Windows 8: Six Power Tips for Windows Explorer (part 2)

Earlier this month, we shared the first part of our 6 Power Tips for Windows Explorer. Let’s continue on with the final three!

4. Typing a Path
If you know the exact path that you would like to navigate to, or maybe you just want to feel a little nostalgic, you can type the path directly into the Windows Explorer navigation bar. To enter a path, [Click] the address bar or press <Alt-D>, type the path, then press <Enter> to navigate.

To make typing a path easier:

Windows Explorer will suggest possible folders or files that match the text as you type. To toggle through the suggestions, press <Tab>, <UpArrow>, or <DownArrow>.

To navigate to a selected folder or file, press <Enter>. Or, to select a folder without navigating, select the folder, type the \ character, then continue typing.

5. Using Navigation Buttons: Forward, Back & Recent
To navigate one step back, [Click] or press <Alt-LeftArrow>.
To navigate one step forward, [Click] or press <Alt-RightArrow>.
To navigate to a recent location, [Click] the drop-down arrow of .

6. Using the Keyboard
A great way to move more quickly in Windows Explorer is to never take your hands off the keys. Here are a collection of keyboard shortcuts to help you out with that:

To launch Windows Explorer: <Windows-E>.

To open a new window: <Ctrl-N>.

To create a new folder at the current location: <Ctrl-Shift-N>.

To navigate one step back: <Alt-LeftArrow>.

To navigate one step forward: <Alt-RightArrow>.

To navigate one level up: <Alt-UpArrow>.

To select the address bar: <Alt-D>.

To select the search box: <Ctrl-E> or <Ctrl-F>.

Bonus Tip: Change Windows Explorer’s Default Location

When you open Windows Explorer from the taskbar, it defaults to the Libraries location. Some of us, however, might want to change the default start location to My Computer, or to a custom folder location on the system.

To customize the default start location for the Windows Explorer taskbar pin:

1.    Close all instances of Windows Explorer.

2.    Press and hold <Shift>, then [RightClick] in the taskbar. Select PROPERTIES.

3.    On the SHORTCUT tab, paste the following in the TARGET field:

  • For My Computer: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
  • For the Documents Folder: %windir%\explorer.exe ::{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}
  • For a Custom Location: %windir%\explorer.exe driveletter:\path

4.    [Click] OK.

To remove the customization, set the shortcut to %windir%\explorer.exe.

Double Bonus: Any Windows Explorer shortcut can be modified by selecting the shortcut’s property sheet. You could create several shortcuts or taskbar pins to various locations on your system.

Triple Bonus: If you want to open Windows Explorer at the My Computer location, but don’t want to fuss with property sheets, you can use the keyboard shortcut to get you there – just press <Windows-E>.

Have any questions or tips on how to best use Microsoft Windows 8?  Let us know!

For a quick (but comprehensive) reference on Windows 8, check out our 4 page laminated Windows 8 Introduction Quick Reference.  And for all that’s new in Windows 8, check out our 2 page laminated What’s New in Windows 8 (from 7) Quick Reference.  Both are best sellers!