Files & folders
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Understanding how you file things in a computer can be frustrating to say the least.
Sometimes you try to open a file and it doesn't open up to the right folder.
Sometimes you save something but can't remember where you put it.
If the filing system your computer uses is a mystery to you, here is help!
How it works
First, let's try and understand how your computer filing system works.
Just for a minute, imagine a filing cabinet:
- the filing cabinet has a top to it and it also has drawers
- inside the drawers are folders
- within the folders you have individual documents or files or perhaps more folders.
Your computer filing system is no different to this.
Let's call the top of the filing cabinet ‘Desktop’ and the filing cabinet itself ‘My Computer’.
We will call each drawer by a letter:
- Letter ‘A’ will be the floppy drive.
- Letter ‘C’ will the hard drive.
- Letter ‘D’ will the CD-ROM drive.
(Your drives may be named differently if you have more than one hard drive.)
For each letter (or drive) you have folders that can hold more folders and individual files or documents. You can call these folders anything you want.
In the example on the left, you can see your Desktop, then My Computer with the drives that are in My Computer.
In drive ‘A:’ there is a main folder. Inside of that folder are three sub folders. Inside of Sub Folder #1 there are another two sub-folders.
To open a folder and see what sub-folders it contains, you just click on the little plus sign next to the folder. To close the folder you just click on the minus sign. This is called expanding and contracting the file tree.
It's easy to create a new folder.
First decide where you want your new folder to sit.
Click on the drive or folder where you want your new folder to sit under - in the example below, we want to create a new folder called letters under the documents folder.
Next, click on the new folder icon: . If you can't see this, click on File then New then Folder on the top menu.
The new folder will automatically be called New Folder, to give the folder your own name just hit the backspace key and type in your name.
Click on the folder you want to rename.
Use the right click button on your mouse and select Rename from the menu.
Hit your backspace key to clear the old name.
Type the new name.
Hit the Enter key.
Move files or folders
If you accidentally save a file or document to the wrong folder, you can easily move it to the correct folder.
The easiest place to do this is on Microsoft Explorer.
In the left-hand column, click on the folder where the file is that you want to move.
Left click your mouse and keep the button down on the file that you want to move and drag it to the left-hand column.
As you move your mouse cursor, the folders on the right-hand side will highlight, move your mouse cursor up or down and when the correct folder is highlighted, let go of the left mouse button.
Delete Files or Folders
The easiest place to do this is in Microsoft Explorer.
Find the file or folder you want to delete.
Click on the file or folder with your right mouse button.
Click Yes to confirm the deletion.
Tip: Be careful if you delete a folder - you will also delete all files that are stored in the folder.