Tag Archives: Windows

Quick Folder Navigation with Windows 10

File Explorer is used routinely to navigate folders and files. Often we move from one folder to another. What if we want to go back to a specific folder in the recent history?  In the file explorer  you see two buttons just below the ribbon Left arrow and Right arrow. This is used to navigate previously navigated folder in backward or forward direction.  In this case you have to click on these buttons multiple times to reach the desired folder.
Fortunately there is a better method of Quick Folder Navigation. Click on the down arrow next to these Back and Forward buttons. This one shows the list of recently navigated folders. Now you can directly choose the desired one. Simple but very useful.

Quick Folder Navigation

Did you know: You can FILTER by file type (and it is better than sorting)?

The Need

Let us say you have 250 files in a folder and you only want to see CSV files. Naturally, we will use SORT by type. But that will not help you. Because even after sorting, you still see all 250 files. The files will be arranged in alphabetical order. You still have to scroll to find the area where the desired files are.

The Solution

The solution is simpler than you think. You need to FILTER rather than sort the files. And the solution is right there in the Type header. Open that dropdown and filter by type.

filter by file type

It is very smart. Windows goes through all the files in the current folder and builds a list of all file types. You can then select the one you want. Now it FILTERS only those files. So we see a subset of files – only those you need.

filter by file type - better alternative to sorting

Simple and Effective. Of course this dropdown exists for size, date and all other columns. Try it out and see how smart and useful it is.



What did I learn today: Reorder taskbar icons as per work at hand

Read the previous article to understand how to Pin commonly used programs to taskbar. But recently, I went beyond this. I thought – the order in which these icons are pinned should also matter. You can easily drag them around to rearrange – that part is easy. But why would I want them in a particular order?

I solved that problem recently. I had to create the quiz for the Microsoft and Economic Times productivity competition. I had to create many quiz questions and associated images. During this process, I had a very repetitive activity to be done. I would create an image in Camtasia Editor, save it to file system (File Explorer), Save it to my blog (in IE), then preview it in another browser (chrome), add it to my database (Excel), find related article (IE) and then update it in Excel.

After doing this few times, I realized that the order of all the icons is not optimal. So I arranged them in the order I just described – as per my work flow.


And then it became extremely easy for me to do that repetitive work. Moreover, if I forgot exactly which step I was on, I just had to look at the currently active application – look at its icon and then the next icon was my next step – a visual progress indicator on task bar.

There is one more thing. If you want the first icon application press Windows 1, for second one Window 2 and so on.. at least till first 9 applications it is good. (Thanks Khushnood for the inputs). In the above screenshot, Windows 1 will START the first application (SnagIt). Windows 2 will NOT open another File Explorer instance – but it will show existing instances – if there was only one instance, it will open it. If there were multiple instances, it will show all of them just above the taskbar so that you can choose the one you need.

Try it out next time you are performing repetitive complex operations like the way I just described. Enjoy.

Put (Pin) commonly used items on the taskbar

The technical term is called PIN. Right click on any application that is running and choose Pin to Task bar. Also notice that the commonly used files appear there. You can PIN commonly used files as well so that you can open them in just one click. Browsers, Office applications and all other applications you use commonly should be pinned to task bar.

SNAGHTMLb1122a7                  SNAGHTMLb168f05

What else can be pinned? Even common web pages can be pinned. Drag from the icon in the address bar and drop it on the task bar – as shown above.

Also notice the right click menus – apart from showing recent files, these have interesting options as well.

PIN to taskbar    PIN to taskbar