Windows Explorer

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Windows Explorer - Tips and Tricks - Keyword Shortcuts for Microsoft Explorer - Advanced Tips and Tricks
Modify Favorites with the Explorer
SUMMARY: Organize Internet Explorer Favorites with a familiar Explorer interface.
Tired of using the default Internet Explorer mechanisms to modify your Favorites? If you are a Windows "power user", you may find modifying your Favorites with Explorer easier.
1. From the "Start" button, choose "Run".
2. Type "Favorites" (without the quotes) and press ENTER.
(Note that this works under Windows XP and may not work on earlier versions of Windows).
From here it is easy to do the following, and more:
1. Create a folder (right-click in the window, choose "New" then "Folder" and give it a name).
2. Rename a Favorite or folder (click on a Favorite or folder, press F2, then edit).
3. Move a Favorite between folders (just drag-and-drop the Favorite).
4. Delete a Favorite or folder (right-click a Favorite or folder, select Delete).
5. Change a Favorite's URL (right-click a Favorite, choose "Properties", change the URL).
Where is the windows start key? The [Start] or Windows key is located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on most new keyboards. But some old vendor keyboards and some laptops do not have this key.
Keys = Function
Backspace = Move back
Alt + A = Open the Favorites drop-down menu
Alt + D = Select the current Address bar text
Alt + F = Open the File drop-down menu
Alt + H = Open the Help drop-down menu
Alt + T = Open the Tool drop-down menu
Alt + V = Open the View drop-down menu
Alt + F4 = Close Internet Explorer
Alt + Home = Open the Home page
Alt + Right Arrow = Move forward
Alt + Left Arrow = Move back
Ctrl + B = Organize Favorites
Ctrl + C = Copy
Ctrl + E = Open the Search bar
Ctrl + F = Find
Ctrl + H = Open the History bar
Ctrl + I = Open the Favorites bar
Ctrl + L = Open a new Web page, document or folder
Ctrl + N = Open a new window
Ctrl + O = Open a new Web page, document or folder
Ctrl + P = Print the active frame or current page
Ctrl + R = Refresh
Ctrl + S = Save
Ctrl + V = Paste
Ctrl + W = Close the window
Ctrl + Enter = Add "www." To the beginning and ".com" to the end of the text in the Address bar
Tab = Move through the Address bar, Links bar, and the items on the Web page
Esc = Stop downloading a page
Shift + F10 = Display a shortcut menu for a link
Shift + Tab = Move back through the Address bar, Links bar, and the items on the Web page
F1 = Open Internet Explorer Help

Removing Right-Click Items

When you right click on a folder or file with the Explorer, a list of options is available.
As more applications get installed, this list may get too large for you. -

To remove items from the list: -

Note the text of the item you want to remove -

  • Start Regedit -

  • Go to the following sections in the Registry and delete the subkey with the string you noted in Step 1. -

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell -

  • Changing the Default Sound in Explorer

    You can change the default sound heard when navigating to folders in the Explorer. - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ AppEvents \ Schemes \ Apps\ Explorer \ Navigating\ .current - Change the default value to the wav file you want to use. - Leaving it blank will turn off the sound. - This also changes the default sound when opening a page in the Internet Explorer. -
    Running the Explorer in Separate Process (NT/XP Only)
    By default, the Windows Desktop, Taskbar, and Explorer run in a single process using multiple threads. You can modify the registry so that the Taskbar and Desktop will run in one process with each instance of Explorer in a separate process. - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer - Create a DWORD value called DesktopProcess - Give it a value of 1 -
    Changing Drive Icons in Explorer
    To change the icon used for specific drives in Explorer - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer - Create a key called DriveIcons - Within DriveIcons, create another key with the drive letter you want to change (..\DriveIcons\K) - Create another key within the drive letter key called DefaultIcon - Set the default value equal to the icon you want to use. - If you have a file that has more than one icon in it, such as a DLL file, use the standard C:\full_path\icon_file.dll,x
    where x is the number of the icon within the file icon_file.dll. -
    Changing Drive Labels in Explorer (Windows2000 and XP)
    Normally the Explorer shows drive labels as "Compact Disk", "Removable Disk" ect.
    To change the name of this label for specific drives: - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer - Create a key called DriveIcons - Within DriveIcons, create another key with the drive letter you want to change (..\DriveIcons\K) - Create another within the drive letter key called DefaultLabel - Give the Default Value for this key the label you want to appear for that drive letter. (Jazz Drive etc.) - Restart the computer -

