Easily Select Multiple Files in Windows Explorer

A quick tip for Windows users to help you select one or more files and folders in Window Explorer using the mouse itself.

July 21, 2011

This is a quick and simple tip for Windows users who feel less comfortable memorizing keyboard shortcuts and prefer using the mouse as much as possible.

Let’s say you want to move a group of files from one Windows folder to another. What approach will you follow to first select these files inside Windows Explorer?

If these are consecutive files, you can just click on the first file, hold down the Shift key and click the last file – this will select all the files in between which you can then copy, move or delete in a batch. Alternatively, you may drag your mouse in the shape of a rectangle around all the files that you want to include in your selection.

The technique is a little different if you wish to select non-consecutive files that are not arranged side by side. You need to hold the Control key with one hand and then use the mouse on the other hand to click on every single file that you want to select.

Enable Checkboxes for Easier Selection

An easier alternative, as demonstrated in the video above, could be that you enable checkboxes in Windows Explorer. This will let you select any number of files or folders in a window, consecutive or non-consecutive, with one hand using the mouse itself.

Open Windows Explorer and under Folder Options, check the setting that says “Use check boxes to select items.” Windows will now add checkboxes next to file names /thumbnails and you just need to click the checkbox to add the corresponding file to your selection.

You may use this tip with Windows 7 and Vista but not Windows XP.

Related tip: Launch Programs from Windows Start Menu Quickly