File Explorer, formerly known as Windows Explorer, is the default file manager of Windows 8.1. Starting with Windows 8, it features the Ribbon interface, which exposes all the possible commands for quick access to regular file management features. Additionally, it offers you the quick access toolbar, where you can put any of your favorite commands.
Today we will look how we can use the Ribbon UI to manage the selection of items in File Explorer effectively.
Since Windows 95, you were able to select files in Windows Explorer:
- using CTRL+A hotkeys to select all files
- using SHIFT+Up/Down Arrow keys to select files from the currently selected file to the next/previous file while you hold the SHIFT key.
- using CTRL+Up/Down Arrow keys to select multiple files which are not listed consecutively, while you hold CTRL.
- with the mouse, you can draw a rectangle starting from the outside empty space and drag inwards towards the files to select the files you want.
- with the mouse, holding down CTRL and clicking every file you want to select.
- with the mouse, holding down SHIFT and clicking on the first file you want to select, then clicking on the last file you want to select.
- use checkboxes to select files or click the topmost checkbox in the header to select all files
- using the 'Select All' command from the Edit menu and the little known 'Invert selection' command, also located inside the Edit menu.
In Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, you have an additional tool. On the Home tab of the File Explorer ribbon, you have some advanced options to control the selection of items:
Notice the section of the Ribbon labelled 'Select'. It has buttons for "Select all", "Select none" and "Invert selection". The Invert Selection button allows you reverse the selection in the File Explorer window. If you have all files selected, inverting the selection will de-select all of them. Let's see what Invert Selection does with an example.
Suppose I want to delete all files from the screenshot above except SkyDrive.png. This is what I have to do:
- I have to select that file, SkyDrive.png:
- Next, all I need is a single click on the "Invert Selection" button and then press Delete:
That's it! This is quite simple, right?
Bonus tip: in my screenshots above you can see the customized navigation pane and This PC folder. You can also add or remove any folder in This PC using the following tutorial: How to add custom folders in This PC in Windows 8.1 or remove the defaults.
Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:
If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!