Be more efficient. Today: Windows Explorer

June 24, 2009 at 11:10 AMAndre Loker

Just a reminder for myself or for anyone who’s interested, here are some useful tips and tricks to use in and with Windows Explorer that not probably everybody knows about.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Move back in history: ALT-LEFT
  • Move forward in history: ALT-RIGHT
  • Move one folder up: ALT-UP (seems to work on Vista only)
  • Expand current folder: NUMPAD + or RIGHT
  • Collapse current folder: NUMPAD – or LEFT
  • Recursively expand all subfolders of the current folder (yeah, don’t try that on C:\): NUMPAD *
  • Recursively collapse all subfolders of the current folder (a bit tricky): first NUMPAD – or LEFT, then F5
  • Goto address bar: ALT-D (US systems), ALT-E (German systems – Windows Help says it’s ALT-S, but it won’t work on Vista, at least for me)
  • Toggle fullscreen: F11
  • Auto-completion in address bar: TAB (you can navigate fairly quickly by using ALT-D, TAB and BACKSLASH)


Other stuff

  • Fire up Explorer rooted at a specific path: explorer /root,directory where directory is the desired root directory, e.g. on my system explorer /root,e:\Tools yields
  • By the way, this makes for a useful external tool in VisualStudio:
  • Open Explorer with a specific directory or file selected: explorer /select,Item – e.g. explorer /select,e:\Tools
  • Starting Explorer in a specific directory: explorer directory
  • Not directly related to the Explorer but a pretty cool tool nonetheless is VisualSubst. It lets you mount any directory as a new drive, just like the good old subst.exe but with a nice UI:



If you have more tips and tricks related to the Windows Explorer, feel free to share them, I’ll add them here.


Posted in: Tools

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