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Microsoft reveals more info on the Quick access file feature in Windows 10

Windows 10
Windows 10

Windows 10 has some flashy features such as the return of the Start menu, the integration of Cortana and Continuum. However, it also has some new additions that may not be as obvious. This week, the company put the spotlight on one of them, Quick access, which will help users find their files and folder faster.

Quick access for Windows 10

While people with older versions of Windows have the option of pinning folders in one location, via Favorites, Microsoft says that few of them took advantage of that feature. So the development team came up with Quick access to Windows 10 in File Explorer. The company said:

"What we've done with Quick access is expanded on the ability to pin folders by automatically showing you folders that you frequently used (so you don't have to remember to pin them), and showing you files that you've recently accessed (since we've found that many users re-access their files). Quick access will become more personal and relevant to you as you use Windows, thereby speeding up the everyday task of getting back to the files you care about."

Quick access will show the four most frequently used folders below the ones that have been pinned. The most recently accessed files and folders can be seen below the pinned and most frequent folders. Microsoft adds:

"In recent builds we also added the ability to reorder the pinned folders like you used to be able to do in Favorites. Just click and drag a folder from anywhere (doesn't have to be previously pinned), and you can drop it in between any of the pinned folders showing up under Quick access in the navigation pane to control the order."

People who don't wish to see their most recent or frequently used files can go to the View menu and then choose Options to turn off this option. Pinned folders will still be visible in File Explorer.

