Get help with file explorer in windows 10

So you need help with file explorer in Windows 10? File Explorer in Windows 10 is a little different from the Windows Explorer on the previous version of Windows OS. Some users need help to understand how to use the file explorer in Windows 10. Here is the ultimate guide in using the File Explorer in Windows 10.

File explorer is a major part of Windows 10 as an Operating System with a functionality to organize and manage the files you have or files required by the software you installed. Files stored on your hard drive can only be accessed using File Explorer. For advanced users, they can use the command prompt. Copy, move, delete, and rename is the main function that you can do by using File Explorer, lets learn how to use it.

Get help with file explorer in windows 10

First, you need to know how to launch this File Explorer. There are many different ways to do it, but we are only going to use the easiest way: when your screen shows the desktop without any window show up, simply pressed window + E on your keyboard, this will launch File Explorer immediately. Or you can click the yellow folder icon on the taskbar:

get help with file explorer in windows 10 - how to launch file explorer

Customize Quick Access in File Explorer
When you launch the file explorer, the window that appears will display the Quick Access by default. Quick Access contains some folders that you frequently open or used so you no longer have to digging the folders that are too deep and requires several steps to find it. On the left side of the Quick Access is some kind of bookmarks from what is shown on the right side, of course you can change this by adding or changing the folder to be displayed in the Quick Access.

get help with quick access file explorer in windows 10

To add a folder to the quick access, simply right click on the folder and choose Pin to Quick access”

how to customize quick access file explorer windows 10

OneDrive on File Explorer
Onedrive is a free online storage or cloud server where you can save your files through the File Explorer, make sure you have a microsoft account in order to use this service. You can view OneDrive on the left side panel of the File Explorer. To save your files to OneDrive, simply drag and drop your files from the right side to the folder under OneDrive on the left panel.

how to save files on onedrive file explorer windows 10

You can do common operations such as copy, move, delete, and rename as usual, nothing different. There are some keyboard shortcuts that can help you in operating the File Explorer and probably will make you look like an IT guys, because you do not need a mouse.

Keyboard Shortcuts for File Explorer
Windows key + E: launch File Explorer.
Alt + P: show or hide the Preview pane.
Alt + Shift + P: show or hide the Details pane.
Alt + left arrow key: go back one folder in your history.
Alt + up arrow key: go up one folder in the folder tree.
Ctrl + N: open a new File Explorer window.
Ctrl + E: activate the Search bar.
Ctrl + Shift + N: create a new folder in the current folder.
Ctrl + mouse wheel up or down: increase or decrease the size of icons and thumbnails.

If you are still experiencing problems and need help in using File Explorer, or if you know anything else about the File Explorer please let us know about it.

Share this tips so your fellow Windows 10 users will also get a help with File Explorer in Windows 10

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  1. The restore buttons are not working in windows 10. I can only use windows at full screen. I would like to press the restore down button to enable me to resize windows so I could have more than one open at a time!

    1. Hey Jeff, thank you for the question,
      Are you running Windows 10 in tablet or PC? Check if you aren’t running in tablet mode. Open notifications center and check if the “tablet” toggle is highlighted, if it is, click or tap on it to turn it off

  2. I now have windows 10 and can’t find where to access the Microsoft word processor to create new documents. I see the task program that gives me all the documents I have stored, but nothing else.

    1. I had that problem, and I found Microsoft Office has been deleted (and a lot of other software). In the end I had to reinstall it. Fortunately I found the old disc from 10 years ago. If not, I would have had to BUY a new version. At one point I clicked on ‘Open with…’ Intenet Explorer, and all the documents that I opened were converted into web files. Of course I could not open them at all, and now they are lost for ever. Thank you Microsoft.

  3. My Windows 10 toolbar is frozen and I can’t access power options, file explorer or settings so I can’t even use the restart function.

    1. Hey Barry, thanks for dropping the question.

      To solve this, you need to open the Command Prompt with Administrator rights. Press windows button + x keys simultaneously on your keyboard. Then type this on the command prompt:

      sfc /scannow

      then press enter to execute, it can take from 15 minutes to an hour or so, depending on your machine’s specs. If the scan manages to fix all your issues, then it solve, if not, try this command:

      Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

      Hope it will help, let me know if this is still not working for you

  4. when trying to sort through my photos ill scroll down and after a couple of seconds im not looking at it any more, goes back to the top! ill try again and again. seriously annoying cant even scroll down to look at other items in any folders.

