Learn how to use the Windows file system and find Windows files with ease after reading this free lesson.
Understanding how to work with files and folders is an important part of using your computer. Once you understand how files and folder work, you'll use them all the time. In this lesson, we'll show you the absolute basics of working with files, including how to open files, move your files into folders, and delete files.
Watch the video below to learn more about using files and folders in Windows.
There are many different types of files you can use. For example, Microsoft Word documents, digital photos, digital music, and digital videos are all types of files. You might even think of a file as a digital version of a real-world thing you can interact with on your computer. When you use different applications, you'll often be viewing, creating, or editing files.
Files are usually represented by an icon. In the image below, you can see a few different types of files below the Recycle Bin on the desktop.
Windows uses folders to help you organize files. You can put files inside a folder, just like you would put documents inside a real folder. In the image below, you can see some folders on the desktop.
You can view and organize files and folders using a built-in application known as File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in Windows 7 and earlier versions).
To open File Explorer, click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar, or double-click any folder on your desktop. A new File Explorer window will appear. Now you're ready to start working with your files and folders.
From File Explorer, double-click a folder to open it. You can then see all of the files stored in that folder.
Notice that you can also see the location of a folder in the address bar near the top of the window.
There are two main ways to open a file: