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Using the New Windows Explorer Ribbon in Windows 8

By Aman Singhal on Dec 10, 2012
In this article we are going to explain how to use the new windows explorer ribbon in windows 8.


In this article we are going to explain how to use the new Windows Explorer ribbon in Windows 8. The ribbon became a feature in Microsoft office. The Windows 8 developer preview introduced the Ribbon interface into Windows Explorer and it's been improved in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. 

How to use the new Windows Explorer ribbon in Windows 8.

Step 1

First of all we have to move to the Desktop of Windows 8 and open the explorer window.


Step 2

In Windows 8 the Windows Explorer ribbon is now hidden, then we use the down arrow button next to the help button in the upper-right corner of the explorer window to expand the ribbon.


Step 3

The basic tabs we usually encounter are: Home, Share, View.

The "Home" tab includes copy, paste, paste shortcut, move to, copy to, delete, rename, history, invert selection, select none, select all and properties shortcut options.


Step 4

The "Share" tab includes email, zip, burn to, print, fax and stop sharing options.


Step 5

Contextual tabs display as you select specific files and folders.


Step 6

We change some core tabs when we select certain items. When we select a computer in the Navigation pane, the Home tab becomes the computer tab and the Share tab is not available. The Computer tab provides easy access to the Control Panel and allows you to uninstall or change programs.


Step 7

Disk tools are provided for working with hard drives and removable storage, such as Bitlocker, Optimize, Cleanup, and Format.


Step 8

Windows 8 also has a built-in tool to mount disc images, such as .iso files and .vhd files, and a tool to burn an image to a disc. Selecting the appropriate type of file activates the Disc Image Tools contextual tab.


Step 9

Just as there is in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 programs, there are popup descriptions that display when you move your mouse over an option on the ribbon. If there is a keyboard shortcut for that option, it displays on the popup.


Step 10

If we want to use the keyboard then we press Alt to show keyboard shortcuts for accessing the tabs and the quick access toolbar buttons. Then, press a key for a tab, such as "H" for the Home tab.


Step 11

Once we've pressed the key for a tab, hotkey hints display for the options on that tab. Press the hotkey for the desired option.


Step 12

Then we click on the file menu and open a new explorer window and access the most recently accessed folders and drives in the jump list, called Frequent places, on the right.


Step 13

Open a command prompt or the Windows Powershell in the File menu. We can open either as a normal user or as an administrator. A window opens to the folder currently open in explorer.


Step 14

The Open command window option is still available by pressing Shift while right-clicking on a folder in Explorer. This also opens a command prompt window to the folder currently open in the Explorer window.


Step 15

In the view menu, show and hide file name extensions and hidden items, and also easily change the folder and search options using the options button.


Step 16

Selecting the change folder and search options item from the options drop-down menu opens the classic folder options dialog box, containing the standard options from previous versions of Windows.


Step 17

We can easily change the layout of the files and folders. The Layout section of the View tab allows you to choose to view the list of files and folders as various sized icons, as a list, as tiles, or in a detailed list.


Step 18

The lower, right corner of the Explorer window provides two buttons that allow you to quickly switch between the Large icons view and the Details view.


Step 19

The panes section of the view tab allows you to easily customize the navigation pane and to show or hide the preview and the details pane.


Step 20

The same quick access toolbar from Microsoft office has been added to Windows Explorer. We can add any of the options from the ribbon to the Quick Access Toolbar simply by right-clicking on the option and selecting Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

By default, the Quick Access Toolbar displays above the ribbon. However, you can choose to move it below the ribbon using the same right-click menu.


Step 21

By default, the Properties and New Folder buttons are available on the Quick Access Toolbar. We added a few buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar, as shown in the following image.


Step 22

A lot of people mourned the loss of the "Up" button in Windows 7 Explorer. It's been brought back in Windows 8 and is available directly to the left of the address bar.


Step 23

The ribbon interface may take some time to get used to, but it exposes close to 200 file management commands, some of which were previously buried in menus, dialog boxes, or right-click menus. The Windows 8 Explorer makes file management easier and more convenient.

Aman Singhal
Aman Singhal

Aman Singhal is a software developer working with Microsoft technologies including .NET, Windows 8, ASP.NET and Windows Store apps.