Explorer in Windows 10 can do that

Windows Explorer serves as the standard file manager for most users. As a Windows shell, it is also responsible for the desktop and the taskbar. It shows a two-part window: with a tree view on the left (“navigation area”), folders and files or drives and network addresses appear on the right.

Microsoft has freshened up the look of every version of Windows, and new features have been added. For example, in Windows 8 there is a Microsoft Office-style ribbon. The menu ribbon is also included in Windows 10, but the “libraries” introduced with Windows 7 now only appear under “This PC”. In addition, Microsoft now officially calls the program “File Explorer”. In this article we will simply use “Explorer”, not to be confused with the “Internet Explorer” browser.

Since the technical substructure of the Explorer has hardly changed, all the tips and tools that we present here work under Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. We also show alternative programs with which you can do some tasks better than with Explorer.

Explorer in Windows 10 can do that

1. Useful presets for Windows Explorer

By default, Windows Explorer does not display file name extensions. With this view setting, however, a file named “Invoice.pdf” could actually be called “Invoice.pdf.exe”. For security reasons, you should change the display. You can then immediately see whether malware is trying to camouflage itself. In Windows 7, go to “Tools -> Folder Options” in the menu. Windows 8.1 or 10 users activate “View” in the ribbon and click on “Options”. In the “Folder Options” window, switch to the “View” tab and uncheck “Hide extensions for known files”. You can also take the opportunity to remove the check mark in front of “Hide protected system files (recommended)” and select “Hidden files and folders” under “Hidden files and folders”. Select Show folders and drives”. Only then will you really see all the elements of the file system.

Additional settings can be found on the “General” tab of the “Folder Options” window. In Windows 7 and 8.1, under “Navigation Area” you determine what is to be seen in the left part of the Explorer window. In Windows 10, you can access these settings via the menu ribbon “View -> Navigation Area”. If “Show all folders” is checked, “Control Panel”, your own profile directory and folder on the desktop will also appear in the navigation area. This enables faster access to the elements mentioned, but reduces the clarity.

2. Adjust or standardize folder views

Windows Explorer displays the elements of the file system differently depending on the content. For example, if the Explorer detects image files in a folder, it automatically selects the “Large icons” view with preview images. For folders with any files, the default view is “Details”. The columns displayed also vary depending on the content. In the case of picture folders, the “Markers” column is added in the detailed view, and for audio files, information about the file such as “Track number”, “Title” and “Album” is added.

Folder Options: On the View tab determine which elements the Explorer displays.  For more security you should? Hide extensions for known file types?  Deactivate.

Folder Options: On the View tab determine which elements the Explorer displays. For more security you should? Hide extensions for known file types? Deactivate.

You determine how the Explorer displays a folder via the “View” menu or, in Windows 8.1 and 10, via the “View” tab in the menu ribbon. Settings such as “Details” or “Small symbols” as well as the options under “Sort by”, “Group by”, “Add columns” and also the column width are individually saved by the Explorer only for the current folder. Subfolders are not affected and keep their original settings. To change this, you can go to “Properties” in the context menu of a folder and then to the “Customize” tab. Place a check mark in front of “Use template for all subfolders” and click on the “OK” button.

On the “Customize” tab, under “Optimize this folder for:” you can see the folder type that Windows set automatically. If desired, you can also set a different type here.

If the settings changed for a folder should apply to all folders of the same type, open the “Folder Options” window as described in point 1. Go to the “View” tab and click “Apply to folder”. You can return to the standard settings at any time by clicking on “Reset folder”.

3. Quickly access folders using variables

Folder display: In the properties of a folder, you can adjust the folder type that determines the display, such as? Details?  Or? Big symbols?  The settings can also be used for subfolders.

Folder display: In the properties of a folder, you can adjust the folder type that determines the display, such as? Details? Or? Big symbols? The settings can also be used for subfolders.

The address bar of Windows Explorer always shows the path of the folder in which you are currently located. If you click in the bar you will see the full and actual path. Instead of “This PC> Documents”, for example, “C: \ Users \ username \ Documents” appears. Otherwise the Explorer translates some folder names into the respective language. The profile folder is always called “C: \ Users” under Windows 8.1 and 10. A German-language Windows translates this as “User”, an English one shows “Users” and a Spanish “Usuarios”.

However, variables that Windows automatically sets and uses internally are generally valid for all languages. Type% ProgramFiles% into the address bar and confirm with the Enter key. You will then go to “This PC> Local Disk (C :)> Programs” (“C: \ Program Files”). To call up “C: \ Users \ username \ AppData \ Roaming” just enter% AppData%. Here are the configuration directories of many programs, for example Mozilla Firefox and Libre Office, of which you should make backup copies from time to time.

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