Enable Hidden Secret Animation in Details Pane of Windows Vista and 7 Explorer

Recently we posted an awesome trick to enable hidden secret animation in Windows 7 and Windows 8 Explorer's icon views:

Enable Hidden Secret Animation in Windows 7 and Windows 8 Explorer's Icon Views

And now its turn of Details Pane in Windows Explorer. Windows Vista and Windows 7 Explorer comes with Details Pane at bottom which shows useful details of selected files and folders. It used to known as "Common Tasks" in Windows XP and used to show at left-side area of Windows XP Explorer. In Windows 8, Microsoft has moved it to right-side area of Explorer.

Today in this tutorial, we are going to share a trick which can help you in enabling a secret animation in Windows Vista and Windows 7 Explorer's Details Pane. After applying this trick, when you'll select a file or folder in Windows Explorer, the Details Pane will show its detailed information with a nice animation.

You can enable 5 types of animations using this tutorial. Following are previews of the output which you are going to have:

Expand or Position Animation:


Fade Out Animation:


Rectangle Vertical Animation:


Rectangle Horizontal Animation:


So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. To enable this animation, you'll need to edit a file called "Shellstyle.dll" present in your current Windows theme directory. For example, if you are using default Window Aero theme, you'll get the "Shellstyle.dll" file in following directory:


If you are using Windows Classic theme, you'll need to edit "Shellstyle.dll" file present in "Windows\System32" folder.

2. Now open this "Shellstyle.dll" file in Resource Hacker.

3. Now go to "UIFILE -> 1 -> 1033".

4. Press <Ctrl>+F or click on "View -> Find Text..." option and type following in "Find what" textbox:

<MetadataElement ThemeSubApp="GenericPreviewPaneControl" />

5. Now add following line of code just after the above mentioned line:

<element id="atom(animation)" animation="rectangle|exp|fast"/>

It'll look like following image:


6. That's it. Click on "Compile Script" button.

7. Now save the file and log off or restart your system to take effect. You can also End Task of Explorer to take effect. Or you can apply some other theme using Desktop Personalization window and then re-apply your previous theme.

8. If you face problems while direct saving of the file in Resource hacker, save the file at some other location, for example in D: drive. Then rename original "Shellstyle.dll" file to "Shellstyle_backup.dll". Now copy your new modified "Shellstyle.dll" file to this folder. Restart your system and after restart, Windows will start using your new modified file and you'll be able to enjoy the cute animation in Details Pane of Windows Explorer.

Some Important Things to Note:

A. The code mentioned in step 5, <element id="atom(animation)" animation="rectangle|exp|fast"/> will enable "Expand" animation in Details Pane.

If you want to enable other types of animations, you can use following codes instead:

Fade Out Animation:

<element id="atom(animation)" accessible="true" alpha="0" animation="alpha|s|veryslow"/>

Position Animation:

<element id="atom(animation)" animation="position|exp|fast"/>

Rectangle Vertical Animation:

<element id="atom(animation)" animation="rectanglev|exp|fast"/>

Rectangle Horizontal Animation:

<element id="atom(animation)" animation="rectangleh|exp|fast"/>

B. The animation speed can be customized by replacing veryslow or fast keywords used in above mentioned codes with slow and veryfast keywords.

C. We enabled the animation in "General Items" folder type using the above mentioned steps. To enable the animation for all folder types such as Documents, Pictures, Music, you'll need to insert the animation code after following lines as well as you did for General Items folder type in steps 4 and 5:

For Documents folder type:

<MetadataElement ThemeSubApp="DocumentsPreviewPaneControl" />

For Pictures folder type:

<MetadataElement ThemeSubApp="PhotoPreviewPaneControl" />

For Music folder type:

<MetadataElement ThemeSubApp="MusicPreviewPaneControl" />

PS: This method will work for all 3rd party themes as well. Simply modify the "Shellstyle.dll" file present in custom theme folder.

You can also watch following video to see all these animations live in action:

Thanks to our friend RajTheeban95 for sharing this trick...

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista

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  • Awesome find VG. thnx a lot.

  • Wohoo. It works. Thanks VG :D

  • aWessssome

  • Yeah! more GUI tricks like this!

  • Cool find..:-) Thanks VG for sharing

  • it's cool...

  • Hi Vishal,
    I would like to know if there is also a fade IN animation. If yes, please post its code. Thanks.

  • I would also like to know what's the difference between Expand and Position Animation? Thanks.

  • VG

    ^^ There is no noticeable difference between both of them. At least I didnt find any difference. Only the mentioned animation codes are known to date. If any new code is found out, I'll share it here. :)

  • hey can i have the animation of win7 while opening any dialog of closing any dilog or explorer ,it wil be like fade in fade out animation for xp pls and also toolbar and addressbar like 7 for xp pls pls i want it...

    Thanks in advance VG..

  • and also any transparent win7 theme for xp

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:


  • ya already searched all but i did not get transperent theme and also i want to make windows xp tool bar to look like 7 but without styler app.pls help

  • VG

    ^^ Windows XP doesnt support transparency but you can use WindowBlinds software to get Aero glass transparency.


    You'll need to use Styler to get Windows 7 style toolbar or use following:


  • k,thanks...

    Do u know where the copy paste replace delete dialogboxes in windows 7 like in shell32.dll in xp ....and also avis and bitmaps

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:


  • VG I have check all of ur articles ,frm this i have costumized many thinks becoz of u ,thanks for that

    But could not find copy,paste,replace dialogbox pls

  • VG

    ^^ You should get the progress dialog box code in shell32.dll.mui file in Windows 7 similar to point 9 in following tutorial:


  • ok thanks but im asking where cop paste,replace Dialog box in Win7

  • ok thanks but im asking where copy
    paste,replace Dialog box located in Win7

  • VG

    ^^ As I said earlier it should be in same location as its present in XP. Check the point 9 as mentioned above.

  • sir i searched it but there r no copy dialog in win7 's shell32,and en-US >shell32 or in imageress.dll also,pls say me sir where its located in win7 os

  • VG

    ^^ Ok. I checked and it seems the dialog box resources no longer exist in shell32.dll.mui file but you can customize the text strings such as copying, time remaining, more details, fewer details, etc by editing String Table section.

  • ya i know then where its located? Is it in any other file???

  • VG

    ^^ No idea. I'll try to find the location. If I find any success, I'll let you know here.

  • i did this but explorer windows don't open. at least i could get to sys restore without booting from my instsll cd D:

  • nice but not practical
    especially when you want to compare 2 or more files

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