General Select Items in File Explorer in Windows 11


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Select_all_banner.png

This tutorial will show different ways to select items in File Explorer in Windows 11.

You have many options to select items in File Explorer (Win+E).

You can choose to select a single item or multiple items at once in any order.

Starting with Windows 11 build 26241 (Canary), Microsoft updated File Explorer so it’s a little easier to see when you have files or folders selected, by adding a thin border to the selected area.


Contents





Option One

Select Items using Check Boxes


This option requires Use check boxes to select items to be turned on.


1 Click/tap on check boxes to check (select) or uncheck (unselect) items. (see screenshot below)

Check_to_select.png





Option Two

Select All Items using Check Boxes


This option requires Use check boxes to select items to be turned on.

This option is only available while using details layout view.


1 Click/tap on the check box in the first column header to check (select all) or uncheck (unselect all) items. (see screenshot below)

Check_to_select_all.png





Option Three

Point to Select Item


This option is only available if Single-click to open an item (point to select) is selected.


1 Hover the pointer over an item until it is selected. (see screenshot below)

Point_to_select.png





Option Four

Single-Click to Select Item


This option is only available if Double-click to open an item (single-click to select) is selected.


1 Click/tap on an item to select it. (see screenshot below)

Single-click_to_select.png





Option Five

Drag to Select Items


1 Drag the pointer over items you want to select with the translucent selection rectangle. (see screenshot below)

Drag_pointer_to_select.png





Option Six

Select Items with Precision Touchpad


1 Tap twice and drag on the touchpad to multi-select items in the currently open window.




Option Seven

Select All Items using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Press the Ctrl + A keys to select all items in the currently open window. (see screenshot below)

Ctrl+A_select_all.png





Option Eight

Select All Items Between using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Select an item as a starting point. (see screenshot below)

2 Press and hold the Shift key.

3 Click/tap on an item to select these two items and all items between this item and the item in step 1.

4 Release the Shift key.

Select_all_between.png





Option Nine

Select Items Not Next to Each Other using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Press and hold the Ctrl key.

2 Click/tap on items you want to select.

3 Release the Ctrl key when finished.

Select_with_Ctrl_key.png





Option Ten

Select Items using Shift + Arrow Keys


1 Select an item as a starting point. (see screenshots below)

2 Press and hold the Shift key.

3 Perform one of the following actions depending on the layout view:
  • In a List, Details, or Content view, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys to select items above or below the item in step 1.
  • In an icon or Tiles view, press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys to select items to the left or right of the item in step 1.
  • In an icon or Tiles view, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys to select all items between this item and the item in step 1.
4 Release the Shift key when finished selecting items.

Select_with_Shift+arrow_keys-1.png
Select_with_Shift+arrow_keys-2.png
Select_with_Shift+arrow_keys-3.png





Option Eleven

Select None using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Press the Ctrl + R keys to unselect all items in the currently open window. (see screenshot below)

Ctrl+R_select_none.png





Option Twelve

Click to Select None


1 Click/tap on an empty area in File Explorer to unselect all items in the currently open window. (see screenshot below)

Unselect_all.png





Option Thirteen

Select All Items from Command Bar


1 Click/tap on the See more (3 dots) button on the command bar in File Explorer (Win+E). (see screenshots below)

2 Click/tap on Select all to select all items in the currently open window.

Select_all_command_bar-1.png
Select_all_command_bar-2.png





Option Fourteen

Select None from Command Bar


1 Click/tap on the See more (3 dots) button on the command bar in File Explorer (Win+E). (see screenshots below)

2 Click/tap on Select none to unselect all items in the currently open window.

Select_none_command_bar-1.png
Select_none_command_bar-2.png





Option Fifteen

Invert Selection from Command Bar


1 Click/tap on the See more (3 dots) button on the command bar in File Explorer (Win+E). (see screenshots below)

2 Click/tap on Invert selection to have all currently selected items unselected and all currently unselected items selected in the currently open window.

Invert_selection_command_bar-1.png
Invert_selection_command_bar-2.png





Option Sixteen

Select All Items under Group By Detail


This option is only available when using a group by folder view in File Explorer.


1 Perform an available option: (see screenshot below)
Select_all_in_group_by.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 
Last edited:
Tutorial updated to add option sixteen. :alien:
 

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