Need to get help with the new file explorer in Windows 10? You are in the right place. File explorer in Windows 10 (was called Windows explorer in Windows 7) is a file and folder browser. It is used to navigate and manage drives, files and folders in Windows 10.
File explorer in Windows 10 has ribbon for managing file and folders, including copy, share, view and change settings.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about file explorer in Windows 10, including:
- How to open ribbon in file explorer
- File Explorer Home tab explored
- Share tab in File Explorer explored
- How to use File Explorer View tab
- Customizing File Explorer Quick Access.
Get Help With File Explorer in Windows 10: Open Ribbon
Before you can use the features of File Explorer in Windows 10, you need to access the File Explorer ribbon. Here is how you access the ribbon:
- Right-click the Windows logo. Then click File Explorer.
- To open File Explorer ribbon, click the arrow pointing downwards on the top right corner of File Explorer.
- When you click the ribbon, it will open with options. See the highlighted box in the image below.
The first part of this guide will focus on the three tabs – Home, Share and View tabs. See the arrow pointing left in the image above.
In the final part of this guide, I will cover how to use File Explorer Quick Access.
Get Help With File Explorer in Windows 10: Ribbon “Home” Tab
From the image above, the File Explorer Ribbon Home tab has 5 sections: Clipboard, Organise, New, Open and Select. Below is a brief description of what you can do in each section:
Home Tab: “Clipboard” Section
In this section, you can pin items to quick access (more on this later). You can also copy, paste, cut, copy shortcut and Copy path of a selected item.
Home Tab: “Organise” Section
This section gives options to Move to, Copy to, Delete or Rename a selected items.
Home Tab: “New” Section
Here, you can create a new folder, shortcut or a new file. You can also map the current folder as a network drive or make the folder available offline if shared.
Home Tab: “Open” Section
The Open section gives options to view the properties of the selected item. You can also open a folder from this section. Finally, you can open a selected file for editing.
Home Tab: “Select” Section
Finally, the Select section. In this section, you can do the following: Select all, Select none and Inverse select. Inverse select deselects a selected item and selects all other items in the folder.
The ribbon “Share” tab has two sections: Send and Share with. Here are the things you can do in each section:
In this section you can share a file with an app or Zip a set of files or folders. You can also Email, Burn to disk, Print or Fax a file.
In the “Share with” section, you can also Share folders with specific people in the computer, Remove access to a shared folder or open the Advanced security settings of a folder.
The image below shows the advanced security settings of a folder opened by clicking Advanced security directly from File Explorer Share tab, Share with section.
How quickly I was able to access the Advanced security of a folder highlights the beauty of File Explorer. It would normally take about 4 steps to get here. With File Explorer, I achieved it with just one click!
Get Help With File Explorer in Windows 10: Ribbon “View” Tab
The “View” tab has 5 sections.
View Tab: “Panes” Section
This section allows you to modify the navigation pane. To access the options, click the Navigate pane drop-down. To remove the navigation pane (just below the highlighted box, uncheck Navigate pane. You can also Click Show all folders to show all folders in the Navigation pane.
View Tab: “Layout” Section
The “Layout” Section gives you option to configure how your File Explorer looks. You can make your icons Extra large, Medium sized or even use the List view.
You also have the option to make your icons Large, Small or show the Detailed view.
View Tab: “Current View” Section
This section has some interesting options. You can determine the way your files and folders are sorted. To sort, click the Sort by drop-down. The image below shows the sort options: by Name, Date modified, Type, etc.
You can also change how you Group items by Name, Date modified, etc using the first icon in the highlighted part of the image below.
The second icon (top to bottom) allows you to add columns while the third icon allows you to resize the columns to fit their content.
View Tab: “Show/hide” Section
The Show/hide section provide quick access to:
Show or Remove Item Check boxes: If you check the box beside Item Check boxes, a check box shows, left of the Name column. You can then check the box on top to check all items.
The Show/hide section also provides option to Hide selected items.
Use Hide selected items carefully as you will no longer be able to see the hidden items unless you configure to show hidden folders (details below).
How to Change Folder Options in Windows 10 File Explorer “View” Tab
Finally, on the Options section of the View tab, you can configure folder options. To do this, click the Options drop-down and select Change folder and search options. This will open Folder Options. Shown below:
Configure Folder Options, “General” Tab
On the General tab, you can configure how File Explorer opens. The default is Quick access. To change it, click the drop-down beside Open File Explorer to: Quick access, This PC. If you select This PC, File Explorer will open to This PC instead of Quick access – see the second image below.
Other things you can configure in the General tab are:
Browse folders: Whether folders will open in its own Window or a the same window.
Click items: How your computer will respond to click: double-click (default) to open or single-click to open. If you select Single click to open an item (point to select), you can configure how your mouse point to items responds. See options in the first image above.
Privacy: You can configure privacy options or clear File Explorer history.
Restore Defaults: If you click this, all changes will revert to the Windows 10 default.
Configure Folder Options, “View” Tab
The Folder Options “View” tab provides options to configure the following:
Folder View: Allows you to apply current view to all folders by clicking Apply to folders. You can also click the Reset Folders button to reset folder views to Windows 10 File Explorer defaults.
Advanced settings: This is where you configure things like Show hidden files and folders, Display full path in the title bar, Hide/show extensions of known files and more.
Restore Defaults: Click this tab to clear all customized settings and return Folder Options to the default settings.
Configure Folder Options, “Search” Tab
The Search tab is where you modify how your computer treats searches related to File Explorer items. You can change whether to use index for System file searches. You can also determine what happens when searching non-indexed locations.
Get Help With File Explorer in Windows 10: Customize Quick Access
You can customize File Explorer Quick Access: Pin and Unpin (Remove) items to Quick Access or Show only pinned folders in Quick Access.
To Pin a folder in Quick Access:
- Right-click the folder and select Pin to Quick Access. If you wish to remove a folder from Quick Access, right-click the folder and select Remove from Quick Access.
To determine whether recently used files and folders will show on Quick Access:
- From the View tab of File Explorer ribbon, click Options. When Folder Options opens, use the box labelled  to configure whether recently viewed files and folders will show on File Explorer Quick Access.
Getting Help With File Explorer in Windows 10 is as straight-forward as that. I hope that the guide has been helpful to you.
If you have any question or comment, use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of this guide. Alternatively, you could share your experience using File Explorer in Windows 10.
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