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Windows File Explorer

Updated May 2023

All windows have the same view style

In any open Window Explorer, change the view style to what you want to use for every time you open an Explorer. (Example: View, Details)
Click on the View tab at the top, click on down arrow for Options, then click on Change Folder & Search Options
Click on the View tab then click the button for Apply to all folders.
Then click Yes to confirm and then click OK.

Copy a group of files

Did you know that you can use your mouse to "box up" a selected group of files all at once?
All you have to do is first click in anywhere there is a blank spot. (This ensures that there are no files already selected). Then click and hold your mouse starting at the bottom file (just to the right of the file so it will start in the white area) and drag up and to the left to the top file you want to capture. This will create a box around the group of files and select them at the same time.

Deleted, renamed, or moved by accident?

If you moved, renamed, or even deleted a file by accident, before you do anything else, press Edit, Undo. Or you can use the keystrokes Ctrl+z.
You'll be saved from the problems you may have encountered.

Quick Access list to add a Folder/Drive/Network Drive

On the left side, click on any folder you want to have added to your Favorites list
Right click and choose Pin to QuickAccess
Rename the folder if desired. This will only rename the shortcut to that folder, not the folder itself.

Quick Access List modified

In a File Explorer, in the upper left section there are links. These are links to your favorite folders that you go to frequently. A quick access to those folders.
You can add or remove any of those links
To add a link see link above
To remove a link, just right-click on the link on the right side and choose UnPin from Quick Access

Hiding Quick Access Links

Click on the words Quick Access.
Just click on the arrow right before the word Quick'll hide

Invert Selection

Want to select every file in a folder but one? Or every one but two or three? Windows Invert Selection command takes the tedium out of file selection.
With a folder window open, select the file(s) you don't want, then pull down the Edit command and choose Invert Selection. When you let go, everything that wasn't selected now is, and the files (or file) you had selected are left out completely.
The Invert Selection command is available in any Explorer window, too. Just select the files you don't want in the right pane, then choose Invert Selection under Edit to reverse your selection.

OneDrive Removed form File Explorer

As much as you say you'll never use OneDrive, it could cause problems later down the road if you completely remove OneDrive. The best way is to just hide the icon in the File Explorer
To remove the icon from File Explorer, open the registry key located at:
Double click on: System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree
Change the value from 1 to a 0
Next, in the file explorer, click on the OneDrive folder on the left side. Then right click on that folder and put the check in the box for Hide (at the bottom).
You will need to reboot the computer for the changes to take effect.

Explorer opened quickly with the Windows key

If you have the keyboard that has the Windows key (in between the control key and the alt key), then all you have to do is press the key combination of Windows key and E. This will open an explorer at the root directory.

Opening multiple windows

Option 1:  Middle click on your mouse on the File Explorer icon (if you have a middle button)
Option 2:  Shift/hold and click on the icon
Do it as for as many windows open as you want.
Works great for any other program you can have more than one instance of the program open, like Notepad.

Perfect full sized columns

Double click on a columns double arrow to "make it fit" to the longest needed length.

Select All Files

In Explorer, you can select all the files rather quickly. Just click on the directory you want, then press Ctrl+A. Now they are all highlighted.
When would you use this? Well, I copy all my tips files to a floppy disk periodically. They are all in the same directory with no other files. Quickly I can select all and drag & drop to the floppy drive. I don't right-click and drag because when you drag from one drive to another, it automatically does a copy.

Size of folder and contents

When you open an Explorer and click on a folder, you get the size of the contents of that folder, but not the entire size. What about including all of the sub-folders?
Well, open an Explorer. Right-click on the directory in question and select Properties. A dialog box will open and it will tell you how many files, folders, and the total amount of all files, including all of the sub-folders, in that directory.

Explorer: Sorting by Name, Size, Type, or Date

You can sort your files by any column. Make sure that you are viewing an Explorer in the Details view. (View, Details)
When you click on the column title, that column will sort from A-Z (or lowest number to highest). If you click on that column title again, it will sort in reverse from Z-A (or highest number to lowest number).
This can be helpful when looking for certain types of files, such as .log, or .doc, .wpd or any other file type. Also if you're looking for the most recently used file in any given directory.

Sorting by TWO columns

This is a simple one
Sort first how you want as directed above in the previous tip
Hold the SHIFT key down and click on the column title of the secondary sort column you want.
That's it. All sorted by your first choice, then your second choice.

Tabbed Windows for Explorers

Just like a browser, File Explorer can now have tabbed windows
All you have to do is right-click on a folder and choose Open in New Tab
Sweet & simple.

Explorer to view the directories

When you open a File Explorer, you're likely to see several links on the left side.
But what if you want to be able to see the actual directories and/or drives, such as C:\, D:\, etc...
On the left side, if you don't see the C: drive and the other drives, at the bottom on the left side, click on the up arrow at the end of the line for Folders. This will slide up the folders list so you can see the drives.
You can then resize the 2 sections (the links at the top and the folders/drives at the bottom).
By putting your cursor in the middle of those 2 areas, you'll see your cursor turn to an up/down arrow. When you see that, click and hold then drag up or down...depending on what you want to see more of.
To get the up/down cursor, you'll just have to move the cursor around in that area up and down until you actually see the cursor change.

