File Explorer is the face of Windows operating system. In Windows 7, it was called Windows Explorer and subsequently Microsoft renamed the app to File Explorer from Windows 10. You need to open File Explorer frequently for various purposes like searching files and folders or create new folders. Since each of us is convenient in accessing the app in a unique way, here have consolidated 10 different ways you can open File Explorer app in Windows 11.
File Explorer in Windows 11
First, let us have a visual look of File Explorer in the latest Windows 11 version. It looks bit different with the menu items are showing as icons.
Open File Explorer in Windows 11
Follow the below instructions to open File Explorer app.
1. Keyboard Shortcut
The first and most easy way to open File Explorer is use a keyboard shortcut. You can simply press “Win + E” shortcut keys in your keyboard to open File Explorer app. This works in all Windows versions.
2. Access from Taskbar Shortcut
Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 comes with a centered taskbar items that looks like a dock in MacBook. By default, you can find the File Explorer shortcut is pinned to the taskbar. Simply, click on the icon to launch the app. You can also hover the shortcut to see the preview of all currently opened File Explorer windows.
3. Search and Open
If you are frequently using Windows Search, then press the search icon on the taskbar. Type “file explorer” and open and Windows will show you the app as a first result. Click on it and open the app. You can also find the frequently apps list so that you can quickly open without searching every time.
4. Access from Power User Menu
Microsoft introduced power user menu in Windows 10 that you can open by pressing “Win + X” shortcut keys. Alternatively, you can right click on the Start menu icon in taskbar to open power user menu. After the power user menu opens, simply press letter E to launch File Explorer app.
5. Access from Start Menu
Press Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start menu. If you have pinned File Explorer, you will see the app immediately after opening Start menu under “Pinned” section. Otherwise, click on “All Apps” button to open the complete list of apps available in your computer. The apps will be listed in alphabetical order and scroll down to letter F and find File Explorer app.
6. Open from Command Prompt or Windows Terminal
Windows 11 changed the name of Windows PowerShell to Windows Terminal. You can open File Explorer in Windows 11 either from the old Command Prompt or from Windows Terminal app.
- Click on the Search icon in taskbar and type “command prompt” to launch Command Prompt app.
- When you are in Command Prompt, type explorer and hit enter key.
- This will open File Explorer app with the default folder (generally open with Quick Access).
Similarly, you can use Windows Terminal app to launch File Explorer app.
7. Use Run Prompt
You can use the same explorer command in Run prompt instead of Command Prompt to open File Explorer.
- Press “Win + R” keys to open Run prompt.
- Type explorer and hit enter key or press “OK” button.
8. Create a Desktop Shortcut from Target File Explorer App
Since File Explorer is one of the apps in Windows, it will have the target executable file. You can find the explorer.exe file under C:\Windows. Right click on the file and select “Show more options” to expand the context menu and click on “Create shortcut” option. Alternatively, you can select the file and press “Shift + F10” to open the expanded context menu in Windows 11.
You will be prompted with a message saying, “Windows can’t create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead?”
Press “Yes” to create a desktop shortcut for File Explorer app. The shortcut name will be “explorer – Shortcut” and you can rename as per your need. You can anytime double click on the desktop shortcut to open File Explorer.
9. Create Custom Desktop Shortcut
It is similar to previous method. However, instead of searching for the explorer.exe file, you can create a desktop shortcut right from the desktop. Right click on your desktop and select “New > Shortcut” option.
On the next screen, type the File Explorer app location as C:\Windows\explorer.exe and click “Next”.
Enter the name of your shortcut in the next screen as “File Explorer” and click “Finish” button.
Now, you will see a shortcut like below in your desktop. You can double click to launch File Explorer app.
10. Create New Task from Task Manager
This is a lengthy one-time method you can use if any of the above methods did not work for you.
- Right click on the Start menu to open power user menu and select “Task Manager” option from the list.
- When you are in Task Manager, go to “File > Run new task”.
- On the “Create new task” pop-up dialog box, enter explorer and press “OK” button.
- This will open File Explorer and you can start looking for your files and folders in the app.
As you can see, there are handful ways to open File Explorer in Windows 11. Shortcut key and taskbar shortcut is the easiest ways while some may love other options as well.