Launching File Explorer

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q: What is the easiest way to access the File Explorer window in Windows 8.1, and how do I launch two File Explorer windows to make it easier to move files back and forth?

A: The simplest way to launch File Explorer in Windows 8 or 8.1 is by pressing Windows Key+X, and then selecting File Explorer, as pictured below. Repeating this process opens additional File Explorer windows.


In Windows 7, Windows Key+E opens the Explorer window.

Alternatively, you can launch separate File Explorer windows in Windows 8 or 8.1 Desktop mode by right-clicking the File Explorer icon and selecting File Explorer from the pop-up menu (as pictured below to the left), or from the Windows 8 or 8.1 Windows Store Apps screen by pressing the Shift key while clicking the File Explorer icon (as pictured below to the right).


J. Carlton Collins ( is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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