Loading
Windows.Tips.Net WindowsTips

Files

This is a big collection of tips and how-tos dealing with files. Here you'll find everything from adding a picture to a folder to changing the default program file, from reconfiguring Windows to do backups on a schedule to copying files or folders, and many, many more. This is the handy toolkit for a myriad of problems to solve or things to do about ideas you've had.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Files' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

 Adding File Types to the Search Index
You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by adding file types to the search index. This tip tells you how.

 Adding Locations to the Search Index
You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by adding locations to the search index. This tip tells you how.

 Assigning a Picture to a Folder
Windows allows you to customize many aspects of its user interface. One thing you can modify is how a folder's icon appears using folder pictures, as described in this tip.

 Backing Up Your Files
Performing regular backups of your system offers you peace of mind because you don't have to worry about data loss in the event of some type of system failure. And setting up automatic backups gives you this peace of mind without your having to remember to do anything.

 Breaking a Network Drive Mapping Association
Windows makes it easy to break the association between a network drive and its assigned letter. This tip explains how.

 Changing the Default Program for a File
Files are opened by programs depending upon the file's type. If you want to change this association so that a different program opens a particular type of file, follow the process in this tip.

 Changing the Hidden Attribute for a File
Windows maintains a set of attributes that describe and control characteristics of your files. Here's how to change the one that controls whether a file is visible or not.

 Changing the Program Associated with a File Type
Windows allows a great deal of flexibility in what programs it associates with different types of files. If you want to modify those associations, just apply the techniques described in this tip.

 Changing User Permissions for a File
All objects on your computer (e.g., files) have permissions that allow or deny various types of access. This tip shows you how to change user permissions for a file.

 Checking a Disk Drive for Free Space
Keeping track of your resources can help you avoid serious computer problems. Having an adequate amount of disk space is one check that should be periodically performed.

 Checking the Archive Attribute with Robocopy
Robocopy can work on files according to each file's attributes. This tip shows you how to use Robocopy to only copy files that have the Archive attribute set.

 Checking the Size of Apps
Need to know how much disk space is consumed by the small applications (apps) installed on your system? Windows makes it quick and painless to discover this tidbit.

 Clearing Items from the Recently Used Documents List
You may wish to clear your Recently Used Documents list or even have them not remembered in the first place. How you clear this list depends on what exactly you wish to do.

 Combining Drives in Storage Spaces
Need to add some addition drive space to your system? Why not consider adding what Windows calls a 'storage space?' This tip explains how you can set up your own storage space using multiple disk drives.

 Configuring Windows to Do Backups on a Schedule
Performing regular backups of your system offers you peace of mind because you don't have to worry about data loss in the event of some type of system failure. And setting up automatic backups gives you this peace of mind without your having to remember to do anything.

 Controlling the Size of the Windows Page File
The Windows page file is crucial to optimal system performance. This tip shows you how to control its size.

 Copying Data with Robocopy
Robocopy is a robust file copy utility built into Windows. If you have a lot of file management to do that can't easily be done by clicking through Explorer, you might want to consider going to the Command Line and using Robocopy.

 Copying Data with XCopy
XCopy is a file and directory copy utility built into Windows. If you have a lot of file management to do that can't easily be done by clicking through Explorer, you might want to consider dropping to the Command Line and using XCopy.

 Copying Files or Folders
A common operation within Windows is to copy files and folders from one location to another. Here are the two major ways that you can make those copies.

 Copying Files to a CD or DVD
You can have virtually unlimited disk space if you're willing to swap discs once in a while. By copying files to a CD or DVD you can both preserve the files as well as keep as much data as you like.

 Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive
If your hard disk becomes problematic to the point where you can't even boot from it, you'll be glad you have a bootable USB flash drive. This tip tells you how to create one.

 Creating a CD/DVD Archive
CDs and DVDs are good for creating archives of files you want to keep over the long term. They are a great way to back up information that you don't need instant access to.

 Creating a Hierarchy Map of Your Hard Drive
Want to see how the directories and subdirectories in your hard drive are organized? It's easy to do using the directions in this tip.

