Glossary of Terms - Windows Explorer [MiniTool Wiki]

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The Windows Explorer is a file manager application that is included in the Microsoft Windows operating system version of Windows 95 and later. It provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for accessing the file systems.

Windows Explorer is a replacement to programs File Manager and Program Manager that were used before Windows 95. Since Windows 8.0, Windows Explorer has been called File Explorer.

Windows Explorer is a resource management tool provided by the Windows system. You can use it to view all the resources of this computer, especially through the tree file system structure provided by it, with which you can understand the computer more clearly and intuitively.

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer allows you to manage files, folders and network connections, as well as search for files and related components. For example, you can perform various operations on files such as opening files, copying files, moving files, and more.

In addition to file management, Windows Explorer has also evolved to support features like playing audios and videos, and launching programs.

Windows Explorer also provides shell services as well as manages desktops, the Start menu and the taskbar. Each version of Windows enhances the look, functionality, and functionality of Windows Explorer.

Note: Do not confuse Windows Explorer with Internet Explorer. The former is a file browser and the latter is a web browser.

The Components and Usage of Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is displayed as a window on the computer. Let’s see its components and usages nowadays.

Ribbon Toolbar

Starting with Windows 8, the Ribbon Toolbar was introduced to Windows Explorer. This feature provides you with all the commands they need for file access and file management. Its essence is to organize the toolbar commands by a group of "tags", each group contains related commands. In each tab, various related options are grouped together by functionality.

ribbon toolbar of Windows Explorer

It has the advantage that all features are centrally organized and stored, making these feature buttons easy to find; and also saves space because the contextual tabs are only displayed when you need them. For example, in a word processor, when you select an image in a document, an image-related tag may appear, allowing you to interact with the image.

Left Window

The left window presents a list of resources (a list of folders) that you can access in text form. Resources are presented in the form of root directories and subdirectories. If there is a symbol to the left of the folder, it means that the folder has a subordinate folder that has not been expanded. You can expand this root folder by clicking the symbol. If there is no symbol, there is no subordinate folder.

left window of Windows Explorer

Right Window

The right window shows the file or folder you choose from the left window and you can view everything contained in the current folder. The display of the contents in right window can be changed: right click on the right window and then click View: you can choose large icons, small icons, list, details, and so on. The arrangement of the contents in the right window can be changed: right click on the right window and click Sort by: name, type, size, date modified and so on, choose one according to your own need.

right window of Windows Explorer

In the right window, you can perform operations to files. In other words, file management is done in the right window, such as renaming files, copying files, opening files, deleting files, moving files, and so on.

Other Components

The three buttons in the upper right corner are classic styles that are used to minimize, maximize, and close the window. Window left and right dividers: drag it to change the size of the left window and right window.

some featutres of Windows Explorer

Related article: Microsoft Updates Universal File Explorer in Win10 Version 1809

How to Open the Windows Explorer

There are several ways to open an Explorer window, which varies slightly depending on your version of Windows. Here we list a few simple and commonly used ways.

  • Right click on the Start button and find Windows Explorer/File Explorer on the Start menu, and then double click it to open the window.
  • Press the Windows button on the keyboard (the button with the Windows logo) + E key at the same time.
  • Press Windows + R to call out Run box and then type explorer in the dialog box that appears.
  • Enter Windows Explorer/File Explorer directly in the search box next to the start to open it.
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