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Manage Files and Folders on Your Surface

Surface does not use the earlier versions of Windows, with a program named Windows Explorer that let you view your computer’s files and storage spaces, shuffling files between them as necessary.

Windows Explorer lives on in Windows 8, but with the new name of File Explorer. And true to its predecessor, File Explorer also lets you manage your Surface’s files, folders, and storage areas. That makes the program particularly handy for moving files on and off your Surface.

To open File Explorer and begin browsing your Surface’s files and storage areas, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Desktop app with a tap on its Start screen tile.

  2. Tap the File Explorer icon (shown in the margin), found on the left end of the desktop’s taskbar — that strip along the desktop’s bottom edge.

    File Explorer appears, shown in this figure, letting you manage the files on your Surface.

  3. To see your Surface’s storage spaces and the files inside them, tap Computer from File Explorer’s left pane, called the Navigation pane.

    There, you see all the drives accessible by your Surface: its internal hard drive, removable memory card, network locations, and anything you’ve plugged into its USB port, including flash drives, portable hard drives, and even digital cameras.

  4. To see inside a storage area, tap it on the Navigation pane.

    Tap Libraries, for example, to see your Surface’s main storage areas: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. Tap Computer to see your Surface’s memory card, flash drives, portable hard drives, or even to see photos stored on your camera. Tap any storage area you see, and File Explorer lists the files stored inside.

When you want to copy or move files or folders from one place to another, Windows makes you take two steps: First you select the items; second, you copy or move them to their new location.

Although desktop windows contain scroll bars, it’s hard to position your fingertip inside those narrow bars. Instead, slide your finger up or down directly inside the Navigation pane; that scrolls the pane’s contents up or down. The same applies to the items you see in the File Explorer window’s left side.

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