NOTE: There is an in-depth video at the bottom of this post!
file management is the last thing people master, and one of the first things they should have learned
I have a friend who has been using computers for almost as long as I have. I recently looked at the Desktop on his computer after listening to him complain about how he has trouble "finding" his documents. Then I saw something similar to the image above. Actually, it was MUCH worse...
Managing Photos is a whole other tutorial. This article will mostly focus on documents you create. Although Photos can be organized with File Explorer, there are better ways of doing it that I will address in another tutorial.
computers will not organize your Files all by themselves, however...
There is a lot of information on a computer. Some of it is yours, but a lot of it are just files that exist to make the computer work. The important thing is to narrow your view down to only the folders that you will be storing your stuff in.
Lets concentrate on three common folders that people use.
The Desktop folder, the Documents folder, and the Pictures folder. We will leave out folders such as Music and Videos for now to make things as simple as possible.
You might be amazed at how much File Explorer can help you organize the mess that already exists in your folders. It is your job to put a name on every file that you create.
After that, your computer has a very sophisticated tool to keep your files organized. It is called "File Explorer". I may sometimes refer to it as File Manager, but they are the same thing.
The app that we use to organize your files is called File Explorer
It should be located on the taskbar at the bottom of every Windows computer. If its not there, well then look at that handy search box that is also there. Hint: search for it.
Once you open File Explorer you will see a collapsible set of folders on the left of the Window.
When you create a document, you save it into the documents folder
The FILE - SAVE command, has been around since the beginning of computers. It is a relevant command in any Word Processor, Spreadsheet and many many other types of programs.
The FILE - SAVE AS command is similar and allows you to name a file before you save it to your computer. When you choose to save a file you must first choose a folder to save it to, and then you name it.
Files can easily be sorted by the column heading at the top of the file view window
You have already named each file hopefully. That means the files can now be sorted in a column. The most useful ways to sort your files and folders, are by A-Z, Creation Date, File Size
Search your folders to find lost documents
Your files are sorted alphabetically so you can scroll down the list to find what your looking for. I realize some folks just want to search, instead of finding it where it is, by knowing and understanding how your files and folders are organized.
To search for a file if you know the name of it or part of it, first narrow your search down by clicking the folder that you think it is in. That folder should always be the documents folder unless you are one of those unorganized desktop people.
After clicking the folder on the left of File Explorer, then click the search box in the upper right corner and type in the name of the file. Next is important to hit the ENTER key on your keyboard or the arrow to the right of the box to complete the search.
You may get tempted to click one of the results that automatically pops up in the list, but avoid that until you understand things here. You can also search for words that are inside the document which is really neat.
change the way you view your files
I believe details view is the simplest way to organize your stuff. But do understand that there are a few different ways to view how your files are presented in the file list view.
There is a tab at the top of the File Explorer window called "VIEW". In here is where you can change the way your files are displayed.
Details view is what I prefer for documents but as you will see by playing around a bit, you can change the look of your files layout in a few different ways.
Below is an longer more in depth video explaining this article
Use the buttons in the lower right corner of the video to control speed, and full screen ability.