Introduction to Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer is essentially the graphical interface that makes Windows computers easy to use. For example, the desktop and the taskbar that contain icons are part of the graphical interface. In fact, when the desktop or taskbar disappears, restoring them is usually a simple matter of restarting the explore.exe process. Where Internet Explorer lets you browse the Web, Windows Explorer lets you browse Windows without having to type DOS-like commands.
While Windows Explorer provides the general user interface, another smaller component is also called Windows Explorer. This smaller component is the Windows Explorer file manager. It allows you to explore your computer’s hard drive and file system. You can start Windows Explorer in several ways, including:
- Click Start> My Computer (or Computer)
- Right-click Start> Explore (or open Windows Explorer)
Depending on your version of Windows, Windows Explorer will have different functions, such as Task Pane or Search Assistant. In general, Explorer lists the various storage devices found on your computer, such as the hard drive, external hard drive, network drives, and any portable storage devices you may have connected, such as USB memory drives, memory sticks. memory or digital cameras. When you click on a storage device, you will see a list of folders. When you click on a folder, you will see a list of the folder’s contents, such as subfolders and files.
At the top of the Explorer window there is an address bar where you can enter specific routes. Below that is a menu bar that contains a variety of menu lists that vary drastically between different versions of Windows. You will usually find a small search box in the upper right corner of the menu bar. The main screen is generally divided into a task pane and a main pane. The layout varies by operating system and user preferences as it has changed over the years and can be customized on a per user basis.
Despite its many incarnations, Windows Explorer is still a useful tool for finding and managing files and folders. Among its many uses are:
- Searching for specific files
- Searching for all files of a certain type
- Drag and drop files from one location to another
- Find more information (properties) about a file or folder
- Create desktop shortcuts
- Manage files and folders (organize, delete, rename, share, etc.)
Not only can you manage your computer’s folders and files more easily, but you can also open two (or more) instances of it. With two windows open, you can drag and drop files from one location to another quickly and easily. Ideally, you will place each window next to each other so that you can see what you are doing. For example, if you want to move some of your files from “My Documents” to a folder called “Old Documents”, open two Windows Explorer windows, place them side by side, open the My Documents folder on the left, and open the Old Documents folder on the right. Finally, drag and drop the files from My Documents to Old Documents.
If you use Windows, understanding Windows Explorer will help you better manage your documents, files, and folders. Take your time to explore this useful utility.