PATH: Instructional Server> HowTo's>

HowTo: Access and Use the Windows File Explorer Utility


All versions of the Windows operating system provide a fundamental utility program for accessing stored files. The name of this program in Windows 8 is the "File Explorer" (not to be confused with the popular web browsing program known as "Internet Explorer"). All other versions of Windows refer to this utility as simply "Windows Explorer".

Launching the File Explorer

The procedure to the File Explorer is slightly different in each version of windows. It is typically launched by selecting its yellow folder shaped icon on the desktop or from the Start menu or screen. But all Windows versions should launch it if you perform the following steps:

  1. Press and hold down the Windows key on your keyboard, and while holding it tap the letter R. A Run dialog box should appear.
  2. In the textbox, type the command explorer and press the Enter key. A window containing the Windows File Explorer utility program should appear.

Using the File Explorer

For a tutorial about using the Windows 8 File Explorer, read the page at:


For a short summary of the minor differences between the newer Windows 10 Explorer and the earlier Windows 8 File Explorer, read the Microsoft help page about Windows 10 at:


For video tutorials, view either (depending on your Windows version at home):

    [Microsoft Windows 8 Tutorial: Exploring the New File Explorer]
    [Windows 10 Tutorial - Exploring File Explorer]

Closing the File Explorer

When you are done using any version of the Explorer program, you can quickly close it using either the close button image button in the upper right-hand corner of its window or using the keystroke combination Alt+F4.

PATH: Instructional Server> HowTo's>