Top 3 tips on File Explorer

Apr 8, 2021 | Windows 10 Hints and Tips

File explorer is one of those things we use all the time but by using it’s full potential it can be much more efficient to work with. These top 3 tips will improve your productivity. 

1. Pin to Quick Access 

Have you noticed the quick access section on the left of the window?  By default certain key folders are pinned here so they can be accessed more quickly but other folders can be added or removed making it faster to access the places you use more often. 

To pin a folder

  • Right click on the folder you want to pin 
  • Select Pin to Quick access 
Pin to quick access in File Explorer

To unpin a folder 

  • Right click the folder in the quick access section that you want to unpin 
  • Select Unpin from Quick access 

Frequently used folders will also start to appear in the Quick access section too but will change over time.

2. Change the view to details

The view will determine how many files or folders you see at the same time on the screen and what details you see about them.  By changing the view to details you will see information such as date modified, type and size and the files and folders can be sorted or filtered from here too. 

To turn on details view for an individual folder 

  • From the view tab select details 



Layout in File Explorer

To turn on details view for an all folders 

  • From the view tab select details for an individual folder as before 
  • From the view tab select options and change folder and search options 
  • On the View tab select Apply to folders
Apply to folders in File Explorer

To sort of filter by a column 

Sorting or filtering the files and folders allow information to be found more easily. 

  • To sort a column just click on the column header.  This will sort the data into alphabetical, numerical or date order.  Clicking again reverses the sort order.  Note that the folders will still all remain together as will the files.  It sorts within these sections. 
  • To filter by a column click on the drop down arrow next to the column header.  Depending on the column the options will vary.  For example the date modified column filters on a specified date range while size filters on categorized file sizes. 

3. Search

If you can’t find a file or folder you have been working on then the search feature can be invaluable but if you are not careful you will end up with so many results it’s still a struggle to find the right one.  What you may not have realised is that the search box searches all the files and folders in the folder or drive you are currently in.  That could be a lot of data!! 

If you can remember (or guess) roughly where the information might be then that folder can be selected and the search becomes much smaller and quicker but can still be out of hand. 

The other feature that helps is the search tab.  This only appears when you are in the search bar and allows the search to be more specific.  For example the search can look for Date Modified if you have an idea when the file was last changed.  Or the file type can be looked for.  Searches created in here can even be saved so they can be used again later.

Search Tab in File Explorer

I hope these top tips for file explorer will make your life a little easier and less frustrating!! 

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about my top 3 tips for using File Explorer there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

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