Finding Your Files with Search and Libraries

Use the Windows 7 search and Windows 7 libraries features to find files on your computer. This free lesson teaches you how.

Windows Explorer

Understanding Windows Explorer will help you navigate through your content and work with your files and folders in an easy manner.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about the Windows Explorer interface.

labeled graphic

Details Pane

The Details pane allows you to view additional information and add tags and ratings to the currently selected item.

Navigation Buttons

Use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate between folders.


Shortcuts will appear in the toolbar depending on the item types in the Library pane.

Address Bar

Use the Address bar to see the path of the current folder.

Library Pane

Items can now be organized by Libraries.

Arrange By

Depending on the Library, you can arrange content by month, day, rating, and more.

Search Bar

Use the search bar to search for specific files or folders.

Show Preview Pane Button

Click to see a preview of items in your folders.

View Button

Click to change the way items are displayed.

Navigation Pane

You can access folders in the traditional way using tiered stacks of content in the Navigation pane.

To use Windows Explorer:

To change the view of the content in your folders:

You have several options for how you can view content in your folders. For example, you may prefer seeing Details when viewing file documents and Extra Large Icons when viewing pictures.

To change how your content is arranged:

Depending on the Library, you can Arrange content by month, day, rating, and other factors.