How to Open File Explorer

By Nick Peers

In Windows 8, Microsoft renamed the Windows Explorer file manager "File Explorer." Although the classic command bar has been replaced with a ribbon toolbar in File Explorer and some new functionality added, the basic functionality of the file manager is still available. You can launch File Explorer from the Start screen or from the Desktop at any time. The fastest way to launch it in Windows 8 is by using the secret Power User menu. Note that Microsoft renamed the "Computer" location to "This PC." However, the Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders are still present, just as they were in Windows Explorer.

Launching File Explorer

To display the Search box from the Start screen, place your mouse over the upper-right corner of the screen, move the pointer toward the bottom of the screen and click "Search." Type "File Explorer" and click "File Explorer" in the list of search results. If you are in Desktop view, the File Explorer icon is displayed in the taskbar by default; click it to launch the app.

Using the Secret Menu

To quickly launch File Explorer, use the secret Power User menu; press "Windows-X" to display the menu and click "File Explorer." The Windows key has the Windows logo on it and is usually located between the "Ctrl" and "Alt" keys in the bottom-left corner of your keyboard. The secret menu contains shortcuts to many frequently needed utilities, such as the Control Panel, the Command Prompt and the Task Manager.