File Explorer Shortcut List

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated July 20, 2020)


One of my favorite tools to improve my computer usage is the use of keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are the result of pressing a specific combination of keyboard keys that has a specific process attached to it. This can be as simple as pressing the Windows key to open the Start menu or using the Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste. Discovering the right keystroke combination for your workflow can help you become a faster, more powerful, and proficient Windows 10 user.

We have covered shortcuts multiple times before. In one article we cover some of Windows 10's newest keystroke shortcuts. In another tip we covered over 60 keystroke shortcuts that utilize the Windows key as the basis of implementing the shortcut. One might think that these are all of the shortcuts available. However, if using Windows has taught me anything, there is always more that you can expect.

Windows includes a series of specific File Explorer shortcuts that help in navigating around your system. These shortcuts can help with everything from opening File Explorer windows to searching. Below is a list covering these File Explorer shortcuts.

Shortcut Result
Alt+D Select the address bar
Ctrl+E Select the search box
Ctrl+F Select the search box
Ctrl+N Open a new window
Ctrl+W Close the active window
Ctrl+Mouse Scroll Wheel Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons
Ctrl+Shift + E Display all folders above the selected folder
Ctrl+Shift + N Create a new folder
Num Lock+asterisk (*) Display all subfolders under the selected folder
Num Lock+plus (+) Display the contents of the selected folder
Num Lock+minus (-) Collapse the selected folder
Alt+P Display the preview panel
Alt+Enter Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item
Alt+Right Arrow View the next folder
Alt+Up Arrow View the folder that the folder was in
Alt+Left Arrow View the previous folder
Backspace View the previous folder
Right Arrow Display the current selection (if it's collapsed), or select the first subfolder
Left Arrow Collapse the current selection (if it's expanded), or select the folder that the folder was in
End Display the bottom of the active window
Home Display the top of the active window
F2 Rename selected item
F3 (Ctrl+E or Ctrl+F) Opens search box and selects it
F4 Switch focus to address bar
F5 Refresh the instance of File Explorer
F5 Refresh File Explorer's current view
F6 Cycle through elements on the screen
F11 Maximize or minimize the active window

As with utilizing any keyboard shortcuts, you need to find the right combinations that help you with your frequent work. Test them out and find the ones that are easy for you to remember and implement into your workflow. By using the shortcuts one at a time you'll notice a nominal amount of time savings. However, the more you use them together the time savings can be significant.

 This tip (7396) 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 five minus 4?

2020-07-20 09:44:14


And the one I just most often:

When in the Details view, Ctrl-+ (the + on the number pad) will expand all columns to show all information--particularly useful for longer file/folder names.

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