Change the properties for a file

File properties are details about a file, such as author names, tags, or the date when a file was last modified. To learn about tags and how to use them, see Tag pictures so they're easier to find.

Properties make your files easier to find and organize. For example, you can search for a file by one of its properties. You can also use libraries to arrange files by a property. If you're browsing the Documents library, for example, and you want to see the most recently changed files first, you can arrange the files by the Date modified property.

Here are some ways you can add new properties to a file or change existing ones:

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To add or change common properties in the details pane

The details pane, located at the bottom of a folder window, displays the most common properties for a file. You can add or change file properties, such as tags, author name, and rating, from the details pane. Here's how:

  1. Open the folder that contains the file you want to change, and then click (don't double-click) the file.

  2. In the details pane at the bottom of the window, click next to the property that you want to add or change, type the new property (or change the property), and then click Save.

    Picture of tags in the details pane
    Adding a tag in the details pane

    To add more than one property, separate each entry with a semicolon. To rate a file by using the ratings property, click the star that represents the rating you want to apply.

    Tip

    • If you don't see the file property you're looking for, try enlarging the details pane to see more file properties. To do this, click the top edge of the details pane and then drag it upward.

To add or change properties that don't appear in the details pane

If the file property that you want to add or change isn't available in the details pane, you can open the Properties dialog box for a complete list of file properties.

  1. Open the folder that contains the file you want to change.

  2. Right-click the file, and then click Properties.

  3. In the Properties dialog box, click the Details tab.

  4. Under Value, click next to the property that you want to add or change, type a word or phrase, and then click OK. (If the section under Value appears blank, click in that spot. A box will appear.)

    Note

    • Some properties can't be added or changed. In those cases, clicking next to the value won't change its appearance.

    To add more than one property of the same type, separate each property with a semicolon. To rate a file by using the ratings property, click the star that represents the rating that you want to apply.

    Picture of the Tags box in the Properties dialog box
    Adding tags to a file in the Properties dialog box

To add or change properties while saving a file

You might be able to add or change properties for a file when you create and save it, avoiding the need to find the file and add properties later.

  1. In the program you're using, on the File menu, click Save As.

  2. In the Save As dialog box, type tags and other properties in the appropriate boxes.

    Picture of the Save As dialog box
    Adding properties to a file in the Save As dialog box
  3. Type a name for the file, and then click Save.

Note

  • Not all programs offer the option to add or change properties while saving a file.

To remove properties from a file

If you plan to share a file with someone, you might want to remove some of the file's properties, especially if they contain personal information. For example, the Author property might include the names of people who collaborated on a file, and tags might have words or phrases that you don't want other people to see.

  1. Right-click the file, and then click Properties.

  2. In the Properties dialog box, click the Details tab.

  3. Click Remove Properties and Personal Information.

  4. In the Remove Properties dialog box, do one of the following:

    • Click Create a copy with all possible properties removed, and then click OK. This keeps the original version of the file with all of its properties, and makes a copy with all of the properties removed that's suitable for sharing.

    • Click Remove the following properties from this file, select the check box for each property that you want to remove, and then click OK. This permanently removes the selected properties from the file without making a copy.

Note

  • The Remove Properties dialog box only removes properties that were added using Windows. If you added properties using a different program, you must remove those properties using that program.

Notes

  • You can't add or change the file properties of some types of files. For example, you can't add any properties to TXT or RTF files.

  • The properties that are available for a file will vary by file type. For example, you can apply a rating to a song file, but not to a text document.

  • Some file properties (such as the length of a song file) can't be modified.