Windows 10 no longer has built-in help for File Explorer, as Windows 7 does. Microsoft makes you search the web for information, so here’s what you need to know about using Windows 10’s file manager.
File Explorer Interface Basics
While it’s been renamed “File Explorer” in Windows 10, this application is basically the same as Windows Explorer on Windows 7. It does have some new features, including a Ribbon interface and built-in Microsoft OneDrive for syncing your files to the cloud.
The “Quick Access” area in the sidebar replaces “Favorites” on Windows 10. You can drag and drop folders to the Quick Access area to “pin” them for easy access in the future. Windows 10 will automatically add your recently used folders to this area, too. You can customize Quick Access from the options window. To remove an individual folder from Quick Access, right-click it and select “Unpin From Quick Access.”
The “This PC” section replaces the “My Computer” item on Windows 7. It contains shortcuts to user data folders on your PC as well as other drives, such as USB drives and DVD drives.
How to Use the Ribbon
The ribbon in File Explorer works just like the ribbon in Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel. There are a few different ways you can use it.
If you want more space in your file browsing windows, you can leave the ribbon collapsed by default. You can still click any of the tabs at the top—like “Home,” “Share,” or “View” to view the commands and click a button. The ribbon will only appear temporarily.
If you’d rather see the ribbon all the time, you can expand it. To do so, either click the arrow near the top right corner of the File Explorer window or press Ctrl+F1.
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