What’s Inside a Folder in Windows 8 - dummies

What’s Inside a Folder in Windows 8

By Andy Rathbone

Because folders are really little storage compartments, Windows 8 uses a picture of a little folder to represent a place for storing files. To see what’s inside a folder, either in File Explorer or on the Windows 8 desktop, just double-click that folder’s picture.

A new window pops up, showing that folder’s contents. Spot another folder inside that folder? Double-click that one to see what’s inside. Keep clicking until you find what you want or reach a dead end.

Reached a dead end? If you mistakenly end up in the wrong folder, back your way out as if you’re browsing the web. Click the Back arrow at the window’s top-left corner. (It’s the same arrow that appears in the margin.) That closes the wrong folder and shows you the folder you just left. If you keep clicking the Back arrow, you end up right where you started.

The Address Bar provides another quick way to jump to different places in your PC. As you move from folder to folder, the folder’s Address Bar — that little word-filled box at the folder’s top — constantly keeps track of your trek.

Notice the little arrows between the folder names. Those little arrows provide quick shortcuts to other folders and windows. Try clicking any of the arrows; menus appear, listing the places you can jump to from that point. For example, click the arrow after Libraries and a menu drops down, letting you jump quickly to your other libraries.


Here are some more tips for finding your way in and out of folders:

  • Sometimes, a folder contains too many files or folders to fit in the window. To see more files, click that window’s scroll bars along a window’s bottom or right edges.

  • While burrowing deeply into folders, the Forward arrow provides yet another quick way to jump immediately to any folder you’ve plowed through: Click the little downward-pointing arrow next to the Forward arrow in the window’s top-left corner. A menu drops down, listing the folders you’ve plowed past on your journey. Click any name to jump quickly to that folder.

  • Removed from Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the Up Arrow button reappears in Windows 8. Click the Up Arrow button, located just to the right of the Address Bar, to move your view up one folder. Keep clicking it, and you’ll eventually wind up at someplace recognizable: your desktop.

  • Can’t find a particular file or folder? Instead of aimlessly rummaging through folders, check out the Charms bar’s Search command. Windows can automatically find your lost files, folders, e-mail, and nearly anything else hiding in your PC.

  • When faced with a long list of alphabetically sorted files, click anywhere on the list. Then quickly type the first letter or two of the desired file’s name. Windows immediately jumps up or down the list to the first name beginning with those letters.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.