Here are answers to some common questions about using folders in Windows 7.
A folder is a container for your files. Every file is stored in a folder or a subfolder (a folder within a folder). You can access all your folders by clicking Computer in the navigation pane (the left pane) of any open folder.
In some ways, a library is similar to a folder. For example, when you open a library, you'll see one or more files. However, you can't store files or folders in a library. This is a subtle, but important, difference. In libraries, you can include folders from different locations so that you can see the files in one place. This is a good way to keep your files organized so you don't have to search multiple locations to find what you're looking for.
For more information about including folders, see Include folders in a library.
It doesn't matter. If you save a file to a folder, it appears in any library that includes that folder. If you save a file to a library, the file is actually stored in the default save location for that library. For example, if you save your text files to the Documents library, they will be stored in the My Documents folder, not the library.
To find out which folder is the default save location for a library, see Customize a library.
Yes, you can change a folder's icon from the default image.
Right-click the folder that you want to change, and then click Properties.
In the Properties dialog box, click the Customize tab.
Under Folder icons, click Change Icon, and then do one of the following:
Click an icon from the default list, click OK, and then click OK again.
Click Browse, navigate to an icon file, click Open, click OK, and then click OK again.
Click Browse. In the Icon files list, click All files, navigate to a compatible file (such as a Bitmap file), click Open, click OK, and then click OK again.
To change the folder icon back to its default image, click Restore Defaults, click OK, and then click OK again.
Some options, including the ability to change a folder’s icon, are not available when you access a folder through a library.
Menus are hidden by default because the most common menu commands can now be accessed on the toolbar. To display menus, press ALT; or click Organize, point to Layout, and then click Menu bar.
The folder list (also called the folder tree) can be found in the navigation pane (the left pane) of any open folder, under Computer.
If you don't see the navigation pane, click Organize, point to Layout, and then click Navigation pane. For more information, see Working with the navigation pane.
In Windows Vista, a folder window opens at the same size and location on the desktop that it did the last time you closed it, based on the location where the folder is stored. For example, if you resize the Music folder window and then close it, it'll be the same size the next time you open it.
Windows 7 remembers one size and location setting for all your folders and libraries. So each time you open Windows Explorer, it'll open at the same size and location on the desktop that it did the last time you closed it, regardless of which folder or library you open.
The address bar is next to the search box at the top of every open window and displays your current location. Click a location in the address bar to navigate directly to it.
For more information, see Navigate using the address bar.
Here are answers to some common questions about using folders in Windows.
A folder is a container that helps you to organize your files. Every file on your computer is stored in a folder, and folders can also hold other folders.
Different kinds of files call for different kinds of folders. For example, we recommend that you save such files as text files, spreadsheets, and presentations in Documents. There are a number of other special folders, such as Pictures and Music, each of which is intended for the type of file its name suggests. Not only are these folders convenient places to find and organize these types of files, but these folders are optimized for faster searching and organizing.
Yes. The Search folder provides fast access to all of your most common files, such as documents, pictures, music, and e‑mail, in a single view.
You'll find a Search box at the top of every folder. As you type in the Search box, the contents of the folder are immediately filtered to show only those files that match what you typed. The Search box does not automatically search your entire computer, however. It only searches the current folder and any of its subfolders. If the folder view is already filtered (for example, if it is only showing files by a certain author), then the Search box will only search within that limited view.
The Address bar is next to the Search box at the top of every folder and displays your current location. By clicking different locations in the Address bar, you can navigate directly to them.
You can click folders and saved searches in the Navigation pane to change what is displayed in the current folder. The Navigation pane provides access to common folders such as Documents, Pictures, and Searches. You can access additional folders by clicking Folders at the bottom of the Navigation pane. This displays the Folders list, where you can click any folder to navigate directly to it.
The folders in Windows are designed so that you can navigate from folder to folder without having to open a new folder window for each folder. Using the Navigation pane, you can quickly navigate to any folder on your computer. When you click a location in the Navigation pane, the folder contents change to display the contents of whatever location you clicked. You can also open a saved search, which will display files that meet the criteria of that search, even if they are located in different folders throughout your computer.
Menus are hidden by default because the most frequently used menu commands now appear on the new toolbar. Though you might no longer need to use the menus, you can still choose to display them in addition to the new toolbar. For more information, see Show the menus in folders.
Windows Explorer had a folder tree that you could use to navigate to any location on your computer. It's now called the Folders list, and is available in the Navigation pane of every folder. To open the Folders list, click Folders at the bottom of the Navigation pane, and then click the folder you want. To close the Folders list, click Folders again.
The task pane—which appeared on the side of the folder in previous versions of Windows—has been replaced by the new toolbar at the top of the folder. Many of the tasks that used to appear in the task pane now appear on the toolbar.