The 15 best tips for File Explorer in Windows 11

These are 15 tips for File Explorer in Windows 11. File Explorer in Windows 11 has been revamped. It has a new menu, ribbon, and more new features.

To make the most of all the new features, apply the tips in this article when you need them.

This article contains some tips for making working with Windows 11 through File explorer easier.

The 15 best tips for File Explorer in Windows 11

Tip 1: Opening File explorer in

When you open File Explorer it opens in the “Quick Access” shortcut. You can change this to “This PC.”

In File Explorer, click on the three dots in the ribbon. Then click on Options in the menu. For example, change “open explorer to” to “Quick Access” or “This PC.”

Open File Explorer to

Tip 2: Display all folders, including Control Panel and Recycle Bin, in the sidebar

You can display all folders in the sidebar in File Explorer. The Recycle Bin and Control Panel are also added in the sidebar if you enable this.

Right-click in free space on the left sidebar in File Explorer. Then click on “Show all folders.” You will see that several shortcuts are now added.

Show all folder in File Explorer

Tip 3: Change the folder structure in File explorer

You can change the layout of folders in File Explorer. For example, you can display folders, details, tiles, or folder contents in a list. There is also a compact view.

Suppose you want to hide or show certain items in File Explorer. In that case, you click on “Show.” Then you can show or not show the navigation window, detail window, preview window, item checkboxes, filename extensions, or hidden items.

In this way, you can fully customize File explorer to your liking.

Change view in File Explorer

Tip 4: Show or hide recent files in Quick Access

When you use quick access in File explorer, recent files are displayed. You can hide or show these recent files using the options.

In File Explorer, click the three dots in the ribbon. Then click Options in the menu. Finally, click “Show recently used files in Quick Access” to turn the option on or off.

Show or hide recently used files or folders in Quick Access

Tip 5: Customize folder or file icon

By default, File Explorer in Windows 11 has a set of icons (icons) for a file or folder. You can customize an icon to an icon of your choice.

Right-click the file or folder. Click Properties in the menu. Next, click on the “Customise” tab and click on “Choose File” in the “Folder Images.” This way, you can set a custom image for each folder.

{image} Change Folder picture

Tip 6: Show preview window

If you want to view the contents of a file or folder, enable the “preview pane.” This way, you can immediately see a preview of an image or the contents of a folder.

Click on the three dots in the menu. Next, click on View, then turn on “Preview Pane.” You will now see an additional “preview” panel appear in File Explorer on the right side.

Show preview pane in File Explorer

Tip 7: Sharing files through File Explorer

If you want to share single or multiple files in Windows 11, you can do so through File explorer.

Open File Explorer, right-click on the file you want to share, and click the “Share” button.

Share file using File Explorer

Tip 8: Rename multiple files at once in File explorer

You can rename multiple files at once through File Explorer. You do this by selecting all the files whose names you want to rename. Then click on the “Rename” icon in the menu. Enter a new name.

You will now see that all the selected files will have the same name with a sequence behind it, a number.

Rename multiple files in File Explorer

If you prefer to rename all the files, start with file one. Click on it and click on the “Rename” icon in the menu. Enter a name, then press the TAB button on your keyboard. The following file is ready to be renamed.

rename multiple files using TAB in File Explorer

You don’t have to keep clicking the “Rename” button in the menu.

Tip 9: Adding folder or file to Quick Access

When opening File explorer, you can add folders or files if you use quick access. This folder or file will immediately become visible under “Quick Access” in the left panel.

Right-click on a file or folder, then click “Pin to Quick Access.”

Pin file or folder to Quick Access

Tip 10: Rotating multiple images via File explorer

If you have multiple images whose rotation you wish to change, you can perform this through File Explorer. It is unnecessary to open all images separately and rotate them left or right.

Select one or more images. Right-click on the image(s) and click on “Rotate Right” or “Rotate Left.”

Easily rotate image using File Explorer

Tip 11: Creating new files

You can create several new files via File Explorer. You right-click on free space in File Explorer, click New, and click on the desired file type.

Create new file or folder using File Explorer

Tip 12: Always open files with a specific app

You can set it up if you have a file that you want to always open with one specific program.

Click on the file with the right mouse button, then click Open. Now click on the app you want the file type to always open. Is the app not immediately listed? Then click on “Choose another app” and click on it in the list of apps.

Always open file with using File Explorer

Tip 13: Quickly change metadata in a file

If you have an image or a document whose “metadata” you would like to change quickly, you can do so using a key combination.

Click on the file whose metadata you want to change in File Explorer. Then press the SHIFT + ALT + P key combination. A “Details” panel will now appear on the right side. Click on the specific metadata, modify the data and click Save.

Edit metadata of file using File explorer

Tip 14: Preview image in File Explorer

In File Explorer, you can preview a specific type of file. For example, you can preview a PDF file and an image. Then, in File Explorer, you will immediately see a small thumbnail – preview – of an image without opening it.

Open the File Explorer. In the menu, click on the menu button recognizable as “…”. In the menu, click on Options. Then click on the View tab and uncheck the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option. Click on OK.

Always show icons never thumbnails in File Explorer

Next, in File Explorer, click on View and choose one of the icon views. You can choose from extra-large, large, standard, or small icons.

Preview image in File Explorer

You will immediately see the preview of the image in File Explorer.

Tip 15: Useful keyboard shortcuts for File Explorer

You can press key combinations to make working with File explorer even faster. Here are the combinations.

CTRL + N = Open new File explorer window.
CTRL + W = Close the active File explorer window.
CTRL + SHIFT + N = Create a new folder.
Backspace = Return to the previous folder.
CTRL +F = Search.
CTRL + L = Direct focus on the address bar.

I hope to have helped you with these tips, some you might know already, some might be new. Keep learning.

Thank you for reading!

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