How to Preview Files With Spacebar on Windows 10

Ben Stegner 10-07-2018

macOS is full of little features 7 Features You Will Love When Switching to Mac I used to be that guy who rolled his eyes at MacBook users, then I bit the bullet and bought an iMac. Read More that its users love. One of these that’s never really had an equivalent on Windows is Quick Look, which allows Mac users to instantly preview any file by pressing Space. If you’d like a taste of this on Windows, a free app can make it happen. Here’s how to try it.


How to Preview Files With Spacebar on Windows 10


  1. Open the Microsoft Store and search for QuickLook, or jump right to the QuickLook download page.
  2. Click Get to download the app. Once it’s installed, you can preview “certain file types” (the developer doesn’t specify which) in File Explorer.
  3. To preview a file, highlight it and press the Spacebar. It will appear in a separate window, allowing you to take a quick look at it.
  4. Press Space again (or Escape) to close the preview.
  5. To open the file in its default program How to Change Default Apps and Settings in Windows 10 Here's how to change default programs and settings in Windows 10 if you aren't happy with how it behaves out of the box. Read More and close the preview, press Enter.
  6. Scroll the mouse wheel to change the volume for audio or video. Hold Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of images.
  7. In the top-left, you’ll find icons for Stay on Top and Prevent Closing. These let you conveniently leave the preview up while you do other tasks.

We found QuickLook can preview images, music, videos, documents such as PDFs, and even ZIP files. It didn’t work with spreadsheets though.

You might recall that Windows has the Preview pane that shows a snippet of the file, but it falls short of QuickLook in a few ways. You can’t have the Details pane and Preview pane open at the same time, which is a problem. That little Preview area doesn’t show as much of the file as Quick Look, plus it takes up a lot of space in File Explorer which makes it hard to navigate your files.

For more tips, check out the best File Explorer tweaks The 10 Best Windows File Explorer Tricks and Tweaks We'll show you how to get more out of the Windows File Explorer with our favorite tricks and tweaks. You'll discover hidden features, customize menus, and lots more. Read More .

Related topics: File Explorer, Windows Tricks.

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  1. gg
    November 6, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Thanks a lot man...

  2. Thanksfor
    March 5, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    not exactly same, bc far not that smooth as on OSX but a good beginning.

  3. Jimy
    July 10, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Well, it work with spreadsheets too!

    At least for me, Office 2016 And Windows 10 1803 ( 17134.112 )