While it has been renamed to “File Explorer” in Windows 10, this application is basically the same as Windows Explorer in Windows 7. It has several new features, including the ribbon interface and defaults Microsoft OneDrive to synchronize your files to the cloud.
The “Quick Access” area on the sidebar replaces “Favorites” in Windows 10.
You can drag and drop folders to the Quick Access area for easy access in the future. Windows 10 will automatically add your recently used folder to this area too. You can adjust Quick Access from the options window. To delete individual folders from Quick Access, right-click the folder and select “Unpin From Quick Access.”
The “This PC” section replaces the “My Computer” item in Windows 7. It contains a shortcut to the user’s data folder at
How to use the ribbon
The ribbon in File Explorer functions like a ribbon in Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel. There are several ways you can use it.
If you want more space in the file browsing window, you can let the ribbon shrink by default. You can click on one of the tabs at the top – like “Home,” “Share,” or “View” to see the command and click the button. The ribbon will only appear temporarily.
If you look at the ribbon all the time, you can develop it. Click the arrow near the top right corner of the File Explorer window or press Ctrl + F1
The Home toolbar offers basic options for working with files, including Copy, Paste, Delete, Rename, New Folders, and Properties
The Share tab offers the option to send e-mail, zipping, and print files, and burn them on disk and share them on the local network.
The View tab contains options for controlling how files appear in File Explorer and how they are sorted. You can enable preview or detail to see more information about the selected file, choose whether you want large file icons or solid file lists, and sort files according to the criteria you like. You can also choose to show or hide hidden file name or file extensions from here. Just click the “Hidden item” checkbox to show or hide hidden files without opening the Folder Options window.
The Manage tab will sometimes appear on the ribbon with commands that are contextually appropriate. For example, if you select multiple images, you will see the “Drawing Tools” tab with the option to rotate the image as your desktop background.
How to Embed Frequently Used Commands
The Quick Access Tool Bar appears in the upper left corner of the File Explorer window, in the title bar. This provides easy access to commands that you use frequently. To add a command to the Quick Access toolbar, right-click on the ribbon and select “Add to the Quick Access Toolbar.”
If you want more room for commands, you can right-click anywhere on the ribbon or tab bar above and select “Quick Access Toolbar Under the Ribbon”
How to Change File Explorer Settings
This opens the Folder Options dialog that already exists in Windows 7 as well. It has several new options – for example, you can control whether File Explorer is open for displaying Quick Access or this PC, or automatically displays new folders and is often used in the Quick Access view.
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Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
File Explorer is packed with keyboard shortcuts that are useful to help you complete tasks faster. Here’s a short list of a few:
· Windows + E – Open the File Explorer window. This works anywhere on Windows 10.
· Ctrl + N – Open a new File Explorer window. This only works in File Explorer itself
· Ctrl + W – Close the current File Explorer window.
· Ctrl + Mousewheel Up or Down – Change file size and folder icons (zooming in or out.)
· Ctrl + Shift + N – Create a new folder
· Backspace or Alt + Left arrow – View previous folder (back.)
· Alt + Right arrow – See the next folder (forward.)
· Alt + Up arrow – View the current folder folder
· Ctrl + F Ctrl + E or F3 – You can start typing the search quickly
· Ctrl + L Alt + D or F4 – The address focus bar (location) so you can quickly start typing in the folder address. Press F11 again to shrink the window. This also works in a web browser.
How to use OneDrive
OneDrive is built into File Explorer in Windows 10. It synchronizes files online using the Microsoft account that you entered with Windows 10. This functions are similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud Drive.
To get started, click the “OneDrive” option in the File Explorer sidebar. You will be asked to sign in to OneDrive, if necessary. If so, you can place files on OneDrive. They will be uploaded to the Microsoft server. You can access it in the OneDrive folder on another PC that you enter into the same Microsoft account, through the OneDrive application on your mobile, and on the OneDrive website.
The “Status” field on OneDrive Window shows the status of each file. The blue cloud icon shows files stored on OneDrive online but will automatically be downloaded when you open them. A green checkmark shows the files stored on OneDrive and your PC at this time.
You can control the OneDrive settings from the OneDrive notification area icon (system tray). Click the cloud-shaped OneDrive icon in the notification area in the lower right corner of your screen – if you don’t see it, you need to click the small arrow to the left of the icon to find it. Click “Other” and click “Settings” to find various OneDrive settings, where you can control which folders are synchronized, lots of your uploads and download the bandwidth OneDrive uses, and other settings.
OneDrive can automatically “protect” important folder files such as your Desktop, Images, and Documents by synchronizing them. To set this up, click the “Automatic Save” tab in OneDrive settings and click the “Update Folder” button under Protect Your Important Folders.
If you don’t see OneDrive, you can turn it off and delete the icon from File Explorer
How to Access a Network Drive
The folders, printers, and media servers that are shared on the local network appear in the “Network” view. You might have to scroll to the bottom of the File Explorer sidebar to find and click it.
Windows 10 no longer includes HomeGroup features, so you can use it to easily share files and folders between your computers. You can use OneDrive or use network options to share ancient files and folders.
If you need to map network drives to make them easily accessible, you can do this from the PC’s display. First, click “This PC” in the sidebar. The “Computer” tab will appear on the ribbon. Click and select “Map Network Drive” and use the instructions provided by your IT department to connect.
Mapped drives will appear under Network Locations in this PC view.
How to back up and restore your files
Windows 10 contains File History, a file backup, and recovery tool. It doesn’t just make large backups and backups – File History can automatically back up various versions of your files, and you can use File Explorer to restore previous versions. First, you must set the File History from Settings> Update & Security> Backup. Enable “Back up my files automatically.”
After you set it, you can choose a file or folder, click “Home” on the ribbon, and click the “History” button to view and restore the old version of that file or folder.
File Explorer Windows 10 is also equipped with other useful features. You can mark any file, use a dark theme, or reactivate the “libraries” feature. Microsoft is the tab interface for File Explorer, but you can get the File Explorer tab today.