The Windows File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer) is a quick way to look for files and folders on a Windows computer, or a Mac computer running a Windows operating system using a program such as Parallels. Here's how it works.
Open Windows Explorer by either:
- Opening the Windows Start menu, typing Explorer into the search field, and selecting the File Explorer option from the menu (pictured to the right), or
- Selecting the folder icon in the taskbar near the lower left corner of your screen (pictured below)
The Windows File Explorer will open. You can begin navigating to a folder or file by either:
- Clicking an initial location in the left pane, or
- Double-clicking one of your most frequently accessed folders in the area near the top of the Explorer
For example, if you need to navigate to a location on the C: drive on your computer, you can click the Local Disk (C:) icon in the left pane.
To be able to view many of the files and folders on your computer, you'll need to make your hidden files and folders visible.
You can then continue double-clicking the folders and subfolders in the path you're navigating. You'll see your current navigation path in the address bar near the top of the Windows File Explorer.
A "path" is simply the location of a particular file or folder on your computer, which you'll follow by opening folders and subfolders to navigate to it. The image below shows an example of navigating to the folder path Local Disk (C:)/Program Files/Autodesk.