 Creating a List of Files in a Directory
Do you need a list of all the files in a directory? It's easy to create if you use the proper command-line commands.

 Creating a System Image
A system image is a snapshot of your system disk as of a certain point in time. Should the need arise, you can restore your system to this image and proceed as if nothing happened. This tip tells you how to create a system image.

 Creating a System Repair Disc
Doing a one-time create of a system repair disk can be worth its weight in gold if you find yourself unable to boot your system because of hard drive problems. Here's how to create the disc you need.

 Creating a System Repair Disk on a USB Flash Drive
Having a system repair disk is almost as important as doing regular backups. CDs and DVDs, though, tend to get scratched and potentially unusable over time. This tip tells you how you can make a system repair disk that resides on a USB flash drive.

 Creating and Using Compressed Folders
If you're low on disk space but still want to keep your files online, you might consider moving them to compressed folders. This tip explains how.

 Customizing File Explorer's Display
File Explorer is a powerful utility to use for navigating among your files and folders. And it can be customized a great deal to provide just the right information in the format you most desire.

 Customizing the Explorer's File List Display
Windows Explorer is a powerful utility to use for navigating among your files and folders. And it can be customized a great deal to provide just the right information in the format you most desire.

 Defragmenting a Hard Drive
As files are added, removed, and edited on a hard drive, the files and the disk itself become fragmented. This causes performance issues for the operating system as it access files on the disk. Keeping your disk defragmented is a safe and effective way to keep your disk performance at a high level.

 Deleting a Saved Search
Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to delete a previously saved search definition. Here's how.

 Deleting Files or Folders
Part of managing the files and folders on a system is the need to occasionally delete them. Here's a quick discussion on a couple of ways you can delete these items as you have the need.

 Determining How Much Space the Files in a Folder Require
Want to know how much space is required by all the files in a folder? There are a couple of very easy ways to get this information in Windows.

 Displaying All the Files in a Folder using the Command Prompt
Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One way you can display the files is using command prompt commands, as discussed in this tip.

 Displaying All the Files in a Folder using Windows Explorer
Displaying all the files a folder contains is an easy task in Windows. One easy way to do it is by using the Windows Explorer.

 Displaying Details about a Graphics File
Graphics files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these additional attributes.

 Displaying Details about an Audio File
Audio files have additional attributes that other files don't have. This tip describes how you can display these additional attributes.

 Displaying File Extensions
File extensions help both you and Windows understand how to work with a particular file. By default these extensions are not displayed, which is a possible source of confusion. Here's how to display them and remove the confusion.

 Displaying the Number of Files or Folders within a Folder
You can easily determine how many files and folders there are within a folder by making quick use of Windows Explorer or File Explorer. The information you desire is shown in the status area of the Explorer window.

 Editing File Properties
Files are the basis of how information is stored on a disk drive. In order for files to be organized and effectively used, Windows maintains properties associated with each file. This tip provides a high-level overview of how you can edit file properties, if you so choose.

 Encrypting a File Folder
Want to make the data stored on your system more secure? Think about enabling the built-in encryption capabilities of Windows for a specific file folder. Here's how to do it.

 Getting Information about Files Searched For
Do a search for files on your computer and you may need to see more information about the results than what Windows first shows you. This tip explains how to get the additional information you need.

 Getting Rid of Hidden Thumbs.db Files
A hidden file that the system uses to speed performance of your viewing folders containing pictures is called Thumbs.db. These files can be large, and they sometimes get in the way of your handling of the files and folders surrounding them. You can safely delete these files and also configure your system to never create them in the first place.

 Getting Rid of Old Windows Updates
Microsoft is constantly updating Windows for various reasons. For most people, those updates are downloaded and installed automatically. These update files can clutter up your hard drive over time, but here is how you can get rid of them.

 How to Change Drive Letters
Windows is quite configurable. It even allows you to change the drive letters associated with your disk drives. Although the process is not entirely straightforward, this tip provides the information you need.