  5. since upgrading to windows ten the scroll on my mouse pad has disappeared? how do i get it back to normal scroll settings?

    1. Hey Harmony, thanks for stopping by, anyway here is what you need to do:
      Go to Settings –> Devices –> Mouse & Trackpad. Swipe off “Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them.”

  6. All I want to do is create a new folder and it won’t let me. File Explorer opens with File and won’t move to Home.

      1. I think what Jonathan said in spanish was that he was trying to scan one of his disc for some data but it won’t scan anymore for whatever reason. (that’s my choppy interpretation of his spanish)

  7. Hi. Everything was working fine until today when Windows 10 updated.
    Now, I cannot create a new folder. The application “hangs” and “Not Responding” when I click on “New Folder” or when I right click anything in File Explorer.
    I can still open directories, view and move files.
    Please help.

  8. When ever I try to open a file, the ‘Files&Folder pro’ icon comes up in a window then closes right away and a box pops up and says: ‘no applicable licences found’

  9. When I open a folder it always opens in ‘details’ view. How can I set it to open in ‘large icon’ view?

  10. Hi. Everything was working fine until today when Windows 10 updated.
    Now, I cannot create a new folder. The application “hangs” and “Not Responding” when I click on “New Folder” or when I right click anything in File Explorer.
    I can still open directories, view and move files. This is super annoying
    Please help.

  11. I want to relocate my User files and Program files from the C drive to the D drive. Do I simply cut and paste to the D drive?

    1. but Mike, why do you want to do that? well anyway, this how to do it, but i’am not responsible if it will cause some damage.

      You can easily create a symbolic link.
      -Move the whole “C:\Program Files” folder to “D:\Program Files” folder
      -Open Admin Command Prompt and cd:\C
      -Type: mklink /D “Program Files” “D:\Program Files”

      Install any programs/Games as normal, take the default install path as C:\Programs Files but all the installed files will be stored in D:\Program Files.

      if your problem is with the disk space, then why not get the bigger hard drive, remember to backup everything before you do this

  12. When i am making a movie with my home movies and put them on windows movie maker some of them are just blank but they will play ok when i just play them

  13. By mistake, my file explore view is change to right side. all the folders and feature come in the right side. i have to change it into normal position.

    1. if the thumbnail is too big, you can change it to detail icon. Click the View tab, and then select the Always show icons, never thumbnails check box.

      1. i kind of have the same problem. i don’t want the detail panel on the right. i just want the files on the left and the folder contents, not the preview panel or details panel. how do i get rid of it?

  14. i am trying to run a full back up on my PC. i have been able to use it previous to loading Windows 10. Any help will be appreciated.

  15. When I try to sort photos or open files in the file explorer the scroll down button won’t stop to where I want it. After a few seconds it will go back to the top. This is very annoying. Please help. Thanks

  16. Hi, i want to transfer files (pictures and such) from my Galaxy note 3 to my PC, i used to do it all the time on older versions of windows and now i seem to be unable to do so. a little notification would pop up at the bottom or i would go to files and there would be a new file called external drive, so my questions is how do i get my PC to recognize my phone is connected?

  17. Nothing is working with file explorer. When it opens I can click on C Drive and see sub folders but can’t click on arrow to show folders in left box, it just says ‘working on it’ and nothing happens. Same applies to any other folders/USB drive. Unable to open any file on computer

  18. When trying to delete a file from file explorer it tells me that it is open in windows explorer and will not let me delete the item, is there a setting that needs to be changed?

  19. I am not happy with Windows 10 at all so far. I need to pull photos from an old iPhone but have no idea how. It used to be simple.

      1. well, connect your Samsung S4 to your computer using USB cable, then you can use Phone Companion app or File Explorer to move your photos

  20. when trying to sort through my photos or files. I’ll scroll down and after a couple of seconds it goes back to the top. If I try to change the name of a file I have about 2 sec or it will go back to normal view of file name. I’m using a PC I originally has windows 8.1 the system automatically upgraded to window 10.

