.

Older programs, for example, allowed you to open several instances of themselves. If you double-click these, you’ll find yourself running multiple copies of the same program. Double-clicking links in browsers might, if the timing is right, open several instances of the same web page in different Tabs, or might open more windows, depending on how you have things set up. This probably isn’t what you wanted. It wastes both time and system resources.

If you happen to be one of these compulsive double-clickers, then changing the above settings will put you in the unhappy position of having to break an old habit, which can be difficult if you’ve been doing it for years (decades?). Go “cold turkey”. Quit the double-clicking insanity, and you will eventually be glad you did. (That sounded like a quit smoking public service announcement.)

As always, if you have any helpful suggestions, comments or questions, please share them with us,


9 thoughts on “Windows 10 Quick Tips – Single vs Double-Click”

  1. Thanks for the tip. Makes pretty good sense to me. I’ve been reading DCT for quite some time. When implementing this, it also makes everything 1 click, i.e. documents, spreadsheets, pictures, etc. That’s going to take some getting used to when trying to put 4-5 items into a folder. Or, moving several folders into a new folder. I’ll play with it awhile and see if I like the whole 1 click thing or not.

    1. Richard Pedersen

      Hi Larry,

      You are most welcome.

      With single-click enabled, you no longer have to click something to select it. Hover your mouse cursor over it and it will get focus.

      * If you have a number of contiguous files/folders you want to select, hover over the first one in the list, hold down the SHIFT key and hover over the last one in the list.
      * If the files/folders are not contiguous, then use the CTRL key and hover over each file/folder you want to select. Hover over it again, and it will be de-selected.

      Once you get used to this new behavior, you’ll never look back,

      PS I love this so much that I even have a browser add-on that allows me to hover over a Tab to open it. No. More. Clicking. 🙂

  2. Thank you Richard!

    I recently put icons on my desktop because I ran out of room on the taskbar. While on the desktop I have to click twice to get those programs to run. Now, this will save me some clicks and save me from confusion.

    1. Richard Pedersen

      Hi Alan,

      If you happen to have a wide monitor, consider moving the Taskbar to the left edge of your screen. You will have room for a lot more icons that way. It will take some getting used to– you’ll be looking in the wrong place all the time at first.
      Also, set the icon size to “small” to gain even more room.

      “Confusion”, huh… you and I speak the same language 😉

  3. Thanks Richard,

    I like the single click feature advice.
    I also like the ‘Hold Ctrl’ for choosing separate items which I have
    had for some time, then at the same time with pictures, when still holding
    the Ctrl key down, the pictures can be enlarged, reduced to thumbnails, listed
    or other requirements by rolling the mouse wheel.

    Beast Regards …. 🙂

      1. Richard Pedersen

        Hi JonInOz,

        🙂 I thought it was funny– made me smile,

    1. Richard Pedersen

      I can’t help you with Linux. The title does say “Windows 10” in it.

      Thanks for your comment.

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