    Resetting Graphics PreView in Explorer

    For Windows98, ME or Windows 2000, if you have View as Web Page enabled but do not see a picture preview in Explorer: -

    Start Regedit -

  • Go to Registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ file type \ ShellEx \ {BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1} - Make sure the Default Value "{7376D660-C583-11d0-A3A5-00C04FD706EC}" -
  • Keeping Filenames in the Case You Want

    To stop Windows from changing the case of your filenames to upper or lower case: - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced - Double-click DontPrettyPath (or create this key with a type of REG_DWORD if it doesn't exist) - Set the value to 1 to keep the case as you type it or 0 to adjust the case as Explorer requires - Click OK - Close Regedit -

    Changing the Explorer's Web View Background
    If you use Web View for your Internet Explorer, you can change the background that appears.
    Edit or recreate the file >C:\Windows\Web\Wvleft.bmp
    Make sure you keep the file dimensions the same 182x237 pixels
    Moving Up and Down Directory Levels
    To go one directory deeper, key RIGHT ARROW - To back out one directory level, key LEFT ARROW -
    Hiding the File Menu in the Explorer
    To hide the File Menu in Explorer: - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer - Create a new Binary Value - Name it NoFileMenu - Give it a value of 01 00 00 00 - Reboot the computer -
    Explorer Session from the Start Menu
    To open the Explorer with a session on the Start Menu,
    you can just right click on the START button and choose EXPLORE
    Most avid windowers know that "Start - Settings - Taskbar - Start Menu Programs - Advanced"
    will start an Explorer session focused on the Start Menu directory.
    This allows you to easily and quickly add/modify your Start menu.
    To immediately access this Explorer session from the Start menu itself, - Open Explorer and open the Windows directory. - Right-drag EXPLORER.EXE to the desktop, then select "Create shortcut here." - Open the properties to this shortcut, select the Shortcut tab and add the following switches to the command line in Target: "/e,/root,c:\windows\Start Menu". - Double-click on the title of the shortcut and change it to "Configure Start Menu." - Open "Start - Settings - Taskbar - Start Menu Programs - Advanced" and drag the shortcut just created into the window on the right. - This will place a configuration item in the first level of the Start Menu. -

    These command-line options will allow a similar Explorer session to be started with any folder as the root.

    Automatically Adjusting Right-Panel Column Widths
    The column widths in the right hand panel of the Explorer might not be the correct sizes to display all the file information.
    To automatically adjust all the columns at once to show all the information, - Click somewhere on the right-hand panel - Simply press the Ctrl-+ key. - The Name, Size, Type and Modified columns will automatically adjust themselves to display all their information. -

    Note: The + is the one on the numeric keyboard

    Inserting the Name of a File into a Document
    When you need to insert the exact name of a file into a document: -
      Open the Explorer - Right click on the file you want to reference - Select Rename. You can either right click and select Rename or press the F2 key. - Instead of renaming it, right click on it again, and select Copy. - Then you can paste the exact file name into your document -
    a Folder
    Adding a second Explorer to the menu that pops up when right clicking on any folder or the Start Button.
    This is handy to be able to open Explorer non-expanded and also for being able to open a second Explorer (non-expanded) while already in Explorer. -
      Open My Computer - Choose View-Options-File Types - Select the File Folder file type - Click Edit - For ACTION, type EXPLORER2 - For APPLICATION USED, type C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE /n,/e,/select,C:\ - Click OK and close all windows - Run REGEDIT - Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - Locate and expand DIRECTORY - Locate and expand SHELL - Locate and expand EXPLORER2 - Select COMMAND - On the right window RIGHT CLICK on DEFAULT - Select MODIFY - Remove the space and %1 at the end of the line - Click OK and close REGEDIT -

      EXPLORER2 will show up and launch a non-expanded view of Explorer whenever you right-click on the START BUTTON or any folder, even if you are already in Explorer.

