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Select Multiple Items with a Fingertip on Your Windows 8 Tablet

Selecting items or groups of items on your Windows 8 tablet with your fingers can be one of a tablet’s most maddening chores. It’s fairly easy to select one item: Just tap it, and Windows highlights it, showing that it’s selected. But when you tap a second item, Windows selects that item, deselecting the first item.

How do you select more than one item? The key is a precisely placed tap under just the right conditions. The following steps show the way to select more than one item using precisely placed taps:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the drive or folder containing the items you want to copy or move.

    Open File Explorer with a tap of its icon on the taskbar — that strip running along the desktop’s bottom edge. When File Explorer appears, examine the Navigation pane along its left edge. It lists all of your tablet’s storage areas.

    Tap the storage area containing your items; that storage area’s contents appear in File Explorer. Double-tap a drive, library, or folder to open it. Keep digging until you’ve found the location of the item to be moved.

  2. Switch to Details view.

    File Explorer lets you view items in many different ways, and Details view is the easiest way to select things with your fingers. So, tap the View tab along the Ribbon menu’s top edge; then tap Details in the Layout section. File Explorer displays the items in Details view: rows of names of files and folders.

  3. To select a file, tap just to the left of a file’s icon. A check box containing a check mark appears next to the file’s icon.

    This is the trickiest part. With the tip of your pinky, tap just to the left of the file’s or folder’s name. When you tap in just the right spot, you place a check mark in the box that appears.

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As you quickly discover, this takes practice. If just one tap is off, Windows deselects everything, and selects only what you’ve just tapped. Keep trying, and you’ll eventually find the sweet spot, just to the left of the file’s or folder’s icon.

After you select the items you want, move to the next section: copying or moving files and folders.

  • On the Start screen, a tap opens an item. On the desktop, a tap selects an item. The desktop requires a double-tap — two quick taps in succession — to open an item.

  • When selecting many items, it’s sometimes easier to check the Select All check mark and then tap to deselect unwanted items.

  • To delete your selected items, tap the Ribbon menu’s Home tab, and tap the Delete icon.

  • If your tablet includes a stylus — a plastic pen for drawing on your tablet — rejoice! It’s much easier to select and deselect items by tapping their check boxes with the tip of a stylus.

  • You can also lasso items using your finger or stylus. Draw a rectangle around your desired items, and Windows selects them for you.

  • After fiddling around with your fingers on the desktop for a few minutes, you’ll see why a mouse or stylus can be invaluable for precision desktop operations.

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