Windows File Explorer

Most of us use Window's built-in File Explorer application (formerly known as the Windows Explorer) to manage files, folders and drives that are accessible by the local computer.

Key StrokesDescription
Alt + Enter  View the properties for the selected item
Asterisk [*] on the keypad   Expands all of the sub-folders that are under the selected folder
Backspace View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer
Ctrl + Draging file(s) Makes copies the items being dragged.
Ctrl + Shift + Draging file(s) Create a shortcut to the selected item(s).
End  Display the bottom of the active window
F2  Rename the selected item
F3  Search for a file or a folder
F4  Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer
F6  Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop
Puts the File Explorer into full-screen mode.
Home  Display the top of the active window
Left Arrow  Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder
Minus sign [-] on the keypad   Collapse the selected folder
Plus sign [+] on the keypad   Expands the selected folder
Right Arrow  Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first sub-folder
Shift + Double-click a Folder Opens a new Explorer window with folder as the root.
Ctrl + Double-click a Folder Opens the folder in a a new Explorer window.
Alt + Double-click a Folder or File Displays the properties for that item.
Shift + Delete  Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin.
Ctrl + F1Opens or closes the ribbon at the top of the window
Ctrl + FOpen up the search pane.
Ctrl + Shift + NCreates a new folder at the current location.
Ctrl + NOpens a new window
Ctrl + WCloses the current window
Ctrl + Mouse wheelChanges the folder view type.
Alt + DChanges the cursor focus to the address bar and select the current path.
Alt + PShows the Preview pane
Alt + Shift + PShows the Details pane
Alt+Up Arrow (or backspace)Goes up a folder
Alt+Right ArrowGoes forward (takes you back into your folder browsing history)
Alt+Left ArrowGoes back (takes you back into your folder browsing history)

Note: The Windows File Explore tracks the folder browsing history, similar to the way Internet Explorer's tracks your browsing history. Every folder or network path you visit is remembered, you can then use the Alt+Left or Right arrow to move through the folder locations that were previously visited.

More Keyboard Shortcuts