    The whole procedure can be done in REGEDIT, but this may be safer for users not experienced with REGEDIT
    Finding Files from Explorer
    To find files from a particular directory: -
      Start the Explorer - Go to the directory you want to search - Press the F3 key - The Find File dialog box will come up with the initial directory being the one you highlighted -
    Printing a Directory from Explorer
    To make a Print Directory option from a right-click in Explorer: -
      In Explorer, choose View / Options / File Types - Highlight Folder (not File Folder) - Click on the Edit button - Click on the New button - In the Action box, type &Print Dir - In the Application use to perform action box type C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM /C DIR %1 /S /A /O:N > PRN -

      You can use other switches for COMMAND.COM (COMMAND.COM /?) or DIR (DIR /? - MORE) to customize to your preference.

    Opening a DOS Prompt in the Directory You Want
    You can use the Explorer to easily open up a DOS window to a specific directory. -
      From Explorer Option Menu select File Types - Highlight the object for Folder - NOT File Folder - Click the Edit button - From the 'Edit File Type' panel click the 'New' button - Action is '&Goto DOS Prompt' - Application used is C:\windows\command.com /k cd %1 - Select OK, then Close and Close. - Now from Explorer secondary (right) click the folder you want to go to in DOS - From the menu select 'GotDOS Prompt' (or hit G) and you are in that directory with a DOS windows - For Win NT 4.0 same tip, but substitute cmd.exe for command.com) -
    Starting Explorer with No Drives Expanded
    Normally when you start the Explorer, it expands the folders on the root of the C: Drive.
    For those computers with multiple hard drives plus CD ROM Drives, this might not always be what you want.
    If you want it to start without expanding any drives, use the following switches: - EXPLORER /n, /e, /select, c:\
    This will work with NT 4.0 as well
    Opening Explorer and System Properties from My Computer
    By holding Shift key and double-clicking My Computer you get an Explorer view of My Computer.
    By holding down Alt and key and double-clicking My Computer you get the System Properties of Control Panel.
    Opening Explorer from My Computer
    To open an explorer view of "My Computer", in "My Computer" or an Explorer window, - Select the View menu, Options. - Click the File Types Tab - Highlight the Folders entry - Click the Edit button - Highlight the action you wish (Open, Explore, Explore From Here) - Click the Set Default button. -

    This is much easier than editing the registry and easily changeable.

    Undo Last Command in Explorer
    When you use the Explorer to Copy, Move, Rename or Delete Files or Folders,
    you can Undo your last action by pressing Ctrl-Z
    File Copying in Explorer Without Opening Two Sessions

    There was a previous tip regarding opening two Explorer sessions, tiling them, and drag and dropping files from one to the other.
    An another way to copy files without needing to open a second Explorer session is to: - Highlight the file(s) you want to copy - Right click on the mouse - Select Copy - In Explorer, move to the target directory - Right click on the mouse - Select Paste - The files will now be copied -

    Easier File Copying with Explorer

    One difference between Explorer and File Manager is that with File Manager
    you could open up two windows to more easily copy files between drives.
    To do the same thing with Explorer: - Close all running applications - Start two copies of Explorer - Press Ctrl-Esc to bring up the task bar - Right click on an open space - Select Tile Horizontally or Vertically depending on your preference -

    Your two Explorer sessions will now split the screen and you can copy between them by
    dragging files like before.

    Expanding All Subfolders in Explorer
    To quickly have Explorer expand all subfolders for a selected drive or folder,
    simply press the asterisk (*) key on the numeric keypad.
    Starting Explorer when opening a Folder

    To have an Explorer window be the default when you open up a Folder: - Open up any folder. - Select View / Options - Select File Types - Go down to Folder - Click on Edit - Highlight Explore - Click on Set Default - Click on Close - Click on Close again -

    Now when you open a folder, you will get an Explorer window with the programs or shortcuts in the right panel
    and the regular explorer window in the left panel.