 Logging Robocopy Operations
If you schedule Robocopy operations, you may want to maintain log files of what happened. In this case, getting familiar with the logging options is essential. This tip introduces you to a few of these options.

 Making a File Read-Only
If you have an important file that you want to be sure doesn't get accidentally edited, you can set it to read-only. This tip explains how.

 Mapping a Network Drive
You can create a mapping relationship between a network folder and a drive letter so that it's easy to access the folder by simply using the drive letter. This tip shows how to create such a mapping.

 Moving Files or Folders
A common operation within Windows is to move files and folders from one location to another. Here are the two major ways that you can make that move as easy as possible.

 Opening a File with a Program Other than the Default
Windows determines a program to use with a particular file based on the file's type. If you want to temporarily override this association so that a different program opens a file, follow the process in this tip.

 Permanently Deleting a File
If you have a file that you're sure you want to permanently delete (instead of having it go to the Recycle Bin) it's an easy proposition to do so as described in this tip.

 Pin Items to File Explorer's Quick Access View
You can improve your efficiency at navigating the file system by using the Quick Access view. This tip shows you how to pin items to Quick Access view of File Explorer.

 Rebuilding the Search Index
There may be times when you want to reset the search index and rebuild it from scratch. This tip tells you how.

 Recovering a Deleted File
We sometimes delete files by accident, or we delete files that we later realize we shouldn't have. Fortunately, these files usually go to the Recycle Bin where they can be easily recovered. This tip tells you how to recover a deleted file from the Recycle Bin.

 Removing a File Type Program Association
Removing a file type program association is a task for third-party utilities. You can, however, change the association between a file type and a program as presented in this tip.

 Removing Locations from the Search Index
You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by removing locations from the search index. This tip tells you how.

 Renaming Files Using the Command Line
The rename command can really be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with Windows Explorer. You can rename hundreds of files in the same folder with just one command, and the rename happens instantly. Getting familiar with rename can make you much more efficient in the use of your system.

 Renaming Multiple Files
Got a bunch of files you need renamed? Windows can help you out, but only in a limited manner. This tip shows you how.

 Renaming Multiple Files at the Same Time
It's possible to rename multiple files at the same time, but the new names of the files may leave a bit to be desired. Regardless, this tip explains the details.

 Repairing Your System Using a System Repair Disk
If your system gets into a state where it cannot be started normally, this tip presents you with options of how you can proceed, including using a previously created system repair disk.

 Restoring from a Backup
Being able to restore from a backup is just as important as making the backup in the first place. This tip tells you how to restore files and/or folders from a previous backup.

 Saving a Windows Search
Windows has a built-in search utility that allows you to search for strings inside of files. You can even save your searches for later use as described in this tip.

 Saving Search Queries
Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to save your commonly typed searches. Explorer makes saving a common search quite easy.

 Searching From within File Explorer
Searching from within File Explorer is a quick and easy way to find files and even content within files. This tip shows you how.

 Seeing which Files are Compressed
Compressed files can make it easier to store a lot of information on a hard drive. However, compressed files aren't that easy to tell apart from regular files. Here's a way you can mark compressed files to make them easy to spot.

 Specifying a Copy Schedule in Robocopy
There are a few ways to set up a copy schedule in Robocopy by using its options. This tip explains how.

 Stopping Windows from Creating Thumbs.db Files
Many times, the automatically created Thumbs.db file is more trouble than it's worth. If you want to stop Windows from creating Thumbs.db files, this tip is for you.

 Toggling Delete Confirmation
When you delete a file, Windows typically asks you if you are sure you want to make the deletion. You can control this behavior, though. This tip tells you how.

 Turning On the Display of File Extensions
Windows is configured, by default, to hide file extensions. This could be confusing or outright dangerous. For example, if you saw a file named "Pretty picture.jpg" you might be tempted to open it. But if the display of file extensions were turned on, you'd see that the file was actually named "Pretty picture.jpg.exe", which may end up wreaking havoc on your system if you ran it. This tip shows you how to turn on the display of file extensions so you don't fall for a trap like this.

