Windows 10 brought many changes and improvements when compared to Microsoft's previous operating systems. One of the best changes is the improved File Explorer that comes with a slightly different design and some new features and options. While it didn't undergo any radical transformations, at least not when compared with Windows 8.1, its small changes and improvements are noticeable and working with it just got better. In this article, we'll share the most important changes and improvements in Windows 10's File Explorer. Let's get started:
1. A New File Explorer Section - Quick Access
Quick access is the new Favorites section from File Explorer. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, the Favorites section used to hold all the folders that you pinned to it. In Windows 10, File Explorer's Quick access section also contains all your favorite locations. To add such folders to the Quick access section, all you have to do is pin them to this section.
However, in Windows 10, the Quick access section from File Explorer also displays the folders you frequently access and the files you recently opened. Furthermore, because Windows 10's File Explorer starts by default in the Quick access view, it means you can be more productive, as all the folders and files you use constantly or those you worked with recently are immediately available.
If you'd like to see details on how to pin or unpin items to the Quick access section from File Explorer, read this guide: How To View, Pin & Unpin Items To The Quick Access Section Of File Explorer In Windows 10.
2. Configurable Starting Location - Quick Access Or This PC
Windows 10's File Explorer offers an easy way for us to change its starting location. By default, File Explorer starts in Quick access but, with only a small setting, you can quickly change that to This PC if you prefer.
If you need guidance on changing the starting location for File Explorer, read this tutorial: How To Set The Start Location For File Explorer In Windows 10.
We also found a way to make Windows 10's File Explorer start in any location you want, other than the default locations (Quick access and This PC). For example, you could set File Explorer to start in OneDrive or in one of your personal folders. The details on how to do that can be found here: How To Make Windows 10's File Explorer Start In Any Location You Want.
3. OneDrive - Shows Only Files Synced On Your Windows 10 Device
OneDrive is still present in Windows 10's File Explorer. However, if you used Windows 8.1, you might have been used to seeing all the files and folders you have on your OneDrive cloud storage, of whether those items where synced on your Windows device or not. That's not the case anymore, as Microsoft introduced a new OneDrive feature in Windows 10, called "selective sync". This means that, in the OneDrive folder from Windows 10's File Explorer you will only see the files and folders you actually synced to your Windows 10 computer or device. This was a feature change that was explicitly requested by a lot of Windows Insiders during the Windows 10 development. Some of you may consider it an improvement while others will not.
4. Share - Send Files With Others Directly From File Explorer
Windows 10's File Explorer adds a new feature for sharing files straight from its interface. When you select one or more files, you can share them via the Share option from File Explorer's ribbon. All you need to do is select the file(s) you want to share, click or tap on the Share tab from the ribbon menu and click or tap on the Share button. Using this option, Windows 10 will give you different choices for how you want to share your file(s). Depending on your setup, you can share files via email, over your network or via any app that supports sharing.
5. Settings - Open The Settings App Directly From File Explorer
In Windows 10's File Explorer, if you open the Computer tab from the ribbon menu, you get a shortcut for the Settings app. A similar shortcut was also available in Windows 8.1's File Explorer, but instead of launching the PC Settings app, it opened the old Control Panel.
6. Clear History - Removes Quick Access Frequently Used Folders And Recent Files
The new File Explorer automatically displays most used folders and recently used files in its Quick access section. However, at some point, you might want to remove all the items displayed in this section. If you want to do that, File Explorer offers you the option to Clear File Explorer History. To get to it, you'll have to open File from the top menu, click or tap on Change folder and search options and then click or tap on the Clear button from the Privacy section in the General tab.
The new File Explorer from Windows 10 didn't get many major changes when compared to the version from Windows 8.1. However, as you can see from this article, the team developing it, brought some new features and improvements that increase the quality of the user experience. A feature that we would really love to see in a future File Explorer would be for it to have tabs. That would really make it an even more useful tool for any Windows 10 user. Before you go, please share with us what features would you like added to File Explorer? Leave us a comment below.