    1. Go to settings –> personalization –> Colors –> turn off Automatically pick an accent color from my background.

  21. Why does file explorer hang up and display “not responding” whenever I attempt to re-organize pictures, or other files, by moving them from one folder to another? Whenever this happens, I have to close the application, then re-open it, without having accomplished the desired task. With older versions of Windows, e.g. Windows XP, Windows Vista (before you “fixed” it).

    I would much prefer that you fix aggravating problems, like this, than to be constantly being bombarded with pictures, whenever I re-start my computer.

    1. o to start menu and type cmd to open command prompt. When it appear, right click on the window and select run as Administrator. To run System File Checker, type this command and hit enter: sfc /scannow

  22. Hi, hoping you can help with this…
    When I open up my picture files and go display large icons, before i upgraded to Windows 10 I could see the pictures right in the icon. Now, I have to actually open the picture or right click and preview in order to see it. When I use the preview pane, it doesn’t show a preview either. Thank you so much for any assistance you can offer. Have a wonderful day!! 🙂

    1. Hello Shonda, to enable preview file in File Explorer, you can open File Explorer Options. Click/tap on the View tab, uncheck Always show icons, never thumbnails, and click/tap on OK.

  23. File explorer crashes frequently for no reason, that is no foreseeable/logical one. There is quit a collection of similar complaints on the web. Howe ever, there is no fix/solution so far by Windows. Wouldn’t by just nice if some action would be taken by Windows to fix this rather annoying bug.

  24. hi, every time I open my file explorer it says “working on it” or not responding. Sometimes I have to restart my computer or wait forever and see if it finally works (very rarely it does). I already did a restore point and it worked for one day. Please help.

    1. Go to start menu and type cmd to open command prompt. When it appear, right click on the window and select run as Administrator. To run System File Checker, type this command and hit enter: sfc /scannow

  25. Hello, I am tying to access my photos that were on my desktop while I had windows 8.1, now when I try to access them from download file all I get is, “class not registered”. Please help if possible. Thank you.

    1. Press windows button + R and type dcomcnfg in the Run dialog box, hit Enter key to open Component Services snap-in.
      Next, in the Component Services window, navigate to Component Services > Computer > My Computer. Then in the middle pane of this window, double click DCOM Config.
      Now you’ll see DCOM Configuration Warning! message as shown below. You need to click Yes button on this message, because this message may be the root cause of Class not registered error. After you click Yes, you may got another message for another component or CLSID which may contribute to problem. Register or say Record all of these messages with Yes option. Last, restart your computer

  26. When I used Windows 10 File Explorer to see a folder with a lot of files or photos, the scrolling down will only stop at where I want for about 15 seconds. After that, it automatically moves back to the top. Is there an option to stop this from happening?

    1. Go to settings –> personalization –> Colors –> turn off Automatically pick an accent color from my background.

  27. Is there a way to increase the font size in explorer? I am elderly and have a hard time reading the files. I have not been able to find a way to do this

    1. Hello Paul, to change the font size in file explorer, go to Settings –> System –> Display –> Change the size of text, apps and other items

      You can adjust the size there.

  28. I cannot attach a pdf file to an email. Prior to today I was able to double click on the pdf doc and it went straight to the email. Not now. What do I do

  29. Hi,

    I am trying to send a folder using email but when I click on the send to – mail recipient it prepares the file then says that there is no email set up and I need to go to the control panel, however I have no idea where or how to set this up in the control panel, I’ve always been able to do this action automatically in the past.

  30. I’m trying to burn photos to a disk, I can hit the burn disk button but nothing happens. I keep getting the pop-up message that files are ready to burn to a disk but I can’t complete the task… to I complete?

    1. make sure there is no scratch on your disk, and try to use another third party software to burn your data to CD

  31. I hate this windows 10 and wish I had never updated to it. I have to get my daughter to do everything for me as I don’t have a clue how this now works. I want to go back to my windows 7 which was great. You kept telling me however that I could not access my emails any more. How easy is it to take off this widows 10 and will I lose all my files or worse still will I muck the computer up completely. I have a sky account and a hotmail account on email. At the moment the hotmail will not come through anymore. I really do hate this windows 10.

