Windows Explorer is a file manager that has been included with every release of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95. It provides an easy and relatively intuitive way for us regular humans to view the computer’s file systems.
However, over the years Windows Explorer has become supercharged, and has received so many upgrades and extra added features that it’s hard to keep track of them
Windows Explorer in Windows 7 and now features something called “Libraries”, folders that collect content from various locations, including shared folders on computers on the same network. Libraries are generally stored in the Libraries special folder, which allows them to be displayed on the navigation pane.
By default, a new user account in Windows 7 contains four libraries, for different file types: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. They are configured to include your user profile folders for these file types, as well as the computer’s corresponding Public folders.
In addition to collecting and presenting information about multiple storage locations, Libraries allows you to arrange and filter results (kind of like using Google or Bing search in a web browser) For example, selecting the “By Month” view in the Pictures library will display photos in stacks, where each stack represents a month of photos based on the date they were taken. In the Music library, the “By Artist” view will display stacks of albums from the artists in your collection, and browsing into an artist stack will then display the relevant albums.
Search Filter Suggestions are a new feature of the Windows 7. When the user clicks in the search box, a menu shows up below it showing recent searches as well as suggested filters that the user can type. When one is selected (or typed in manually), the menu will update to show the possible values to filter by for that property, and this list is based on the current location and other parts of the query already typed. For example, selecting the “tags” filter or typing “tags:” into the search box will display the list of possible tag values which will return search results.
You can speed up the display load time of Windows Explorer by disabling the option to search for network printers and folders.
By default, each time Windows Explorer is opened it will try to locate any printer or folder on your computer network. If your computer is not on a network and/or you have no network printers, folders being shared, disable this option by following these steps:
1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. Click the Tools drop down menu and then Folder Options.
3. Within the Folder Options tab click the View tab.
4. Uncheck “Automatically search for network folders and printers.