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The Best Windows File Explorer Tips and Tricks You Should Know About

Windows File Explorer, initially known as Windows Explorer, is system software used to manage all the files on your PC. It is evident that you mess up between so many files in your daily life, but with File Explorer, your tasks can ease up. But to effectively use File Explorer, you need to learn some of the best Windows File Explorer tips and tricks. Before getting an insight, let’s learn about the different tabs and the functions they perform on Windows 11/10.

What are the Different Tabs Used in Windows File Explorer?

Like any application software of the Microsoft Office, the File Explorer has a ribbon containing four tabs. The File tab, the Home tab, the Share tab, and the View tab. These tabs have options for the following features:

  • The File tab: It has the File Explorer ribbon to carry some basic operations to a file/folder. It has a Navigation Pane to access your pictures, files, libraries, and storage devices connected to your PC.
  • The Home tab: The Home tab has options to copy, paste, and move items and folders as you desire. From here, you can also rename an item, delete an item, create a new folder, modify an item’s properties as you want, and much more. It also displays the files you frequently used, and below, you will get a section showing your recent files section.
  • The Share tab: You can use it to share items amongst other users over any medium, and you can even share them on a network. You can also compress a folder to occupy less storage space on your PC.
  • The View tab: The View tab helps explore advanced options like opening a new File Explorer Window or others.

File Explorer Tips and Tricks

Best Windows File Explorer Tips and Tricks

  1. Deleting File Browsing History
  2. Open the File Explorer by Default
  3. Rename Multiple Files
  4. Show Control Panel and Recycle Bin in the Sidebar
  5. Disabling Adverts
  6. Learning the Keyboard Shortcuts
  7. Add File Types to the New item menu
  8. Remove Cloud services from the sidebar
  9. Quickly Rotate Pictures
  10. Unhide FIle Extension
  11. Pin Folder in Quick Access
  12. Search for Files and Folders
  13. Keyboard Shortcuts
  14. Restore File Explorer Settings to Default

Anyone can change these settings and use them.

1] Deleting File Browsing History

Whenever you manage your files using the browser, Windows reads it in the history log and the pathways. Anyone who has access to your computer can get hold of any vital information with the help of these breadcrumbs that you leave behind. The solution? You can clear the history, and here is how you should do it:

  • Open the File Explorer and click on the File option on the toolbar or you can click on the three-dot menu and select Options
  • In the General tab, Another window will appear at the bottom, of which you will find the Privacy section.
  • Click on the Clear button beside the Clear File Explorer History, and all your history will be deleted from the system.

2] Open the File Explorer by Default

The File Explorer opens up the Quick Access window by default instead of This PC. Some users might find this disturbing since they have gotten used to seeing This PC or the My Computer window whenever they open the File Explorer. Well, a simple adjustment is all you need to get back to those happy times.

  • Open the File Explorer and select the Change Folders and Search option.
  • In the next window that appears, there is a drop-down button at the top.
  • Select the This PC option from the list and hit OK. Now the Explorer will open into This PC by default.

3] Rename Multiple Files

This function will come in handy when you’re renaming bulk files that were taken on any particular event. For the sake of organizing them, a rename is a must and doing it one by one for 500 photos will take an eternity. Fortunately for you, we have a solution.

  • Select the files that you wish to rename. You can select them individually by dragging or by pressing Ctrl + A.
  • Once satisfied with your selection, Right Click on the files. (Choose those you want to be at the top of your collection).
  • Click on Rename and input whatever name you want, and press Enter.
  • The Explorer will automatically rename your files and attach a number along with them, signifying the order you have selected them.

4] Show Control Panel and Recycle Bin in the Sidebar

Having the recycling bin at hand helps you better manage the junk files by simply clicking and dragging rather than pressing the delete button every time. However, this trick isn’t limited to these two options only. Along with this, it will also enlist everything you have on the desktop.

  • Go to the Navigation bar and Right Click on a space.
  • A list will appear.
  • Click on the Show all folders option, and you will have almost everything at your mouse tips.

5] Disabling Adverts

Adverts are the nemesis of the organized workspace. When you’re at the peak of your concentration, an advert hits you like a bus and sends everything flying out of the window. Recently Microsoft has started showing adverts on Windows Explorer as well. Here is how to protect the sanctity of your personal space.

  • Open the File Explorer, click on Files, and open the Change Folder and Search Options.
  • Now click on the View tab at the top, and scroll down to the Show Sync Provider Notifications. Uncheck it.
  • Click OK, and you’re free from the tyranny of the floating and invading adverts, forever.

6] Learning the Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning the keyboard shortcuts takes time and cannot be done overnight. It’s a matter of practice, and it also helps you become an inefficient Windows user. Here is a list of some of the most common shortcuts.

  • Windows Key + E: Opens the File Explorer
  • Ctrl + W: Closes any Windows
  • Ctrl + N: Opens up a duplicate File Explorer Window
  • Ctrl + D: Selects the Address Bar
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: Creates a New Folder
  • Ctrl + F: Selects the Search Box
  • Alt + Up: Goes to the following folder or up to a folder level
  • Alt + Right/Left: Toggles between the next and the previous folder
  • You can also press the Alt key to highlight any shortcuts present on the window.

7] Add File Types to the New item menu

This trick comes in super handy if you frequently work with any specific file type and are hard to reach. In the New option, you can add more File types that you can choose from later on. You can also add files from within File Explorer.

