Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Microsoft Windows Vista & Home Server

Managing Files and Folders in Windows Vista

Steve Johnson shows how you can keep your computer organized using Windows Vista's file management tools.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

What You’ll Do

  • Use the Explorer Window
  • Change the Explorer Window View
  • Open and View the Computer
  • View and Open Documents
  • Navigate Between Folders
  • View the Folders List
  • Customize the Navigation Pane
  • Organize Files by Headings
  • Search for Files and Folders
  • Perform an Instant Search
  • Add Properties and Tags to Files
  • Create and Rename Files and Folders
  • Copy and Move Files and Folders
  • Delete and Restore Files and Folders
  • Create a Shortcut to a File or Folder
  • Change Folder Options
  • Change File and Folder List Views
  • Customize Personal Folders
  • Share Files or Folders with Others
  • Compress Files and Folders
  • Manage Files Using a CD or DVD


File management is organizing and keeping track of files and folders, helping you stay organized, so information is easily located. A folder is a container for storing programs and files, similar to a folder in a file cabinet. As with a file cabinet, working with poorly managed files is like looking for a needle in a haystack—it is frustrating and time-consuming to search through irrelevant, misnamed, and out-of-date files to find the one you want. Windows Vista allows you to organize folders and files in a file hierarchy, imitating the way you store paper documents in real folders. Just as a file cabinet contains several folders, each containing related documents with dividers grouping related folders together, so the Windows file hierarchy allows you to organize your files in folders, and then place folders in other folders. At the top of each hierarchy is the name of the hard drive or main folder. This drive or folder contains several files and folders, and each folder contains related files and folders.

Using the file management tools, you can save files in folders with appropriate names for easy identification, quickly and easily create new folders so you can reorganize information and delete files and folders that you no longer need. You can also search for a file when you cannot remember where you stored it, create shortcuts to files and folders for quick and easy access, and even compress files and folders to save space.

A folder can hold different types of files, such as text, spreadsheets, and presentations. The Documents folder is the main location in Windows Vista where you store your files. However, there are some special folders, such as Pictures and Music, designed with specialized features to store specific types of files.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account