How to Open File Explorer on Windows 11/10? (Multiple Ways)

Did you know there are multiple ways to open File Explorer in Windows 11/10? If not, then read this easy guide to learn about these methods.

What is File Explorer?

If you have been using computers for a long time, you already know about Windows Explorer. It is now known as File Explorer. Since Windows 95 launch, File Explorer has been part of the Windows Operating System. Earlier it was known as Windows Explorer but was later renamed in Windows.

The File Explorer is used to find and access the available files and folders. Typically, it’s a file manager of the Windows Operating System. Further, File Explorer acts as a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for the user to interact with the available files of the computer.

Open File Explorer on Windows

How to Open File Explorer on Windows 11/10

The following are the methods that anyone can use to access File Explorer:

  1. Keyboard Shortcut
  2. Taskbar
  3. Search
  4. Power Menu
  5. Start Menu
  6. PowerShell or Windows Terminal
  7. Task Manager
  8. Run Prompt

Anyone can follow these methods.

1] Keyboard Shortcut

Rather than using a mouse to work rapidly, try using your keyboard more often. It provides various shortcuts that you can use to use your computer seamlessly. One of these is File Explorer.

Press the combination of Win+E keys on your keyboard. It will immediately open the File Explorer.

2] Taskbar

Open File Explorer Taskbar

Windows Taskbar includes or holds the File Explorer icon. It is available by default and looks like a yellow-colored folder.

  • Take your pointer towards the Windows Taskbar.
  • Locate the yellow folder and click on it
  • It will open the File Explorer.

3]  Search Feature

Open File Explorer from Search

Windows Search can find any app. Since File Explorer is also an app, you can search and launch it.

  • Use Win + S to open the Start menu with the search box in focus.
  • Type File Explorer in the search box.
  • As your search result will be loaded, click on File Explorer with the mouse or press the Enter key.

4] Windows Power Menu

Open File Explorer Power Menu

You can use the following steps to open File Explorer from the Windows power menu.

  • Press Win + X to open the Power Menu or right-click on the Start button for the same.
  • The power menu will have the File Explorer listed.
  • Click on the same, and your File Explorer will open simultaneously.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Win + X, followed by E, to open File Explorer directly!

5] Start Menu

You can open Windows File Explorer from its available shortcut in the Start Menu. Follow the steps given below:

  • Open the Start Menu.
  • Browse through the list of Apps till you navigate to Windows System.
  • After you open it, you will find File Explorer listed
  • Click on it, and the File Explorer will open.

File Explorer in All Apps

If you don’t find it in the Start Menu, then; you can add it to the Start Menu by following the steps given below:

  • Navigate to your computer’s settings.
  • Select and click on Personalization.
  • In Personalization, navigate to Start.
  • Click on Folder, and toggle on the option next to File Explorer

6]  PowerShell or Command Prompt or Windows Terminal

If you use PowerShell or Command Prompt, or Windows Terminal, then follow the steps to open File Explorer.

  • Give the command by typing explorer and pressing the Enter key.
  • It will quickly launch File Explorer on your Windows 10 or Windows 11.

7]  Task Manager

Open File Explorer Task Manager

You can open and interact with your File Manager using the Task Manager. Follow the steps given below to do the same:

  • Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc button to launch the Task Manager.
  • If the Task Manager loads in a compact view in Windows, click on More details.
  • Next, click on the File menu, navigate, and click on the Run New Task.
  • Then you will see a dialog box for Create a new Task.
  • Click on the text box, type explore.exe, and press the Enter key to open File Explorer.

8] The Run Window

Open File Explorer Run Prompt

The method is our final one, and this is an old one. Follow the steps given below to open using the Run window:

  • Press Win+R keys to get the Run Menu.
  • Then type the word explorer.
  • Click on it or press Enter through your keyboard.
  • It will immediately open File Explorer on Windows.

How Can You Create the File Explorer Shortcut anywhere on Windows?

Windows doesn’t allow to create a shortcut of the File Explorer by using the drag and drop method. So if you drag the File Explorer icon and try to drop it, it will not work. Instead, you need to create the shortcut manually.

Right-click on Desktop and select New Shortcut. Type explorer.exe in the path and save it anywhere. Next time you click on it, it will launch File Explorer. Also, notice that the shortcut icon will have the icon as the Windows File Explorer.

Are File Explorer and Windows Explorer the same?

Back in the day, File Explorer was known as Windows Explorer. Microsoft rebranded it later for File Explorer, which makes more sense. The Program or executable name remains unchanged.

Are there any File Explorer Alternatives?

There are so many file explorer alternatives currently available in the market. Some of them are here:-

  • XYplorer – XYplorer is one of the best Windows Explorer Alternatives. It is available in both free versions and paid versions. The best thing is whether you are a hardcore geek or a casual user, you will not find any difficulties.
  • Explorer++ – Explorer++ is entirely free of cost to use. It’s open-source and does have frequent updates. It is a basic yet powerful tool to browse your system files.
  • Directory Opus – Directory Opus is almost similar to XYplorer. If your experience with XYplorer isn’t good, then you can try this one out. The tool gives you a 60-day free trial. Overall, this tool introduces you to many of its custom designs.
Karan Masoun
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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