    Explorer Shortcut Keys
    F4 - Displays the Combo Box - F5 - Refresh the display - Ctrl+G - Go to a specific directory - Ctrl+Z - Undo last action - Backspace - Go up one directory -
    Starting the Explorer from the Current DOS Directory
    Changing the Sort order in Explorer
    To change the sort order of the right window of MS Explorer
    simply double click on the Name button underneath the toolbar
    to change the sort order from ascending to descending, a single
    click after that will toggle. The same works for Size, Type and Date Modified.
    Using the Explorer's SEND TO Feature
    When you right click on a file, SEND TO is one of the options. - To add other directories or programs, simply drag them to the SEND TO folder that is directly under the directory where you installed Win95. - This will allow you to quickly move files to commonly used areas. - For example, you can SEND TO applications like WinZip.
    Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts
    - Viewing and exploring Web pages -
    F1 - Display the Internet Explorer Help, or when in a dialog box, display context help on an item -
    F11 - Toggle between Full Screen and regular view of the browser window -
    TAB - Move forward through the items on a Web page, the Address bar, and the Links bar -
    SHIFT+TAB - Move back through the items on a Web page, the Address bar, and the Links bar -
    ALT+HOME - Go to your Home page -
    ALT+RIGHT ARROW - Go to the next page -
    BACKSPACE - Go to the previous page -
    SHIFT+F10 - Display a shortcut menu for a link -
    CTRL+TAB or
    F6 - Move forward between frames -
    SHIFT+CTRL+TAB - Move back between frames -
    UP ARROW - Scroll toward the beginning of a document -
    DOWN ARROW - Scroll toward the end of a document -
    PAGE UP - Scroll toward the beginning of a document in larger increments -
    PAGE DOWN - Scroll toward the end of a document in larger increments -
    HOME - Move to the beginning of a document -
    END - Move to the end of a document -
    CTRL+F - Find on this page -
    F5 or
    CTRL+R - Refresh the current Web page only if the time stamp for the Web version and your locally stored version are different -
    CTRL+F5 - Refresh the current Web page, even if the time stamp for the Web version and your locally stored version are the same -
    ESC - Stop downloading a page -
    CTRL+O or
    CTRL+L - Go to a new location -
    CTRL+N - Open a new window -
    CTRL+W - Close the current window -
    CTRL+S - Save the current page -
    CTRL+P - Print the current page or active frame -
    ENTER - Activate a selected link -
    CTRL+E - Open Search in Explorer bar -
    CTRL+I - Open Favorites in Explorer bar -
    CTRL+H - Open History in Explorer bar -
    CTRL+click - In History or Favorites bars, open multiple folders - - -

    - Using the Address bar -

    Press this =

    To do this -

    ALT+D = Select the text in the Address bar -
    F4 = Display the Address bar history -
    CTRL+LEFT ARROW = When in the Address bar, move the cursor left to the next logical break (. or /) -
    CTRL+RIGHT ARROW = When in the Address bar, move the cursor right to the next logical break (. or /) -
    CTRL+ENTER = Add "www." to the beginning and ".com" to the end of the text typed in the Address bar -
    UP ARROW = Move forward through the list of AutoComplete matches -
    DOWN ARROW = Move back through the list of AutoComplete matches -
    - Working with favorites

    Press this =

    To do this -

    CTRL+D = Add the current page to your favorites -
    CTRL+B = Open the Organize Favorites dialog box -
    ALT+UP ARROW = Move selected item up in the Favorites list in the Organize Favorites dialog box -
    ALT+DOWN ARROW = Move selected item down in the Favorites list in the Organize Favorites dialog box -
    - Editing -

