Even though File Explorer is a new name for Windows Explorer, (not to be confused with Internet Explorer, the blue “e”), there are some nifty new features I think you’ll find helpful. Here are several features that help navigate through folders and files located on our computer.
First, open File Explorer by clicking on the yellow folder located on your Start screen, or in your taskbar on the desktop. If it isn’t located in your taskbar, find the tile on the Start screen, right-click and select “Pin to taskbar.” It is now added to the Quick Launch area of your taskbar. Click once to open.
When it opens, you’ll see your four main libraries located in the right-side window pane. A word of advice, if you can remember to save all your data in one of these four libraries, it makes finding your files and performing backups much easier.
At the top, you’ll see the ribbon filled with options and features. If you don’t see the ribbon, or you would like to hide it, click the arrow at the top-right, next to the “?,” to toggle between the two views.
At the top of the ribbon, you’ll see four tabs: File, Home, Share and View. Click “File” and you’ll see several options. If you click “Open New Window,” a second File Explorer window will open. Farther down the list, rest your cursor on “Delete history” and here you can delete the Recent places list and the Address bar history.
Now, go ahead and click the “View” tab. Next, double-click the “Pictures” library. Double-click a folder that contains your pictures, if you have any. Near the top, place your cursor over “Extra large icons” and you’ll see the size of the pictures change. Pause your cursor on the other options to see what works best for you. Once you decide, just click it once and it will remember your choice.
Now, left of the Layout section is the Panes section. I often use the Preview pane to quickly go through videos. If you have any videos saved in your Video library, you can go to that video, click it once and then click “Preview pane” at the top-left. When you do this, a screen will appear on the right with the controls below to easily play the video without opening it up all the way. To turn off the Preview pane, just click it again to toggle it off.
One last set of features, click the “Share” tab above. If you want to email, burn to a disc, print or fax a document, picture or other files, just select the file and choose your option. Keep in mind, if you want to use the fax option, you’ll need a phone line to do so.
You can also create or join a homegroup. This allows you to share files and media content with other computers that are on the same network. You can also share printers and external drives too.
Next week, I’ll go into more detail and show you how to easily set up your homegroup network, whether you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 12 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.