Windows File Explorer is one of the most-used native tools in Windows 10. Since it’s the go-to tool for browsing, finding, and managing your files, you must master its skills if you care about productivity. And I think you do, right?
Well, through this post, I’ll help you become a professional who utilizes the full potential of the File Explorer. In this write-up, I am going to share the handiest tips and tricks for making the most use of this underused tool on Windows.
Read Also: How to Customize WordPress Editor Styles
The File Explorer, by default, shows a list of recently accessed files and folders. Indeed, it is handy, but you might want to clear the file history if you share your computer with others and don’t wish them to check your files — for any reason. That said, here are the steps to delete the file history:
Do you see any type of ads in the File Explorer (maybe about Microsoft Office)? Even if you don’t see them, it is still a good idea to turn the option off and remain unbothered by any sort of advertisements in the future. It’s quick to do:
Do you find Recycle Bin and Control Panel missing in the File Explorer? By default, the File Explorer’s sidebar has categories like Quick Access, This PC, and Network. You can unlock a few hidden items by following these steps:
All the cloud services including OneDrive appear in the left-hand navigation pane of the File Explorer; however, you can remove them from the sidebar by tweaking the Windows Registry. Follow these steps carefully to do it:
ExtraBits is an extension for File Explorer that enhances the right-click context menu with various features. These options can help you copy filenames, rename files in bulk, delete empty folders, extract an archive, and a lot more.
You can add a new file from anywhere in the File Explorer, thanks to the context menu named New. However, this list contains only a few certain file types, which may not fulfill your requirements — now and then. Fortunately, you can add more types; follow the below steps to add file types to the context menu:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.ABCShellNew] "NullFile"=""
Do you have pictures on your computer that you want to rotate? It is possible to rotate individual pictures or in bulk inside the File Explorer. Try these steps:
In the File Explorer, select the photos to rotate. On the Ribbons, under Manage, click “Rotate left” or “Rotate right” per your needs. It helps you to quickly rotate photos without opening them or using one of the third-party photo editors.
The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is a customizable toolbar of quick actions present at the top left of the File Explorer. You can add a command or any folder-specific operation like “Empty Recycle Bin” from the Ribbon options. All you need to do is right-click it and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar“.
Do you need to share a file quickly with someone? You can use the Share option in the File Explorer to share directly from your file explorer. Here are the steps to share files from the File Explorer in Windows 10:
Do you have a list of folders — maybe your music or office folders — that you open every time you start your computer? You can save some time by asking the File Explorer to open them automatically for you. Do these steps to auto-open the folders that were opened during logging off or shutting down:
What do you do when a folder window stops responding? You would restart the task using the Task Manager or restart Windows 10, right? What if I tell you that there is a handy trick to avoid it from crashing or getting stuck? You can improve the stability of the File Explorer by following these steps:
You can always cut or copy files and folders and paste them to a different folder. Do you usually cut-paste or copy-paste files from a child folder to a parent folder? Here’s a neat trick that will save you some time:
How do you rename files? Do you find it time-consuming? Windows File Explorer has a handy file-rename feature, which is hardly known, unfortunately. Among the two methods, the first one needs you to select all files or folders and click F2 to rename them in the numbered order like “File (1)”, “File (2)”, etc.
However, the second one is more sophisticated. It can help you rename all files individually but faster than the traditional method. It goes like this:
Windows File Explorer has a powerful search box which lets you search files in any folder or the complete system. Moreover, you get additional features under Search in the Ribbons when you click the Search box. This toolbar helps you to add extra filters to your search like “Date Modified“, Kind, Size, etc.
The “Advanced options” option lets you extend your search to hidden or system folders. Additionally, once the required file appears in the search results, you can right-click it to choose “Open file location” to quick-jump to its directory.
The File Explorer has a “Send to” option in its context menu. You can customize the options here to make it more useful to you. For example, let’s say you usually store documents in a folder, so you can add this folder to this menu and transfer files instantly using “Send to“. Simply follow these steps to do it:
shell:sendtoand press Enter.
Did you know? It is much easier to navigate the File Explorer using keyboard shortcuts and get common tasks done quickly. I believe keyboard shortcuts are a must for every ‘productivity ninja‘. So, here are the must-know ones for you:
|Shortcut Keys||Action in the File Explorer|
|Win + E||Launch the File Explorer|
|F11||Minimize and maximize it|
|F3||Search for files and folders|
|F4||Jump to the address bar|
|Ctrl + Shift + N||Create a new folder|
|Ctrl + N||Open the folder in a new window|
|Alt + Ã¢Â†Â’||View next folder|
|Backspace or Alt + Ã¢Â†Â||View the previous folder|
|Tab||Step through each element|
|Num Lock + +||Show contents of a folder|
|Num Lock + –||Collapse a folder|
|Num Lock + *||Show subfolders|
|Ã¢Â†Â‘, Ã¢Â†Â“, Ã¢Â†Â, and Ã¢Â†Â’||Navigate around files and folders|
|Alt + Enter||Display Properties for an item|
I hope you found this write-up helpful. Did you gain a trick or two from above? Let me know by writing a comment below or a tweet to @aksinghnet.