Camera Roll and Saved Pictures folder removed

You know if you don't want it and if you'll never use it. However, you can't really delete these folders because Windows 10 regards these as "system folders". But you CAN make them reside somewhere else so they are not in your Pictures folder and screw up your filing system
The idea is just like moving your email storage location
Open a File Explorer and navigate to: C:\Users\YOUR_NAME\AppData\Local
Create a new folder in there called Camera Roll
Create another folder called Saved Pictures
Now...go to your normal Pictures folder and right click on the Camera Roll folder then choose Properties
Click on the Location tab and click on Move...
Navigate to the folder you just created in the AppData folder, click on the Camera Roll folder and click on Select Folder
Click on the General tab and put the check in the box for Hidden
Click on Apply and choose '...this folder, and subfolders'
Then choose Yes, then OK
Repeat procedures for the Saved Pictures folder.
Close File Explorer and open again and you'll see that they are no longer viewable.

3D Objects folder removed

Open regedit and navigate your way to both of the following entries:
Remove the folder on the left for: {0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A}
Remove the folder on the left for: {0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A}
Note: WOW folder may or may not be listed

Access Denied - Option 1 of 2

Note: the tip for "Access Denied" is also repeated in the tip page for Windows-Working With
Short and simple, especially when you're trying to copy files from an external drive before it's destroyed or dies completely:
On the external drive, go to the user folder (Documents and Settings, or Users)
Right click on the My Documents sub folder (or even the actual {User} name folder
Go to:
Security (tab)
Advanced (button at the bottom)
Owner (tab)
Edit (button)
Change to Tracy(Laptop) or whatever your computers name is that has the external drive hooked to it
At the bottom on the left, put the check in the box for 'Replace owner and subcontainers and objects'
Click on Apply, Yes, OK, OK, OK

Access Denied Option 2 of 2

Open a command prompt (Run as Administrator) (you MUST do that part)
Type the following: icacls "{driveletter}:\System Volume Information" /grant Administrator:f
where 'System Volume Information' will be the folder you want the access to and use the " marks.
To restore the permission, type the same link only use R instead of G.

Scroll bar horizontally

The horizonal scroll bar is missing on the left side of your explorer
You can get it back this way, but you need to have Classic Shell installed.
You won't find it if you right click on the Start button...You need to go to Start/All Programs/Classic Shell/Classic Shell Explorer Settings
On the Navigation tab, the 2nd item is there for Show horizonal scrollbar. Enable it !

Quick Access tamed

Quick Access is automatically filling up....make it stop and put on there what YOU want
Open a File Explorer. On the Ribbon click on View, click on the last icon drop down for Options/Change Folder & Search Options
UNcheck the bottom 2 boxes in Privacy for the 2 Quick Access items

Common Dialogs Customized

When opening a file, you may have icons on the left side of the dialog box. Some programs still have these. PaintShop Pro is one of them. The dialog boxes look similiar to this:

You can make the changes manually in the registry
Open regedit and navigate your way to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\comdlg32\PlacesBar (create the keys if necessary)
If they are there, then double click on any of the DWORD icons that you don't want and change the value to what you DO want...such as a specific folder, such as: C:\Graphics\CD\Landscapes
If you need to add them, create new DWORDS in the PlacesBar key
After you create the key, right click in a blank area and choose New, DWORD and call it Place0. You can have 5 strings in there: Place0, Place1, Place2, Place3, and Place4.
To add a path to a specific folder, such as C:\Graphics\CD\Landscapes.
These are 3 images showing what Windows has as a default, what Windows has with the Common Dialogs default, and my adjusted Common Dialogs example

Windows List stsyle
This shows a listing of folders with your
Favorite folders listed at the top

Common Dialogs Windows Default
This show how some programs will still have common dialogs but have Windows choices of buttons of Recent, Desktop, Libraries, Computer and Network

Mine with changes
This shows the adjustment with MY choices of locations changed to my network Laptop My Documents, my Desktop's 2nd hard drive, Downloads, Program Files and Documents

Context Menu/Send To customized

To trim down, or add to, the Send To list:
Press the Windows Key+R and type: shell:sendto, then press enter(or do there directly at: C:\Users\NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
You can add any folder (as a shortcut) to this folder that you want. Just make sure you right click and drag the folder, then choose Create Shortcuts Here

Downloads folder - Remove Groups

Microsoft has changed the way you view the Downloads folder. Bummer !!
Here's how to get it back the way it was before so you can sort them easier:
Go to the Downloads folder. Then right click in a blank space on the right side where your files are.
Choose 'Group By', then click on 'None' (at the bottom of the list. If you don't see the "Group By", then right click in another area.)
All fixed !

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