How to Use Windows Explorer

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Basic Computing Skills: Using Windows Explorer

What I have found is that one of the most difficult things for new computer users to do, is to find or locate the files that they have been working with.

The Beautiful thing about all modern day Windows-based operating systems, is that they make it very easy to find and mange your documents. Getting to your documents, pictures, videos and music files has never been easier.

This tutorial is going to show you how to move around in the Windows 7 Explorer.  Windows Explorer is a file managing program that is included with Microsoft Windows 7. It basically provides a straight forward graphical way for users to access their files.


How Do I Access Windows Explorer?

There are actually a few ways you can get to Windows Explorer.

Here are 2 ways to open Windows Explorer Using the mouse:

  • Right-Click the “Start Button” on the task bar (bottom left) ==> Then left-click “Open Windows Explorer”
  • Left-Click the “Start Button” on the task bar (bottom left) ==> From the “Start Up” menu select “All Programs” ==> Then select “Accessories” ==> Locate the Windows Explorer application and left-click it.

Here is a way using the keyboard command:

  • While simultaneously (at the same time) holding down the “Windows Key” (it’s between the “Ctrl” and the “Alt” on your keyboard) ==> Press the “E” key


Moving Around in Windows Explorer

Moving around in Windows Explorer is pretty straight forward. Microsoft has automatically, as part of the operating system, setup a Library folder that contains the following sub-folders:

  • Documents (text files, Word docs, PDF files, spreadsheets, etc.)
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos

This is where you can store your files. When saving your files, this is where you can save them and always find them.  In fact, many of today’s applications have been written to prompt you to save to these folder locations. Now of course you can save to almost anywhere in the filing system, but saving your files here makes it a lot easier to find them for future use.


How Do I Change the Way Things Look in Windows Explorer?

There are a few changes that you can make in Windows Explorer. The one I will talk about here is changing the view.  Here are 2 ways to change the view of Windows Explorer:

1. Left-click the “View” menu on the “Menu bar” ==> and Select one of the 7 other views available. My favorite is the “Details” view.

2. Left-Click on the “Change view” icon that’s located on the right side of the menu bar ==> then Select the drop down arrow and select any available view.

I encourage you to spend some time tweaking or customizing windows explorer until it’s just right for you, remembering, that anything you change can be changed back. BUT DON’T DELETE ANY FILES… LOL!

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