Get Help With File Explorer on Windows 10

Windows 10 no longer has built-in help for File Explorer, as Windows 7 does. Microsoft makes you search the web for information, so here’s what you need to know about using Windows 10’s file manager.

File Explorer Interface Basics

While it’s been renamed “File Explorer” in Windows 10, this application is basically the same as Windows Explorer on Windows 7. It does have some new features, including a ribbon interface and built-in Microsoft OneDrive for syncing your files to the cloud.

The “Quick Access” area in the sidebar replaces “Favorites” on Windows 10. You can drag and drop folders to the Quick Access area to “pin” them for easy access in the future. Windows 10 will automatically add your recently used folders to this area, too. You can customize Quick Access from the options window. To remove an individual folder from Quick Access, right-click it and select “Unpin From Quick Access.”

The “This PC” section replaces the “My Computer” item on Windows 7. It contains shortcuts to user data folders on your PC as well as other drives, such as USB drives and DVD drives.

How to Use the Ribbon

The ribbon in File Explorer works just like the ribbon in Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel. There are a few different ways you can use it.

If you want more space in your file browsing windows, you can leave the ribbon collapsed by default. You can still click any of the tabs at the top—like “Home,” “Share,” or “View” to view the commands and click a button. The ribbon will only appear temporarily.

If you’d rather see the ribbon all the time, you can expand it. To do so, either 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 Folder, and Properties.

The Share tab offers options for emailing, zipping, and printing files, as well as burning them to disc and sharing them on the local network.

The View tab contains options for controlling how the files appear in File Explorer and how they’re sorted. You can enable a preview or details pane to see more information about a selected file, choose whether you want large file icons or a dense file list, and sort files by any criteria you like. You can also choose to show or hide file name extensions or hidden files from here. Just click the “Hidden items” checkbox to show or hide hidden files without opening the Folder Options window.

The Manage tab will sometimes appear on the ribbon with contextually appropriate commands. For example, if you select some pictures, you’ll see a “Picture Tools” tab with options for rotating the selecting images and setting them as your desktop background.

How to Pin Frequently Used Commands

The Quick Access Toolbar appears at the top left corner of the File Explorer window, on the title bar. It provides convenient access to commands you frequently use. To add a command to the Quick Access toolbar, right-click it on the ribbon and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.”

If you’d like more space for commands, you can right-click anywhere on the ribbon or tab bar above it and select “Show the Quick Access Toolbar Below the Ribbon” to turn it into a more…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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