  • Open the File Explorer
  • Hover to the New option, and you will see a list of the available types.
    To add a custom file type, navigate your way through the registry, and paste this particular command:
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.XXX\ShellNew] “NullFile” =.”
  • Replace the “.XXX’ with any desired file type such as .png, .docx, .blend etc.
  • Confirm if you intend to make changes to the registry, to which you should click Yes to proceed.
  • After reopening the File Explorer, all the new file types will become available in the New section.

8] Remove Cloud services from the Sidebar

We will teach you how to get rid of the cloud service on the navigation bar and sidebar, such as the OneDrive. This step also makes use of the Registry Editor. Be careful because slight problems caused here can wreak havoc on your computer.

  • Go to Search and type Regedit to open the Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to the Edit option, click on Find and type in IsPinned.
  • Click Find Next.
  • After getting the results, look over to the right pane. Here, look for an item under the Name of (Default). Under the Type, category look for REG_SZ. Under the Data type, you should be looking for the cloud service you want to remove from the navigation panel.
  • When you find it, double click on the System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree and change the Value data to 0.
  • Click on OK, and the next time you fire up the file explorer, the cloud service will not be available anymore.

9] Quickly Rotate Pictures

The next time you want to rotate a picture, you won’t be needing any fancy editors or even the Windows Viewer. You can do this with the help of File Explorer.

  • Select your desired picture. You can also select a group of images.
  • After selecting any picture, another option will appear on the toolbar known as Manage.
  • Click on the Manage option and choose what type of rotation you prefer on your pictures.
  • The selected pictures will be rotated accordingly.

10] How to Unhide File Extensions?

The File Explorer has a feature that hides all the File Extensions by default. However, you might often feel the need to unhide the file extensions for security purposes or to locate some particular files quickly. The below guide can help you with it:

  • Open Windows File Explorer.
  • Click on the View Tab.
  • Navigate and select Options from the View Tab.
  • You will see a list of Advanced settings displayed. Amongst them, navigate to the Hide extensions for the known file type option.
  • If you want your File extension to be displayed, the box will be marked, just unmarked.

11] How to Pin Folders in Quick Access?

You might need some essential folders pinned up in Quick access to work smoothly and enhance your File managing experience. You can Pin the folders by following the steps given below:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Click on the Quick Access option.
  • On the left side of the screen at the start, you will see some folders pinned by default.
  • To add your desired folder, navigate to your folder.
  • Click on the Home Tab.
  • Press the Pin to Quick Access Icon given on the top left side of the window under the ribbon and tabs.

Alternative option: Navigate to your desired folder in the File Explorer, right-click on its icon, and select the Pin to Quick Access option from the drop-down menu.

12] How to Search for Files and Folders in File Explorer?

One of the most valuable features of File Explorer is to search for your desired file or folder amongst too many files. It is obvious to find them challenging to locate. So, you search it easily by following the steps given below:

  • Open Windows File Explorer.
  • On the right side of the screen, you will see a search box under the various tabs.
  • Type the file or folder name you want to Fetch.
  • You will get the file/folder/document that you want.

13] What are the Keyboard Shortcuts Used in File Explorer?

To perform essential functions in a fraction of seconds, you can use the shortcut keys below to accomplish their desired function.

Function Shortcut
To Open the File Explorer Win+E
To go to the previous folder of your history Alt+ Left arrow
To go to the right folder of your history Alt+Right arrow
To create a new folder Ctrl+Shift+N
To search Ctrl+F
To search F3
To refresh the File Explorer F5
To cut an item Ctrl+X
To copy an item Ctrl+C
To paste an item Ctrl+V
To undo your latest action Ctrl+X
To redo your latest action Ctrl+Y
To rename an item F2

14 ] How to Restore File Explorer Settings to Default?

You might often end up modifying your settings too much, and then you may mess up. In such a situation, it is wiser to Restore your File Explorer Settings for a better experience. You can do it by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Open Windows File Explorer.
  • Navigate and click on the Home Tab.
  • Look and then click on Options.
  • It will open a Pop-up Box. Click on the General tab in it.
  • In the bottom right side of the Pop Up Box, click on the Restore Defaults button.
  • Now on the bottom right side of the Pop Up Box, click on the Apply and then on the OK buttons.

With these settings, your File managing experience becomes more effortless. It further helps you monitor your device’s storage and then take the necessary steps to remove the unwanted files from your device. If you have modified any wrong settings, then make sure to Restore to Defaults so that it won’t annoy you in the future.

What is the use of File Explorer?

File Explorer is an in-built file management app used by Windows OS to browse folders and files. It gives a graphical interface to navigate and access specific files and folders.

Where do I find File Explorer on Windows 11/10?

Well, there are a lot of methods to open File Explorer on Windows. However, here is the simple one which we will show:-

  • Tap on the File Explorer icon on your Taskbar.
  • Tap on the Windows Start button and click on File Explorer just above the Settings icon.

You can also get other effective tips from IT experts here.

These are all the best Windows File Explorer tips and tricks we have for you. If you find any difficulty following the above steps, let us know, and we will try to solve it for you. However, if you know any other tips other than these, please share them with us!

A passionate gadget freak, professional basketball player, and mountaineer. I have started my internet journey in 2014 and loves to experiment with Windows, Gadgets, Smartphones, and Drones. I am a pets enthusiast and volunteer for an NGO to rescue dogs.



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