Using File Explorer, this video explores how files and folders are organized in Windows. Open File Explorer and see the basics of navigating around in folders.
- [Narrator] Most people store documents, pictures, and other types of files on the hard drive on their computer. Like a filing cabinet in the real world, it's really easy to set up a clean, organized filing system, but it's just as easy to toss files in and forget where they are. So I recommend that everybody takes the time to understand how files and folders are stored on your hard drive, and keep a well-organized system. File explorer is the tool that you use to browse through the files and folders on your computer, so that's what we're going to be using to interact with this filing system.
So in this movie, I just want to get familiar in general with getting to file explorer and using it. So there are two ways typically to launch file explorer, if you have file explorer pinned to the task bar, you should see this icon here, and by default on a new computer, file explorer will be pinned to the task bar, so you can click on that, and it opens up the file explorer window. For now, I'm going to close that and we'll look at another way of getting to file explorer. You can go to the start menu, and then one of the four buttons kind of jammed over here to the far left side, is a button for the file explorer, you can click on that, and again, that opens file explorer.
Going to close that and go back to the start menu, because there's something really important to mention here, and I mentioned it earlier in the course, but it's really important so, I want to mention it again. Some people may not see the file explorer icon here in the start menu. If you do not see it, what you should do is go into settings, then to personalization, then to the settings for the start menu, just click on that there. Scroll through these settings and find the line that says, choose which folders appear on start, you want to make sure that this switch is turned on, the one for file explorer.
If this switch is turned on, then you will see file explorer here in the start menu. So that's really important. Okay, so now we've got two ways to get into file explorer, so now I can open it up, and we can start working with it. So this is the file explorer window, and this is what we'll be focusing on in this whole chapter. For now, I just want to look at three main parts, the sidebar, over here on the left side, then there's this area on the right side, which shows you the contents of whatever folder you're inside of, and then there's the path bar up at the top, which will always show you which folder you're currently in.
This is all going to make more sense as we go. For now, I want to go to the sidebar, and start by selecting this PC. Before I click on it, I do want to point out that there's little arrow next to it, if you click on that you can open and close the contents of this PC, and these contents are just shortcuts to some of the folders we'll be talking about in this chapter. But for now, I want to simply select this PC, and now over on the right side, we see the contents of this PC, which includes again, a bunch of shortcuts to some important folders, and then the drives on your computer.
And this is going to look different on your computer, it depends on which drives you have connected to your machine. If you have a CD drive or an external hard drive, those will be listed here. But at the very least, you should see one drive labeled C. Any of the drives connected to your computer, like hard drives and CD drives will be labeled with a letter, and historically the primary internal hard drive on your computer is the C drive, so that's where we want to start. You can think of the C drive as that filing cabinet we've been talking about.
So I want to open up the C drive, I can do that either by double-clicking on it here, or again you can look over in the side bar, and you can find the C drive listed there. Either way, when you open the C drive, you're opening up your filing cabinet, and now I see a bunch of folders. And these are not shortcuts to important folders, these are real folders, this is what you see when you first open your filing cabinet. And a bunch of these folder names are pretty cryptic, so for now, you don't need to worry about these.
For now, I just want to talk about the mechanics of using the file explorer window. So from here, I could double-click on a folder to open it up, so one of the folders on my hard drive is the Users folder, I double-click on it, it opens, and inside of it is more folders. And then I'm going to find this folder here which is just an abbreviation of my name, I'll double-click on that, and even more folders. And this is very normal, its very common to have folders inside of folders inside of other folders, and so on.
Just like in a filing cabinet in the real world, you can open up a drawer, and see one big folder with several other folders tucked inside. And you can even jam more folders inside of those. But unlike a filing cabinet in the real world, where it can get unwieldy to put too many folders inside of each other, there's no limit to how many times you can nest folders on your hard drive. Now, as you're navigating through all of these folders, it's always important to know where you are. So right now, I know that I'm in this PC, in the C drive, in the Users folder, and then in the folder with my name on it.
And I didn't just say that from memory, I can see that here in the path bar. So you can always see which folder you're currently in, and the path you had to walk to get to that folder. And I can also click on one of the folders here on the path to back up to that location. And again, I'm going to double-click on this folder to open it again, and now it's back here on the path. You could also use the back arrow here to take one step back in the path, or the up arrow to take one step up in the hierarchy.
Now, just so happens in this case, the back arrow and the up arrow do the same thing, but that's not always going to be the case. So I could hit one of these and it takes one step back. So, I want to pause here, remember we just wanted to get the mechanics of using this window for now, we're really going to stretch our legs inside of the file explorer as we go through the rest of this chapter. For now, you might want to take the opportunity to start looking around, and getting familiar with opening folders, and navigating your hard drive. You're not going to hurt anything by just looking around, just be careful not to move any folders.
Let me give you an example. Let's say I'm here in this folder, and I were to grab this and drag it into another folder. I just moved one folder into another, and that's a bad thing if you don't know what you're doing, so if you ever do that by mistake, what you should do is use the keyboard shortcut control z. So hold the control key on your keyboard, tap the z key, and that will undo the last thing that you did. So with that in mind, you can start playing around, navigating through, and getting comfortable with looking inside of folders, and in the rest of this chapter, we're really going to focus in on some specific folders you should be working with.
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- Running Windows 10 for the first time
- Launching applications
- Interacting with windows, menus, and ribbons
- Multitasking to switch between multiple applications
- Switching to Tablet mode
- Browsing and managing files and folders with the File Explorer
- Browsing the web with Edge
- Working with email, contacts, and calendars
- Using and installing apps
- Managing display and account settings
- Searching with Cortana
- Sharing with home networks
- Backing up Windows 10
- Troubleshooting Windows 10
Skill Level Intermediate
Q. This course was updated 04/28. What topics were part of the update?
A. The following topics were part of the update: bookmarking in Edge, using extensions in Edge, working with the Mail app, editing photos, managing musics, movies, and TV shows, and connecting to another computer over a home network.