Windows 10 File Explorer not only allows you to easily view all of the files and folders on your computer easily but it also gives you a whole lot of choice about how those files are displayed. This week, we’ll start a special series on customizing the look of File Explorer. We’ll cover both the basics and some advanced options in this series.

To open, just click the file icon on your taskbar. Or type File Explorer into your search box and click on the results.

file-explorer

Here’s what it looks like. On the left, you’ll probably f find the Navigation pane. I say probably because it is possible to hide the navigation pane.

file-explorer-example

Let’s check it out.

navigation-pane

The quick access section gives lets you quickly get to frequently used files. I have icons for my Dropbox and OneDrive cloud storage accounts. Under This PC, all my libraries and downloads are listed as well as my hard drive and my network.

navigation-pane-list

When you click on a library such as Pictures in the Navigation pane, the contents appear in the center pane.

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At the top of File Explorer, click on the View tab. We’ll learn how to make some changes to the way Navigation pane displays.

preview-pane-view

Click on Navigation pane.

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Your first option in the drop-down menu is to completely eliminate the Navigation pane.

uncheck-navigation-pane

Here’s what File Explorer looks like without the Navigation pane.

no-navigation-pane

You won’t see all of the folders within folders and libraries automatically. Choose Expand to open folder and all of the subfolders will be displayed. Choose Show all folders and all folders will display.  Choose Show libraries and all of your libraries will display.

expand-to-open-folders

By default, you don’t have a Preview pane at the right.

preview-pane-see

But you can click on Preview pane at the left.

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And you’ll see a preview of any file you select in the center pane at the right.

preview-pane-display

Your other option is Details pane.

details-pane

Select that and you’ll be able to see information about any file you click on in the center pane displayed at the right.

details-shown

We’ll continue our look a File Explorer tomorrow.