Change the default action when you start typing in Windows 10 File Explorer

When you type something in File Explorer in Windows 10, by default the item with a name that begins with the letter or number that you typed in the currently open folder or drive will be selected. For example, if you are exploring C:\, you can press Pro to jump directly to C:\Program Files. It is possible to customize this behavior in Windows 10. So, instead of the file getting selected, a search is performed. Windows 10 File Explorer offers two choices which can change the behavior of the Explorer window after your keyboard input. In this article, we will see how to access and change these options.

To change the default action when you start typing in an Explorer window, use the Folder and Search Options configuration dialog available directly from File Explorer.
Follow these simple steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click File - > Change folder and search options:
  3. The Folder Options window will open, switch there to the View tab.
  4. Scroll down the options list until you will find the item called When typing into list view.
  5. If you set this option to "Select the Typed Item in the View", Explorer will jump to the item in the folder whose name you typed in the open window.
    For example, see the result when I type "pic" in the following screenshot:
  6. If you set this option instead to "Automatically Type into the Search Box", Explorer will send your keyboard input to the Search box in the title bar and start searching for what you typed immediately.
    For example, this is the result when this option is enabled:

See the following video:

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That's it. By default File Explorer uses the option "Select the Typed Item in the View". You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+E to move the focus into the search box. The same can be done in Windows 8.

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