For Seniors: Access Recently Used Files on Your Laptop - dummies

For Seniors: Access Recently Used Files on Your Laptop

Your Windows laptop gives you multiple ways for accessing files that you need. You can access files you have already opened, search for them with Start Screen Search, or use File Explorer.

Access open files

  1. You may often have several files open at one time. If you’re working on several files, Windows offers a shortcut to viewing what’s open and going to the file you want to work on. From the Start screen, move your mouse cursor to the top left corner of the screen. Currently open files and active apps appear.

  2. Slide your mouse down the left side to reveal other open files or apps.

  3. When you find the item you want, click on it to make it the active file.


When you are working in an application such as Excel, you can open the most recently used files by choosing File→Open and choosing the file you want to work with from a list of recent files.

Locate files and folders with Start Screen Search

  1. Can’t remember what you named a folder or where on your laptop or storage media you saved it? You can use the great Start Screen Search feature. Open the Start screen (press the Win key on your keyboard if you have the Desktop displayed).

  2. Begin to type the file name and a Search window appears.


  3. Click the file in the results to open it.

Search for a file with File Explorer

  1. You can also use File Explorer to locate files and folders in a hierarchical listing. From the Desktop, click the File Explorer icon in the taskbar.


  2. In the File Explorer window, click on Favorites, Libraries, or Computer; the item to be searched changes in the Search field based on what you’ve selected.


  3. Enter a term in the Search field.

  4. In the results that appear, double-click an item to view it.


To view recent searches you’ve performed, click the Recent Searches button on the Search tab of File Explorer’s toolbar that appears when you perform a search. To save search results so you can view them later, click the Save Search button, enter a name for the search in the dialog box that appears, and then click Save.

Use the settings in the Refine area of the Search tab of the toolbar to set criteria on which your searches will be based such as the kind or size of file, or the date the file was last modified.