    Press this =

    To do this -

    CTRL+X = Remove the selected items and copy them to the Clipboard -
    CTRL+C = Copy the selected items to the Clipboard -
    CTRL+V = Insert the contents of the Clipboard at the selected location -
    CTRL+A = Select all items on the current Web page -
    Remap the Right-Alt Key to be the Windows Key
    Create a Scancode entry in the Registry as follows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout - Create a new binary entry called Scancode Map with the following values - 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 5B EO 38 EO 00 00 00 00 - Reboot the computer -

    Disabling the Windows Key with NT or Windows2000
    To disable the use of the Windows Key for the two operating Systems, - Start Regedit - Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Keyboard Layout - Add a Binary Value called Scancode Map - Give it a value of 00000000000000000300000000005BE000005CE000000000 - Reboot the computer
    Press CTRL + Z to undo things like renaming a file in Explorer
    Minimizing All Windows
    To minimize all windows: - Press Ctrl-ESC to bring up the Task Bar - Press Alt-M -

    This makes it a lot easier to minimize windows when all your open applications are full screen.

    - Note : With the Microsoft Keyboard, you can accomplish the same thing by pressing the Window-M key.
    Shortcut to System Properties
    To access the System Properties screen quickly, simply hold down the ALT key while double clicking on the My Computer icon.
    While holding the windows key, press the Pause / Break key.
    This will open up the System Properties box.
    From here you can easily get to the Device Manager
    Duplicating the Right Mouse Click
    Pressing the Shift-F10 key will be the same as clicking the right-mouse button.
    Accessing Programs from the Start Button

    To access your programs more quickly from your start button, with out aid of a mouse, hit ctrl+esc to open your start menu.
    Then, type the letter for the directory you are looking for.
    For example, to access the ever popular game of solitaire, CTRL+ESC, then "P" for programs, "A" for accessories, "G" for games, then "S" for Solitaire.
    If there is more than one entry for the letter, keep hitting the letter until you reach your desired location. Then, hit enter.
    Quickly Starting Explorer
    You can quickly start an explorer session by holding down the Windows key on a Microsoft Keyboard and pressing the E.key
    Internet Explorer Shortcuts
    Here are a few IE keyboard shortcuts: -
    Go ‘Back’ to the previous page = Alt+Left Arrow -
    Go ‘Forward’ to the next page = Alt+Right Arrow -
    Add to Favorites on the current web page = Ctrl+D -
    Open the History folder -Ctrl+H -
    Open the Organize Favorites window = Ctrl+B -
    Lets you open a new web page = Ctrl+L -
    Open a new browser window = Ctrl+N -
    Reload the current page -Ctrl+R -
    Close the active Internet Explorer window -Ctrl+W -
    Bringing up the Properties Window
    While holding the ALT key double click on an icon to bring up the properties.
    Resizing and Moving a Window
    To Resize or Move a window: - Press Alt-Space - Press the S key - To Resize - Press the M key - To Move -

