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File Explorer in Windows 8.1- Tutorial and Instructions

/ / Latest, Microsoft, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
File Explorer in Windows 8.1- Tutorial and Instructions: A picture of the File Explorer in Windows 8.1.

File Explorer in Windows 8.1: Overview

            With yesterday’s announcement of the Windows 10 technical preview, it seemed like a good time to look at some of the features of Windows that are not likely to change going forward. One Windows feature that has been around since for a very long time, in one form or another, is the File Explorer. This blog post discusses using the File Explorer in Windows 8.1.

            File Explorer has been available in Windows for many, many years. However, File Explorer in Windows 8.1 has had its appearance and functionality enhanced. It is also called “File Explorer” in Windows 8.1 while in most previous releases it was referred to as “Windows Explorer.” It doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as you realize that Windows Explorer and File Explorer in Windows 8.1 are the same thing. File Explorer is a window that allows you to explore and manage files and folders within your computer. For example, if you open a library folder within Windows 8.1, its content will be displayed within a File Explorer window.

            You can start File Explorer in Windows 8.1 by clicking the “File Explorer” app within the “Apps” screen, which you can access by clicking the downward-pointing arrow in the lower-left corner of the Start screen to view all the apps on your computer. You can access it from the Desktop by clicking the “File Explorer” button within the Windows Taskbar. In File Explorer in Windows 8.1 contains a set of tabs at the top of the window that allows you to perform many tasks and activities on the files and folders you select within the main File Explorer window. Let’s examine the different features and functions shown within a typical window within File Explorer in Windows 8.1.

File Explorer in Windows 8.1- Tutorial and Instructions: A picture of the File Explorer in Windows 8.1.

            Within File Explorer in Windows 8.1, the Navigation Pane is used to select folders, drives, and navigate the computers, folders, and files on your network. You can expand and collapse the areas shown within the Navigation Pane, which include your Favorites, OneDrive, Homegroup, This PC, and Network.

            You can use the Back, Forward, and Up Buttons to navigate within the different screens you browse within File Explorer in Windows 8.1. You can click the Back button to return to the last page viewed, the Forward button to move forward again after pressing the Back button, and the Up button to move up a level within the folder hierarchy shown within File Explorer.

            The various Tabs within the Ribbon are shown at the top of File Explorer in Windows 8.1. You will find all of your file and folder management commands shown within the area. When you select an item within the Files and Folders listing shown within File Explorer in Windows 8.1, the available commands will be shown on the tabs that comprise the Ribbon. You can click the tabs to see the functions available within each group.

            The Address Bar shows the currently selected location within your computer or network. You can also click into the Address Bar and enter a folder location, if desired. The Files and Folders listing shows the contents of the Address Bar location that is currently selected.

            If viewing the “Details” view of a folder location shown within the Address Bar, then the details of the files and folders will be shown within columns. At the top of each column you will see a Column Name that displays the type of information shown within that column.

            To search for a specific file or folder within a selected folder location you can use the Search Box to accomplish this. Simply type the name of the file or folder or the first few letters in the name of the file or folder into the Search Box to then search within the currently selected folder location for the text that you enter. Searching begins immediately as you begin typing into the Search Box.

File Explorer in Windows 8.1: Instructions

  1. To start File Explorer in Windows 8.1 as an app, click the “File Explorer” app within the “Apps” screen, which you can access by clicking the downward-pointing arrow in the lower-left corner of the Start screen.

OR

  1. To start File Explorer in Windows 8.1 from the Desktop, click the “File Explorer” button that appears within the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
  2. The File Explorer window contains a set of tabs at the top of the window that allows you to perform many tasks and activities on the files and folders you select within the main File Explorer window.
  3. To select folders, drives, and navigate the computers, folders, and files on your network, use the Navigation Pane shown at the left side of the File Explorer window. You can expand and collapse the areas shown within the Navigation Pane, which include your Favorites, OneDrive, Homegroup, This PC, and Network.
  4. To navigate the different screens you browse within File Explorer in Windows 8.1, use the Back, Forward, and Up Buttons. You can click the Back button to return to the last page viewed, the Forward button to move forward again after pressing the Back button, and the Up button to move up a level within the folder hierarchy shown within File Explorer.
  5. The various Tabs within the Ribbon are shown at the top of File Explorer. You will find all of your file and folder management commands shown within the area.
  6. When you select an item within the Files and Folders listing shown within File Explorer in Windows 8.1, the available commands will be shown on the tabs that comprise the Ribbon. You can click the tabs to see the functions available within each group.
  7. The Address Bar shows the currently selected location within your computer or network. You can also click into the Address Bar and enter a folder location, if desired. The Files and Folders listing shows the contents of the Address Bar location that is currently selected.
  8. If viewing the “Details” view of a folder location shown within the Address Bar, the details of the files and folders will be shown within columns. At the top of each column you will see a Column Name that displays the type of information shown within that column.
  9. To search for a specific file or folder within a selected folder location, use the Search Box. Type the name of the file or folder or the first few letters in the name of the file or folder into the Search Box to then search within the currently selected folder location for the text that you enter. Searching begins immediately as you begin typing into the Search Box.

File Explorer in Windows 8.1: Video Lesson

            You can watch the following video lesson, titled “2.1- File Explorer in Windows 8.1,” to see how to use File Explorer in Windows 8.1. This video is from our complete Windows 8.1 training, titled “Mastering Windows Made Easy v.8.1.”

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