4 Ways in Accessing the File Explorer Window

One awesome thing about the Windows operating system even with its earlier editions is that it already comes with a built-in file structure. It means that you don’t need to create folders where you can store certain files because there are already default ones that exists in it which holds “Documents”, “Pictures”, “Videos” and more which includes their public counterpart. Every time you save a file, Windows presents you with the folder where it thinks the file should be stored in.

For instance, when you save a “.doc” or a “.txt” file, Windows offers that you store it in the “Documents” folder while if it’s a “.png” or a “.jpg” file which represents photos, the operating system will present the “Pictures” folder for you to save the file/s in. If you want to save your files according to the location that Windows recommends then you can just hit the “Save” button to store the file in its designated folder. In some older Windows editions, file management was handled by Windows Explorer but in the brand new Windows 8.1 operating system, this important tool has gone through significant changes which will surely raise productivity to the next level.

File Management in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 takes modern computing and file management into a higher standard by incorporating some brand new features which are nowhere to be found in its predecessors and not only that, the file management tool which used to be called “Windows Explorer” has now taken a new name and is now called “File Explorer”. It seems like the void left by missing features like the Start Menu is filled many times over by the new ribbon-based options and tools that is found in the new File Explorer data management tool. In this tutorial series, we will be looking at the basics in using this awesome innovation that is included in your Windows 8.1 machine but first, you need to learn how to access it.


1. Accessing File Explorer from the Taskbar

If your computer has just been opened straight from the box, you should be able to see the File Explorer thumbnail pinned on the taskbar together with other important thumbnails such as one for the Start Button, Internet Explorer and as well as Windows Store. To open File Explorer, all you need to do is click on its thumbnail that is pinned on the taskbar. You only need to do a single click in opening thumbnails on the taskbar instead of doing a double-click gesture just as how you open items that are on the desktop screen.


In other cases especially on Windows 8.1 computers which have been already used for a long time, the File Explorer thumbnail might have already been removed from the taskbar and in this case, you will need to try other methods in accessing this important tool and in case you don’t know these other methods yet, just read on to learn more about them.

2. The Search Method

Each Windows 8.1 machine comes with a Search feature that is fully integrated with the system itself so you can do a quick search of anything from anywhere within your computer. To use search in accessing File Explorer, all you need to do is click on the Windows+S keys and you will see the Search screen appear from the right-edge. On this screen, all you need to do is click inside the input box and type in “File Explorer”.


After typing in File Explorer, you should be able to see the search results that will appear at the bottom portion of the search input box. From here, all you need to do is click on the shortcut for File Explorer which should be the first item that would appear and after doing so, the File Explorer Window will open. You can also open the Search screen by first accessing the Start Screen and after doing so, simply click on the Search button that is found at the top-right corner just beside your account name and picture and the Power button as you ca see on the screenshot below.


3. Accessing File Explorer from the Apps View Screen

Another way in accessing File Explorer is by getting to the Apps view screen which is Windows 8.1’s full screen version of the Start Menu. To do this, you will first need to access the Start Screen because it is where the button towards the Apps view screen is located. Just click on the Start Button or press the Windows key on your computer’s keyboard and the Start Screen should open on the screen. After doing so, just make a movement with the mouse on the screen itself until you see a round button containing an arrow down icon in it at the bottom-left portion of the screen. Once you see this button, just click or tap on it to open the Apps view screen.


Now, on the Apps view screen, you will need to scroll to the right using your finger (if in case your computer has a touch-enabled screen) or just press the arrow right key. You can also use the scroll wheel on a mouse to scroll through the screen or you may also click on the scroll right button that appears at the bottom of the screen to move through the items. The File Explorer shortcut is found near the last part as you scroll to the right of the Apps view screen and it is found  under the “Windows System” category.


At the upper-right portion of the Apps view screen, you will also notice a Search input box which you can use to find the File Explorer shortcut so you won’t have to do some scrolling on the screen. Just click inside this box and start entering the words “File Explorer”. After the keywords are entered, the File Explorer shortcut should be the only item that will appear on the search results which you can click to finally open the File Explorer Window.


4. Accessing File Explorer Using a Hidden Menu

Finally, we come to the last method in accessing the File Explorer Window which is done with the use of a hidden menu that will only appear by using a keyboard shortcut combination. To do this, you will need to press the Windows+X keys on your computer and after doing so, you should see a box which contains some text links that will appear at the bottom-left portion of the screen.


From this menu, all you need to do is click on the link that says “File Explorer” to open it. This method is probably the fastest and the easiest among all that I have shown here and you can also use this menu in accessing some other Windows system locations like the all important “Control Panel” as well as the “Task Manager” Window. “Shutdown and sign out” options can also be found here. Just point the mouse to its link and more options will appear in another box which you can simply select from. As you can see, accessing the File Explorer Window is done in different ways on your Windows 8.1 machine and now that you’ve discovered these methods, you can choose which one is most comfortable to you and access it so you can follow all the other stuff that I’ll be showing in the upcoming articles for the File Explorer tutorial series.