    You can now use the arrow keys to resize or move the window

    Key stroking is faster than mouse moving

    - In desktop you can press "m", "My Briefcase is highlighted, press "enter" will open this applet. - If you do not press "enter", - The next "m" key stroke will highlight "My Computer". - "Ctrl"-"Esc", press "P" for Programs , "enter","M" "enter", you get to the first program or folder that starts with "M" - Other applets will also be opened the same way. -
    Explorer Shortcut Keys
    F4 - Displays the Combo Box - F5 - Refresh the display - Ctrl+Z - Undo last action - Backspace - Go up one directory -
    Quickly Search for Files
    To quickly open up the Find all Files window - Press Ctrl+ESC ESC - Press F3 -
    To copy a file with a Mouse/Keyboard combo
    Drag the file while holding down the CTRL key - A + will appear on the icon
    To move a file with a Mouse/Keyboard combo
    Drag file while holding down SHIFT key - Nothing appears on the icon
    If moving a icon with the mouse and an arrow appears, it will create a shortcut.
    You can press shift or ctrl at anytime during the drag
    and it will change this little part of the icon. -
    Always Preview Before Printing
    SUMMARY: Get better webpage printouts from Internet Explorer by using the Print Preview feature.
    Before printing a webpage with Internet Explorer , always use the Print Preview mode to see how the webpage will look on a piece of paper. Just click "File" and then "Print Preview" to select this mode.
    Why is Print Preview so important? Unfortunately, depending on a webpage's layout, graphic elements or blocks of text might get chopped off. Text does not always wrap correctly, so you may print out a page of important text only to find out huge sections of it missing! That is why you should always Print Preview.
    If you notice missing text or graphics in your on-screen virtual printout, you can always change your paper orientation from Portrait to Landscape. Click "Close" to exit Print Preview mode. Click "File" then "Page Setup". On the "Page Setup" dialog box that follows, choose the "Landscape" radio button under "Orientation". Then press "OK" to close that dialog box. Afterwards, preview your document again to see if it looks ok and that no text or graphics are cut. If everything looks fine, click the "Print" button from the Print Preview mode to get a hardcopy of your desired page.
    Disable Sounds on Blocked Pop-ups
    SUMMARY: Prevent Internet Explorer with Windows Service Pack from annoying you with sounds every time pop-ups are blocked.
    By default, when Internet Explorer blocks a pop-up window, it plays a sound to let you know the web browser stopped the pop-up from appearing. While some people like this feature in that it lets them know how many windows were blocked, others may find this sound annoying. To disable this sound:
    1. From Internet Explorer , Click "Tools".
    2. Select "Pop-Up Blocker".
    3. Select "Pop-up Blocker Settings".
    4. When the "Pop-up Blocker Settings" dialog box appears, uncheck "Play a sound when a pop-up is blocked".
    5. Press "Close" to close the dialog box.
    Change Pop-up Blocker Filter Level SUMMARY: Filter more or less pop-up windows with Internet Explorer and Windows Service Pack .
    Normally, Internet Explorer is configured to allow some pop-up windows to appear, especially if they are user-initiated (a pop-up appearing after clicking a button or a link). If you'd rather increase Internet Explorer 's pop-up window blocking sensitivity to block even more windows, do the following:
    1. From Internet Explorer , Click "Tools".
    2. Select "Pop-Up Blocker".
    3. Select "Pop-up Blocker Settings".
    4. When the "Pop-up Blocker Settings" dialog box appears, under "Filter Level", click the pull-down and choose "High".
    5. Press "Close" to close the dialog box.
    Printing in Landscape Mode
    SUMMARY: Use Internet Explorer to print webpages in landscape mode, making some printouts look nicer.
    Often when you try to print web pages, Internet Explore 6 will clip off some of the text on the right, making the printed pages only marginally usable. If this occurs, try printing your web pages in landscape mode.
    Click the "File" menu then "Page Setup". On the dialog box that appears, underneath "Orientation", click the "Landscape" radio button. Press "OK" to close.
    Now, large web pages may not get truncated by IE6 as the landscape printing provides for much more horizontal room.
    Toggle the Status Bar Display
    SUMMARY: Turn the status bar on or off to view or hide webpage information.
    To view or hide the Internet Explorer status bar, just select "View" then "Status Bar". The status bar is useful in that it shows when a page is loading, may mention when a page has an error, and normally shows the web address destination of a hyperlinked image.
    Change Webpage Font Sizes Easier
    SUMMARY: Quickly change the font size of webpage text in the toolbar.
    Although Internet Explorer lets you make a webpage's text larger or smaller, this feature is hidden in the "View" menu. If you frequently change a webpage's text size, why not make this option easier to access by adding it to your toolbar?
    Right-click on the toolbar and choose "Customize". When the "Customize" dialog appears, look under "Available Toolbar Buttons". Scroll down until the "Size" button appears. Click the button, press "Add" to insert it in your toolbar, and then press "Close" to remove the dialog box.
    Now, to change the size of the fonts on a webpage, click the new toolbar button and you can choose from a Largest, Large, Medium, Small, or Smallest text size. Note that this feature will not work on every web page you visit.
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