Windows Explorer Explained: Where to Find It

Yesterday I explained the existence of Windows Explorer (which is not the same as Internet Explorer, mind you), the Windows file manager that many a novice user has found mysterious, confusing, and just plain hard to find.

Today let's tackle that last issue: where to find Windows Explorer. If you're a Windows 7 user, look no further than a few icons over from the Start button: Explorer finally earned a home on the taskbar after years of obscurity. Click it and, presto, you're in. (You can also right-click the icon to access pinned and frequently used folders--one of Windows 7's niftier amenities.)

Okay, but what about Windows XP and Vista users? They might as well be playing a variation of Where's Waldo: Where's Windows Explorer?

As it happens, there are three ways to find the tool:

1. Press Windows-E on your keyboard (definitely one of my favorite shortcuts).

2. Right-click the Start button and then click Explore. (Windows 7 finally renamed this option Open Windows Explorer.)

3. Navigate your Programs menu until you find the Accessories folder; Explorer can be found inside it.

Of course, long before Windows 7 arrived, I was a fan of putting Explorer on my taskbar for quick, one-click access. XP and Vista users can learn how to do likewise in Add Windows Explorer to the Quick Launch Toolbar.

That's it for me! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday, and I'll see you back here on Monday.

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