File Explorer replaces Windows Explorer and its Ribbon interface has a range of useful tools.
File Explorer has been improved significantly in Windows 8. It now has the Ribbon interface, making it easier to use with bigger icons thanks to the greater space compared to the old menus.
As with other programs that use the Ribbon, there is a Quick Access toolbar at the top left of the File Explorer window. There are just two icons there by default; Properties and New Folder.
Adding new icons is easy, click on the down arrow and select an extra option from the list displayed.
The back and forward buttons are used to move through the history of folders that you have visited. The blue arrow moves up to the folder above the one you're currently looking at.
The address bar works much as it does in Windows 7. Click on a folder in the list to move to it. Clicking on the arrows lets you choose from other folders at that level, handy if you want to switch between folders in your user folder.
But the big change is the Ribbon replacing the old menus. Click on one of the headings to reveal the available tools.
If you want the Ribbon to be visible all the time, double-click on one of the titles. Repeat to hide the Ribbon. Alternatively, click on the Quick Access menu and then Minimize the Ribbon.
We particularly like the Easy Access tool. Click on a Folder and then on this button to reveal an option to pin it to the Start Screen, ideal for a folder containing frequently used documents.
The Share tab contains tools for getting documents to other people, whether it's by email, burning to a disc or sharing over a homegroup.
The View tab can be used to quickly switch between the different view styles, from large icons ideal for browsing your photo collection to detailed lists.
As with the Ribbon in other programs, extra tabs will appear with tools dedicated for specific file types such as compressed folders and programs.
The File menu has a list of recently visited folders. Click on the Pin to stop that entry from being replaced. The next two options are for advanced users only. Finally you can delete the history of which folders you have visited.
You can also watch our video guides to Windows 8 to see how the new operating system works
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