Navigate File Explorer Without a Mouse

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated October 4, 2021)

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When you are navigating using File Explorer within Windows 10, as quick as your mouse might be, there are times that you can speed things up using keyboard shortcuts. File Explorer's keyboard shortcuts are a fast way to perform certain tasks without needing to move your mouse. Any of these shortcuts can be used when you have a File Explorer window active:

Keyboard Shortcut Result
Alt+Up Arrow Go up one level
Alt+Left Arrow Go back
Alt+Right Arrow Go forward
Alt+D Moves the focus to the Address Bar, while selecting the path in the Address Bar
Alt+P Display the preview panel
Alt+Enter Display the properties of the selected file
F4 Move insertion point to the address bar, while displaying the contents of the drop-down list of previous addresses
F11 Minimize or maximize the active window
Tab Rotate through search box, address bar, navigation pane, file list, and column headings
Ctrl+Shift+E Expand the navigation pane to the current folder
Ctrl+Shift+N Create a new subfolder in the current folder
Ctrl+E or Ctrl+F Select the search box
Ctrl+N Open a new window
Ctrl+W Close the active window
Home Select the top of the active window
End Select the bottom of the active window

Using keyboard shortcuts within the File Explorer not only enables you to work faster, it also allows you to navigate without the use of a mouse.

 This tip (1958) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

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What is three less than 9?

2021-10-04 14:59:41

MW

You did not include "Backspace" in your list.

In an open File Manager (File Explorer) window, pressing backspace will return to the last opened File Manager window. It operates like the back button on a website.

It is really helpful when you open a sub-folder in a folder tree, which replaces the open folder, and you decide you want to go back to where you were.

Press Backspace and you are taken back to hat folder. Backspace again and you go back to previous folder . . .


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