Files and folders on a computer are stored in a hierarchical structure. There are several levels arranged like branches of a tree. The first level of any storage device is like the trunk of the tree. Then the rest of the files and folders are arranged like the boughs, branches and twigs of the tree. A folder within another folder is called a subfolder.

Generally, when working in lists of files and folders:

  • Use the arrow keys to move between files and folders.
  • Press Enter to open a folder.
  • Press the backspace key to go up a level in the file structure.

The first level on a PC is the Desktop. To get to the Desktop when positioned on a list of files and folders, just keep pressing Backspace to go all the way up to the first level.

Where are files saved?

When you save a document, the PC is usually set up to save it in the Documents folder. This folder is already on the computer.

To access the Documents folder, press the Windows key, type in the word “Documents” and press Enter twice.

Alternatively, you may use a shortcut on the Desktop. In this case, press the Windows key + D, then press D for Documents (or the first letter of your desktop shortcut to the Documents folder).

Follow this link to learn how to create Desktop shortcuts.

There are also other folders that already exist on the PC for various types of file including Pictures, Music and Videos. These existing folders are subfolders of another existing folder called Libraries.

File Explorer

File Explorer is a facility that gives you a comprehensive view of the contents of your computer.

To open File Explorer, press Windows Key + E.

This will bring you to a view of the main drives on the computer or the most recent folders that you worked with (depending on the version of Microsoft Windows).

Press the Backspace to get to the Desktop (first level). From here you can access a list of your drives in This PC or Computer, and you can also access the Libraries folder.

Recent Places

There is a facility to access the most recent files that you have worked on. This is particularly useful if you have forgotten where you saved a recent file, or forgotten the name.

To open recent files:

  1. Open the relevant application that you were using.
  2. Press Alt + F for the File menu.
  3. Arrow down to Recent or Open, then tab to the list of files and arrow down through the choices.
  4. Press Enter on the file you want to open.