File Explorer is an essential part of Windows 11 that helps you manage your files and folders. But, if it’s not pinned to your taskbar, it isn’t always obvious how to launch it. Here are five easy ways to launch File Explorer in Windows 11.
The Fastest Way: Press Windows+e
At any time while using your PC, press the Windows key and the “E” key together, and a File Explorer window will pop up immediately. It can’t get easier than that! This shortcut also works in Windows 10 and extends all the way back to Windows 95.
Right-Click Start or Press Windows+x
If you right-click the Start button in your taskbar (or press Windows+x on your keyboard), a hidden “power user” menu will appear. Select “File Explorer” from the list, and File Explorer will open.
Search the Start Menu
You can also find File Explorer in the Start menu. To do so, click the Start button on your taskbar, then type “file explorer” on your keyboard. When you see the “File Explorer” result, either click its icon or simply press Enter, and File Explorer will launch.
Use the Command Prompt or Run Box
You can also open File Explorer from the command line. After opening a Command Prompt, type “explorer.exe” or just “explorer” and hit Enter. A File Explorer window will open to your “This PC” location. The same trick works if you type “explorer.exe” into the Windows+r “Run” box.
Add a Special Start Menu Shortcut
In Windows 11, you can add a special shortcut to File Explorer that lives in your Start menu. To do so, open Windows Settings (press Windows+i), then navigate to Personalization > Start > Folders. On the Folders screen, flip the switch beside “File Explorer” to “On.”
The next time you open Start, you’ll see a small outlined File Explorer icon beside the power icon at the bottom of the menu. Click it, and File Explorer will open. Happy exploring!