Tricks to accessing folders and files in Windows 10

Use Windows 10 Search Box and File Manager in New Ways

Opening an app and finding a file can be a somewhat of a chore. You open the app and then navigate the file tree. As an alternative, save a bit of time and type the first letters of the file name in the Windows 10 search box and let Windows 10 find your file directly. Depending on the file type, you can then just click to open the document in your app, whether that app is Word, Excel, or something else. Be sure to give your more obscure files a few seconds for Windows to find them.

Open folders with Windows 10 search box

The Windows 10 search box is a good starting point even if you want to open a folder. Type in the name of the folder and click to open File Explorer just at the folder you want.

Easily locate and open folders in Command Shell

Developers often need to type commands in a command shell. If you start by typing “cmd”, you must navigate to the folder you need very painfully by typing in long folder names. However, there is a better way to do this. Type the folder name in the search box and then click to File Explorer. From there, type “cmd” in the address bar, replacing the folder information, and the command shell will open at the selected folder. If you have already opened the command shell, you can just type “cd” and then drag the folder from File Explorer to the command shell. If you prefer cut and paste, right click the address bar in File Explorer and select “Copy Address”. Then paste that address into the command shell after “cd”. Be sure you right click in the address bar, not on the file itself.

Easily locate and open folders in Bash

Developers who use Bash on Windows 10 can also use this technique. Type the folder name into the search box, click to open File Explorer at this folder, then replace the address information at the top with the command “bash”. Your Bash shell will open placing you at the desired folder. A Windows folder that begins with “C:\Users\Example User\Documents\Example Document Folder” will automatically be converted to the correct Bash format of “/mnt/c/Users/Example User\Documents\Example Document Folder”. Unfortunately the dragging technique will not work here because the original Windows folder name will be copied to the Bash shell and you will have to edit it to replace back slashes with forward slashes and to add the extra Bash nomenclature at the beginning of the file name.

Using the address bar in File Manager to run commands.

Besides “cmd” and “bash”, you can type many other commands directly into the address bar in File Explorer. For example, type Excel to directly open Excel. Type “control” to go to the Control Panel or “calc” to open the Calculator app. Many of the folders can also be directly accessed that way. For example, type “documents” to go to the Documents folder. All of these commands can also just be typed into the Windows 10 search box.

Both the Windows 10 search box and File Explorer have lots of capabilities that are often missed.

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