As you’d imagine we move a large number of files around on our network at FLETCHERWILSON. We’re primarily Windows based, and in Windows the default file management tool is Window Explorer.

Windows Explorer is pretty basic when it comes to functionality and there are a couple of things that it lacks that it could really do with. Specifically tabbed browsing, and dual, or multi pane operation.

I’m going to show you a simple hack, or rather a workflow for Windows 10 which addresses the second point - the lack of multi pane operation. The hack makes use of the multiple desktop functionality in Windows 10.

Step 1.

Select the task view button on your task bar - it looks like this:

Step 2.

Select ‘New Desktop’ in the bottom right of your screen - it looks like this:

 


Step 3.

You’re now working on a second virtual desktop, press ‘Windows' + 'E’ to open a new Windows Explorer Window, it’ll look like this:

Step 4.

Drag the Explorer window using the menu bar to the right hand edge of your screen where it will automatically snap like so:

Step 5.

Repeat Step 3-4, but this time snap the new Explorer window to the left hand edge and snap it there like so:

Congratulations! You now you have a multi pane setup for Windows Explorer and are able to drag files between the two windows. The benefit of this mode of operation is that you can have two locations open at once. If that’s not enough, try a 3 pane setup:

You could of course set Windows Explorer up like this before, but the multiple virtual desktop configuration allows you to keep Windows Explorer open all day without it getting in the way, and makes it difficult to close the windows by mistake.

To swap backwards and forwards between your main desktop and the desktop you’ve just set up specifically for file copies just use the shortuct ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Windows’ + ‘cursor left / cursor right’.

If you need further functionality beyond that which Windows Explorer offers there are a few alternatives that are worth trying, some of which are free -

CubicExplorer

Explorer++

MultiCommander

Directory Opus

Clover 3

QTTabBar

Let us know if you have any other Windows file management hacks to share.