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9 Best Ways to Open File Explorer in Windows 10

File Explorer, previously called Windows Explorer, has been an integral part of Windows operating system since the time of Windows 95. Now carried over to Windows 10, it continues to be a handy utility that helps you access all the other Windows files—all with just a few clicks.

In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to access File Explorer. Let’s get started.

1. Keyboard Shortcut

Windows is infamous for the keyboard shortcuts it provides for handling every big or small task. In this case, it can also be used for opening shortcuts. All you have to do is press the Windows key along with E, and the File Explorer will be launched.

2. Windows Search

The Start menu search bar, placed right along with the Windows icon, is a handy tool which you can use to lookup anything. In this case, you’ll be using it for launching the File Explorer.

To get started, type in ‘file explorer,’ and wait for the icon of File Explorer to pop open. Select the Best match and the File Explorer will be launched.

opening file explorer from windows search


3. Taskbar

The taskbar is a way to access to important Windows information, right from the desktop. All you need to do is click on the folder icon, i.e., the icon for File Explorer.


opening file explorer from task bar

In the off chance that the File explorer isn’t there, you’ll need to manually add it to your taskbar. To do that, launch the File Explorer with either of the methods listed here, and right-click on the folder icon when it gets launched, and click on “Pin to Taskbar” to keep it there permanently.


pinning the file explorer

You can then move it around wherever you like.

4. Power User Menu

First introduced with Windows 8, the Power User Menu is a context menu that makes all the frequently accessed options available at a single place at your desktop.

To open File Explorer from Power User Menu, press Windows key + X and then click on the File Explorer.

opening file explorer from power menu


5. Windows Run

The Run command is a Windows feature that lets you access any program from a dialog box. All you have to do is enter the appropriate command in the dialog box and then hit Enter.

To get started, go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘run,’ and select the Best match.

On the Run dialog box, type ‘explorer’ and hit Enter. Do this and the File Explorer will be launched.


run file explorer with windows run

6. Command Prompt

A rather long-winded way to do it, but the Command prompt is a convenient tool for those of us who aren’t really the fan of GUI. To get started with using Command prompt for opening File Explorer, go to the Start menu, type in ‘command prompt,’ and select the Best match.

On the Command prompt, type the following command and hit Enter:


After you’re done with the steps, the File Explorer will be launched.


opening file explorer with command prompt

7. Desktop Shortcut

Another shortcut in the list, a desktop shortcut is an additional method to open Windows File Explorer. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click on the desktop screen.
  2. Select New > Shortcut.
  3. In the Create Shortcut dialog box, type the following command and hit Enter:
  4. Add a name for your shortcut. For example, use something like ‘File Explorer’.
  5. Click on Finish.


launching file explorer from desktop shortcut

As soon as you do that, a File Explorer shortcut will appear on your desktop. Simply click on the shortcut and the File Explorer will be launched.

8. Task Manager

Despite being known mostly as a last resort for all hang-ups of Windows, the Task Manager is a handy tool for a host of other things as well.

The Task Manager is your tool of choice if you want to monitor what programs are running on your PC, letting you control them up to a point. Interestingly, it’s also an option to launch the Windows File Explorer.  Here’s how you can do that:

  • Right-click on task bar, and select the Task Manager.
  • Click on File > Run new task.
  • In the new dialog box, type in ‘explorer’ and click on OK.


opening a task manager in windows

Follow the above steps and the File Manager will be successfully launched.

9. This PC

Finally, you can also make use of the ‘This PC’ desktop icon to launch the desktop icon. To get started, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Windows Settings by pressing Windows key + I.
  2. Select Personalization > Themes.
  3. Click on Desktop icon settings.
  4. Toggle the Computer radio box under the ‘Desktop icons’ option menu.
  5. Click on OK.


opening file explorer through this pc

As soon as you solidify the changes, the ‘This PC’ icon will appear on your desktop. Double-click on it and the File Explorer will be launched.

Top Ways to Open File Explorer in Windows 10

File Explorer is by far one of the most used applications in Windows PC. Hopefully, this article helped you open File Explorer without any hassles.

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Shaant Minhas

Shaant is a technology writer for OnMSFT and MakeUseOf, where he covers like things tech. When he's not reading or writing, you can find him enjoying cardio-heavy sports or watching Sci-Fi shows.

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