    1. Hey Linda, if you are not satisfied with Windows 10, you can actually rollback to your Windows 7, Go to Settings. Click the “Update & security” icon and select “Recovery.” You should see a “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1” option

  32. On my Asus notebook I can no longer view or even store files in This PC. I have to go to the C drive, down to users, down to “Brian” (the folder with all the files) and then down to Documents or Pictures (whichever I happen to want). How to I get the Documents and Pictures folders back into “This PC?”

    By the way, all this is unnecessary on my desktop PC. Everything works just fine.

    1. Hello Brian, to put Document and Picture folder into “This PC”, download this reg file (credit to
      Restore All Default User Folders in This PC for Windows 10 32 bit
      Restore All Default User Folders in This PC for Windows 10 64 bit
      Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg to run it, this will change the registry settings. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes, Yes, and OK to approve the merge.
      Restart your Asus notebook after that. This will restore Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos folder back to “This PC”

  33. windows 10 will not recognize attempted downloads from my camera, nor will it communicate with my printer. I have gone through the protacol for connecting the printer but get message that it does not recognize it.

  34. I want to know WHAT share does, how to go about it, how to cause a manual sync, and WHY my file always defaults to ‘save as’ instead of just saving. More questions coming…

    1. when you click share, there are several different social options depending on which apps you already have installed through the Windows Store.

  35. So if Microsoft deletes software you have installed with the Windows 10 OS, is this not monopolizing behavior?

    Sometimes I will see a folder has been deleted.

    Other times when dealing with lots of files, I find that files are multiplying many times creating a cluttered system.

    How do I fix these sort of problems and manage my files and folders in an efficient and organized manner?

  36. Hi,
    I cannot print direct from windows explorer since upgrading to windows 10.
    I used to highlight a batch & print, now I have to open each document & print individually. Am I missing something ?
    I get large batches of docs sent to me via dropbox & would like to go back to printing in batches.
    T Daly

  37. Hi
    I am having repetitive issues with opening documents. I have set the mouse pad and my usb driven optical mouse to double click when I want to open a file. I am becoming so frustrated as it is fine for a day or two and then reverts back to opening everything/ file I click on with one click and I have to close and try again.
    It makes performing any task using files twice as long to execute 🙁


  38. Is there a way to set the default file SEARCH window pane display? Right now it defaults to icon view and I have to change it to details ever single time I start a new file search.

    1. With File Explorer open, tap or click the File option at the top of the window and choose Change folder and search options.

  39. When I used Windows Explorer, I always opened up two windows. I am constantly moving files, docs, pdfs from one directory to another. The Windows Explorer windows always stayed open until the end of the day when I closed them. When I open two File Explorer windows, they stay open for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours then close. This is really annoying. I have to open them up again and again after awhile they both close. I want them to stay open until I am done with them and close them. Is there a setting for this to keep them open all day?

  40. Windows 7 File Explorer allows you to list all folders first and then all files beneath. One could then sort just the files (by date, name, etc…) while the folders remained on top. This was done via the “Arrange” button. Windows 10 doesn’t seem to have this button/functionality so I can only sort all folders and files together. I want to have folders listed first followed by all files and then be able to sort just the files. How do I do that in W10?

  41. I am having trouble viewing a video. For some reason the “D” drive is not showing up. how do I correct this or do I have to re-install D Drive”?

    1. Open the Windows Disk Manager and see what it tells you about that partition. Possibly you don’t need to do anything except assign a drive letter to the missing partition.

  42. It does not delete files and folders where I had to keep deleting until finally gone. You will really want to watch that.

    What happens when you open a folder on file explorer? In your categorized sections of your file explorer will also open that folder-several folders to where a file or folder is at. Then usually would get back to it. Ten minutes later you want to open a different fole or folder…and everything is where you left it. You have to flip all these folders when you realize you cannot find what you are looking for which wasters time. Waste time and waste your life. Thanks Microsoft for giving me the ideal that my impending doom would entail stroking while trying to figure out how to do stuff on Windows 10

  43. a q: my files saved keep opening in .pdf altho they are of various types.
    how to fix this and enable choice of prog .. to get em open in correct program ?



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