Windows Vista introduces the Preview pane in Explorer, which shows the contents of the currently chosen file. You can also play multimedia files from the Preview pane, without opening Windows Media Player. This article explains how to use the PreviewConfig utility to register a custom file type for the Preview pane in Windows 7/Windows Vista.

Registering file types for the Preview pane

If you have a custom file type and wish to register a plain text or a multimedia Preview handler for the custom file type, you can do so using this utility.

Download (63 KB)
(Contains previewconfig.exe and readme.txt)


Download and run PreviewHandler utility (requires administrative privileges to run). Select the file type from the listing, and choose the type of Preview you want for this file type (Media / Plain-text / None), and click Apply.

Additional details are available in the Readme.txt file.

Adding new file types

If a file type is not displayed in the listing, you may manually type the file extension (example, .cpp) into the text box provided, and choose the Preview type for this file extension.


You may use this utility to register text previews for plain-text file types such as:

.REG | .CSS | .BAT | .CMD | .INF | .CS | .VB | .CPP | .SQL

Preview Handler information

When you select a file type, the information of the Preview handler registered for the file type will be displayed in the text box. You can copy the contents to Clipboard by double-clicking the text box.

How to enable the Preview pane in Windows 7/Vista

You can enable the preview pane by selecting Organize | Layout | Preview Pane from the folder’s menu.

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  1. Bryan M
    said this on Saturday, August 1st 2015 7:37 pm

    “Other” not working? I can set Office Files to “Text” but can’t assign a doc viewer for that file type, .doc or .xls, with the ‘Other’ feature. Can only set to text.

    Am I missing something about ‘Other’ or does it not work?


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