 Understanding and Using File Attributes
Every file has several attributes associated with it. These attributes can be turned on or off in a couple of ways and govern how you interact with the file.

 Understanding File Paths
Every file on your disk drive has a unique file path that defines its location. Understanding how file paths work can be beneficial in working with Windows.

 Understanding File Types and Extensions
File types (or extensions) are key to using Windows effectively. When you double-click a file in Windows Explorer, the file is opened with a default program (like Notepad for ".txt" files). You can see what program will open which kind of file and even change this default association.

 Understanding Indexed Search
Windows has a powerful search utility that allows you to search for files that may be scattered across separate folders on your disk. This tip explains a bit about this search functionality.

 Understanding Robocopy
Robocopy is a robust file copy utility built into Windows. If you have a lot of file management to do that can't easily be done by clicking through Explorer, you might want to consider going to the command line and using Robocopy.

 Understanding Storage Spaces
Need to add some addition drive space to your system? Why not consider adding what Microsoft calls a "storage space?" This tip provides a high-level explanation of what storage spaces are and how they function.

 Understanding the Search Index
You can utilize Explorer's search utility to find text within files. To make searches fast, Windows maintains a search index which can be modified to suit your needs.

 Understanding ZIP Folders
Need to move a lot of information to someone else? The answer may be to store that information in a ZIP folder. Here's the low-down.

 Undoing a System Restore
Having the ability to restore your system back to when it was working properly is great, but what if, for some reason, you shouldn't have done that restore after all? This tip tells you how you can undo your restore.

 Using Offline Files
If you need access to files on a network but aren't always on the network, you may find that the offline files feature of Windows is just what you need. This tip explains how to use offline files.

 Using Robocopy to Copy Entire Directories
It's simple to use Robocopy to copy entire directories. Dealing with directories is what it does best! This tip shows you how to copy entire directories.

 Using Robocopy to Mirror Directories
It's simple to use Robocopy when dealing with entire directories. Dealing with directories is what it does best! This top shows you how to mirror two directory trees.

 Using Robocopy with File Sizes and Ages
Robocopy is a robust file copy utility built into Windows. The various switches built into the program provide very powerful ways that you can copy files. Here's how you can adjust what is copied based on file size and age.

 Using Sync Center
Sync Center is a centralized place where you can deal with your offline files. You can do a manual sync, set up a sync schedule, resolve sync conflicts, etc.

 Using the DiskPart Utility
The DiskPart utility is a low-level command-line program that lets you manage disks, virtual disks, partitions, and volumes. This tip provides some background on DiskPart.

 Using Windows Easy Transfer
If you ever want to copy user accounts, documents, pictures, etc., from one computer to another, you'll find that Windows Easy Transfer will make life a little easier. Here's how to use the tool.

 Ways to Combine Two (or More) Text Files
There have probably been times when you've wanted to combine two or more text files into one. Windows provides a few different ways to do this, but some methods are clearly better than others.

 What are the Limits on File Names?
It's good to know what the limits are when naming files, although in most cases the limits are sufficiently high that they shouldn't pose any problems. Here's the lowdown on what you can use.

 What is a Desktop.ini File?
When browsing through your system, you might see several files named Desktop.ini. This tip explains what these files are and how Windows uses them.

 Where Is that File I Just Downloaded?
Downloading files from the Web is a pretty common occurrence. Keeping track of your downloads used to be a bit of a problem, but newer browsers have made life somewhat easier.

 Working with Compressed Files and Folders via Zip
Windows 10 provides multiple ways to work with compressed files and folders. One great way is to use the Zip utility, which is covered in this tip.

 

More Information

The following are additional topics related to the subject of Files. A bracketed number after the topic indicates how many articles are related to that subject.

 

 

 

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us

 

Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites

Tips.Net

Beauty and Style

Cars

Cleaning

Cooking

DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)

Gardening

Health

Home Improvement

Money and Finances

Organizing

Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives

 

Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2017 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.