How to Open Windows Explorer

Windows File Explorer is a very handy utility built into Windows. This is article is all about how to open Windows Explorer the easiest and quickest way.

How to open Windows File Explorer

Press and hold down the Windows Key (⊞) and with another finger, tap the letter ‘E’ and release the Windows key.

new file explorer window instance

This is the simplest and quickest method to open up Windows File Explorer.

What is Windows File Explorer?

Windows File Explorer is a file manager program built by Microsoft that is integrated into Windows and considered an actual component.

The layout

Windows File Explorer contains two main work areas. The area or pane on the left contains the folder tree with all the drives and their folders to allow for quick navigation to storage locations.

The larger area on the right displays anything contained within the item selected on the left.

There is a menu along the top, this allows you to change various aspects of the way you view the File Explorer’s contents.

Other ways to open Windows File Explorer

Start Menu
start menu file explorer search and open

Tap the Windows Key (⊞) and type ‘File Explorer’. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the ‘File Explorer’ item and press the left mouse button.

Run Command

Open the Run Command Dialog box

  1. Hold down the Windows key (⊞) and tap the letter ‘R’ and release the Windows key.
  2. Type ‘explorer.exe’ (without quotes) in the text box.
  3. Move your mouse pointer to hover over ‘Ok’ and press the left mouse button.
Taskbar Pin Icon

The group of icons to the right of the Start Menu Button is known Pinned items. By default (if the icon hasn’t been unpinned) you will see an icon represented with an image of a folder.

If you place your mouse pointer over it and press the left mouse button, you will open Windows File Explorer.

Desktop Icon Settings

This is a way to add a shortcut to Windows File Explorer permanently on your desktop.

  1. Move your mouse pointer to hover over an unused area of your desktop. Press the right mouse button.
  2. Move your mouse pointer to hover over ‘Personalize’ and press the left mouse button.
  3. Move your mouse pointer to hover over the ‘Themes’ menu item in the left-hand column. Press the left mouse button.
  4. On the far right, move your mouse pointer to hover over ‘Desktop Icon Settings’. Press the left mouse button.
  5. Move the mouse pointer to hover over the square to the left of ‘User’s Files’ and press the left mouse button. Make sure it’s checked inside the box. If not, press the left mouse button again while hovering your mouse pointer over it.
  6. Move your mouse pointer to hover over ‘OK’ and press the left mouse button.
  7. You will notice a new icon on your desktop. It will have your user name as the folder name. Move your mouse pointer to hover over it and press the left mouse button twice to open it at any time.

Conclusion

If you have any icons that may have been deleted in your copy of Windows, the keyboard shortcut remains the surest way of opening Windows File Explorer.

However, if you have tried one of the other methods, and if it works for you, I’m sure you will quickly find your favorite way to open it.