014: Windows Explorer (File Management)

Today we’re going to cover another one of those essential parts of Windows 10, the File Manager. It’s another one of those basics that we really can’t move on without, so I’ll cover it here in enough detail to make everyone comfortable.

So what is a File Manager? A file manager is an essential part of just about  every operating system that allows you to see all your files, organise them and shift them around.

The easiest way to start the Windows File Manager is to click the yellow folder icon with the blue clip at the bottom. This is usually one of the first three icons down in the taskbar. Another way is to hold the Windows key
on the keyboard and press the “E” key at the same time. The standard Explorer display has a few menus at the top: a list of locations and folders down the left side and a group of recent files and folders in the main pane on the right. By default the left pane gives quick access to the following folders: Desktop, Downloads Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos.

Below that is a OneDrive link then the “This PC” list showing the same items again as well as 3D Objects, the local drives (C: etc) and a Network Link. These folders are the standard folders that Windows provides for you to store your files in. I’ll leave Documents, Pictures Music and Videos as they should be fairly self-explanatory.

The desktop is simply a link to the files, shortcuts and folders that you store on the Desktop. The Downloads folder is the default storage location for files downloaded from the internet. This will be more important when we start to install programs. The C: Drive is the hard disk where all of your files are likely stored. This computer also has a second hard drive, so it shows up as a D: Drive. You might also see CD and USB drives here. The network folder may show you a list of other computers on the local network.

To start with, most of these folders will be empty, but as you create documents and letters, you’ll likely find that they appear here, or pictures you import from your camera will appear in the Pictures folder.

The important thing to know is how to find things and how to move files
and folders around safely. Let’s start by clicking the Documents folder. Right now mine is empty so I’ll need to create something let’s right-click and go to New and then Text Document. This creates a file called “New Text Document” but it’s highlighted in blue because the system wants us to change the name. I’m going to type “Test Document”  and press Enter. The documents now called Test Document so we need to file it  away somewhere.

Let’s create a folder. Right-click and select New and then Folder and rename the folder to test folder. Now I’m going to intentionally misspell it and add an extra T on the end and press Enter so we’ve created a folder but it doesn’t have the name that we want. There’s several ways to change the name, one of the easiest being to right-click on the folder itself and then go down and click the Rename button. Because everything is already highlighted, I can either just type a new name or in this case I can click at the end or press the right arrow to take me to the end of the input box and then simply delete the errant “T” and press Enter.

Other ways to rename the folder are to press the [F2] key which will automatically put you in the edit mode for anything highlighted, or click on the file wait one second and then click on it again will also put you in edit mode.

To move the file into the folder we can simply click on the file, hold the mouse button down as you drag it into the folder and then let go. Now if we open the folder we can see that the file is there. Another way is to right-click and “cut” the file and then go back to the folder we want to put it in, right click and “paste”. We can also use keyboard shortcuts of [CTRL-X] for Cut and [CTRL-V] for Paste.

Okay that’s enough for now, have a play with all of your files and
folders and get really comfortable moving things around. It will really help
you get comfortable with your computer.

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