When the time comes to start organising your files, you will need to be able to copy them, move them around and delete them. This may involve dealing with more than one file at a time.

To select a file, simply arrow down to it in a list of files. When a file is selected, it is highlighted in a different colour.

Before you can work with a file or folder, you must select it. This tells the computer that this object is the one that you want to work with.

Selecting a file is different to opening it. Selecting a file is picking it out in a list, whereas opening a file is examining the contents.

Selecting One File

When you open File Explorer (Windows + E), you are positioned at the top of a list of files, but nothing is selected.

Press the Spacebar to select the first file on the list, or use the Up and Down arrows to select the file you want.

Selecting Adjacent Files

If you need to select more than one file, and they are next to one another in a list, simply select the first file, hold down the Shift key and arrow down to select all the files you need.

You can also use the Home and End keys for adjacent files to select parts of a list of files:

  • Select the first file that is required, hold down the Shift key and press End to select down to the end of the list.
  • Select the last file that is required, hold down the Shift key and press Home to select up to the beginning of the list.

Selecting Non-Adjacent Files

If you need to select more than one file, and they are not next to one another in a list, the procedure is slightly different:

  1. Select the first file.
  2. Hold down the Control key.
  3. Arrow to the second file and press the Spacebar to select.
  4. Arrow down to the third file and, again, press the Spacebar to select.
  5. Repeat the above step, with the Control key held down throughout, until all the required files are selected.

Selecting All Files in a List

If you want to select the entire list of files, there are a number of different ways:

  • Select the first file, then hold down the Shift key and Arrow down to the last file.

Or

  • Select the first file, then hold down the Shift key and press the End key.

Or

  • Press Control + A.

Unselecting Files

If you want to undo your selection, simply press the Up or Down arrow.

If you want to specifically un-select everything, press Control + Spacebar.

All of the these file selection procedures work the same for selecting folders.