Exploring the Folder, Search and Play Options in the Ribbon

In the series of tutorials that we’ve published previously, we have discussed everything that has to do with the ribbon-based options in Windows 8.1 and demonstrated all available methods in accessing the File Explorer Window itself. However, there would be times that an additional tab would appear at the top portion of the screen especially when you are working with music, video and other files which can be read by a media player. When you use the search feature, you’ll also notice another tab that will appear which is labeled as “Search”. In this tutorial, we will be focusing on these two additional tabs that appears every now and then so you will know how to use them in playing a music or video file or searching for a specific file or folder in Windows 8.1’s file management system known as File Explorer so be sure to get your machine ready to follow the steps that I will show below.

The New Ribbon-Based Options

But before we even get to these additional options, we’ll first review a little bit about all the other ribbon-based options in your Windows 8.1 machine so you can use them whenever you need to work on some files that needs some quick editing. After you open the File Explorer Window, you should be able to see the “Quick Access Toolbar” at the top-most portion containing buttons for creating a new folder, burning a disk and some other additional options which can be made readily available by checking the options that can be viewed by clicking the arrow down icon which also lies on the toolbar itself.


The Tabs

Just below the “Quick Access Toolbar” are tabs which are labeled as “File”, “Home”, “Share” and “View”. Each of these tabs contain a unique set of options for doing certain tasks in your Windows 8.1 machine especially when you are working with files and folders which are saved in your computer’s hard drive.


The Ribbon-Based Options

When you click on any of the tabs that appears just below the the “Quick Access Toolbar”, you will notice that the items on the bar that is on its bottom portion will also change. This next tab shows the options that are available under the tab you selected. For instance, if you click “Home”, the ribbon will show the options that appears on the screenshot below.


As you can see, the options which are available under the Home tab are those that has to do with Copying, Pasting, Moving, Creating and doing some other things with the files that are saved in your computer. Next tab is labeled “Share”and when you click on it, you’ll be able to see the options that are shown on the screenshot below.


The “Share” options include those that will let you send any file or folder as an email attachment or compress large files so it can be attached to an email. From this section, you will also be able to access options for “Burning to disc”, “Print” or sending a file via “Fax”. Sharing files via HomeGroup or having it shared to the other users that are registered on your machine can also be done from this section. The next tab is labeled as “View” and when you click on it, you’ll be able to see options that will let you change the appearance of the items that are listed on the contents pane of the File Explorer Window.


For instance, if you find the icons very small, you can change them into a bigger one by selecting the corresponding option that is found in the section which is labeled as “Layout”. You can also sort the items so that the latest one appears at the top portion of the list and this can be done by setting the “Sort by” option into “Date created”. From this same section, you will also find another option that seems to be separated from the rest and is labeled as “Options” and we will be exploring the contents of this option deeper in this tutorial.

The Folder Options

When you click on the “Options” button that is located at the right-most portion of the ribbon under the “View” tab, you will be able to access another Window that contains even more advance options for tweaking how folders appear and work. As you can see on the screenshot below, there are actually tabs in the Window which are labeled as “General”, “View” and “Search”. Try to click on any of these and the contents on the main portion of the small Window will also change. All available options are well-described so you should be able what each one is for.


The General tab contains options grouped according to “Browse folders”, “Click items as follows” and “Navigation pane” as shown on the screenshot above. These groups of options will help you change how folder Windows open and you can also choose to display other folders on the navigation pane at the left. If you want to restore all settings to default, simple hit the “Restore Defaults” button and everything will be reset to the default settings before you even made any changes. All the of the other options under the remaining tabs which are “View” and “Search” should be very easy to understand so you shouldn’t get into any problems when you’re working with them.

The Search Options

While on the File Explorer Window, try to enter the name of the file that you are looking for into the Search input box that is located on the top-right portion of the screen just below the address bar and you will be able to see a new tab on top which is labeled “Search”. This tab is also further labeled at the top as “Search Tools” and if you check on all of the available options on the ribbon, you will see three groups which are “Location”, “Refine” and “Options”. Just take time to explore all the options listed under this tab and experiment on them to learn what they do.


The Play Options

Finally, you can try to select a music file and you will notice another tab at the top that says “Play” which is under the “Music Tools” label. The options that are found on its ribbon looks very much like the ones which are found under the “Home” tab especially the ones that are labeled as “Clipboard”, “Organize” and “New” while the others which are the ones that says “Open” and “Select” are more focused in selecting and opening your music contents. You can also take your time and experiment on the options that are available in this section and you’ll see that all of them would really make the job of playing some media files a lot easier to do!


As you can see, File Explorer’s ribbon-based options really makes anyone more productive in many ways. Take time to read all of the tutorials that we published on the File Explorer series and you’ll surely be on your way to mastering the use of it in your Windows 8.1 machine.