Source: Microsoft

67 Comments
  • MS, Plz make a universal File Explorer
  • Windows 10 for mobile has this feature
  • I love the new mobile File Explorer.  i just wish they merged the desktop and mobile one for a consistent experience.
  • Agreed. And the desktop one is HORRIBLE. It's so ugly and cluttered. A lot more confusing. It's the one thing in 10 that I think still needs a LOT of UI work.
  • With a few tweeks you can remove most of the clutter. It makes it a whole lot functional, but its the price to pay for beauty
  • That doesn't help. Windows Explorer, on an 8" tablet, is horrible, and the OneDrive app seemingly is unable to delete files so you constantly have to go to the desktop to do that. Which is a horrible experience.
  • seems that will be faster !
  • Yes make a universal file explorer
  • Why? Because I need a desk to on mobile or two file explorers on desktop?
  • I guess it doesnt have to be "universal", but mobile needs a better files explorer. Two panes would be nice, the ability to browse network resources, etc. That's one of the things I really like about my RT tablet - getting to files is just like my PC.
  • They should at least refine the UI. It's starting to look out of place.
  • Would be useful for continuum for mobile
  • Looks cool
  • It does, but it will need to work with Libraries for the best experience. Otherwise it'll show individual folders that, though recently accessed in reality, are not in the user's conceptual landscape very much. Here's hoping...
  • I liked the feature of Win7 where it would always be visible no matter what you had selected in the file-tree below it. Too bad thats gone :(
  • Missing "i" from "in" in the quote.
  • Good observation though.. :P
  • Apple uses 'i' too much so we are avoiding the confusions that may arise.
  • When i press Windows+E, it take me to Quick Access. How do i make it to open This PC??
  • View > Most right icon.. I think it's "folder settings" or something. > There's a checkbox in the now open dialog.
  • View > Options > General Tab > Open File Explorer To > Select Quick Access or This PC.
  • ...or do what I did and pin "This PC" into the first spot in Quick Access.
  • Great!
  • We really need placeholders (smart files) back..
  • +1520. Hate the new OneDrive sync system, so inefficient and old-fashion.
  • Yes we do. This is the only thing as of now that I need "fixed".
  • Placeholder files cause major performance problems when you have 10's of thousands of files and folders. Microsoft needs to fix that problem now before it gets out of hand.
  • I do but didn't experience any issues there when on 8.1. I couldn't have my OneDrive on a 64 GB surface with windows 10.
  • I have a couple TB worth of files on OneDrive and dont have any issues with smart files. What I have actually heard from MS is that it was removed because users were confused and I think that's a horrible reason to remove a feature that provides so much functionality. The fact that my HP Stream 7 tablet which only has 32GB of storage can access several TB worth of my files without any having to pre-populate is amazing. I have 4 tablets 3 computers and a couple of phones that can all access this information without having to replicate.
  • I use Windows 7 at work, and I'm amazed at just how confusing 8 is. Finding My Documents is awful, and I can't drag and drop in to the mail app. I hope 10 is far better.
  • Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're talking about, windows 8 has the same file explorer as 7. They are nearly identicle. As far as the mail thing goes, I don't really use mail in Windows so I can't speak of that.  
  • It seems to have thousands of places. Including other users' stuff. And, how the hell do I add a damned shortcut to the desktop. I tried right click, but then couldn't damn find my games.
  • That's what a file explorer is, and it been like that since windows 3.1. You can see everything on the computer, so idk what the issue with 'thousands of places'. As for shortcuts, Windows 8 is exactly like Windows 7. Find the file or folder you want to add a shortcut for, right click, click send to, click desktop.
  • You put a shortcut on the Desktop in Windows 8 in EXACTLY the same way you do it in every other version of Windows - right-click ->Send to->Desktop (create shortcut). Seriously, there is absolutely no difference between 7 & 8 in this regard (and in most other regards, too).
  • It is finding the relevant directory that has something for me to right click on.
  • That also works EXACTLY as it always has. If you can find something on Windows 95, you can do it on Windows 8 or 10. Here's a trick that has also worked since W95 - go to your Folder Options and, under the View tab, check the box for Restore previous folder windows at log-on. Then just leave your Explorer windows open when you shut down and next time you start Windows, they will all re-open at the same folders they were at when you shut down. You won't need to go looking for anything again.
  • Windows 8 has two file explorers.  One of them is in the OneDrive app (which can access both the local file system as well as OneDrive cloud storage) and one is Windows Explorer (renamed File Explorer for some dumb reason). People who don't want to live in a browser or subscribe to Office 365 for Outlook may want to use the Windows Mail app, and it's indeed almost worthless because of the way it runs on the system as well as the harsh separations between Metro and Win32 Apps in Windows 8.1. Some of those issues are being addressed in Windows 10. I'm unsure if they will address the requirement to have a Microsoft account to use practically any of the stock PIM apps on the device, though, which makes Windows very hard to stomach for people who want to use Local Accounts.  It is starting to feel like a smartphone OS, on your desktop.
  • Cheers, nice reply, very much appreciated. Despite how it appears above, I have used a computer before. But the Windows 8.1 bit has me in knots. I hate typing portrait, so my explanations have been sparse.
  • What may help, press the windows key+Q you can then search for anything on your PC, and the internet, this may get you what you're looking for and allow you to right click and create a shortcut, or just launch what you are looking for. I use win+Q for launching nearly everything as I like a clean desktop.
  • Cheers, I will have a go.
  • Why are you typing in portrait? I never use my tablet in portrait, it just feels too weird.
  • The WC app on my phone is the one I use.
  • You have a toilet app? (I have no idea what else "WC" might stand for.) But you very specifically said "Windows 8.1", which makes me wonder if you aren't just a troll.
  • Have followed the comments? It is all there, which makes me think you are a troll.... On a serious note, and by way of an explanation, WC relates to Windows Central. App refers to the WC app. Windows 8.1 issues relate to my laptop. Issues with portrait typing relate to me posting here by using my phone, currently miles from home. My point was that I can't fully describe the issues on my laptop, due to not liking typing it out with one thumb.
  • One thing i hate in navigation pane in Windows 7 is when you click on an encrypted drive (Bitlocker) in navigation pane give you an error "X:\ is not accessible. Access is denied" it shouldn't be like that, it should be asked Password for it, i don't know in Windows 10 get fixed or not, anybody can tell me??? Sorry for my English :P
  • hey look at the end of the page there is a peoples app photo and voicemail is on top next to diler, do you think they are going to put that on the next build?  https://dev.windows.com/en-us/design/design-basics
  • Please make onedrive access easier and less confusing by making it the default documents location. At work right now it is very difficult for our users with...
    Onedrive for Business
    Onedrive
    Local docs
    Document library which would be the ideal default location because it is customizable but, for whatever reason, it is now hidden. You have to right click to enable it and also manually add onedrive, etc.
  • This sounds good. Microsoft better be working on some amazing tutorials or else most of the stuff they're doing will be for naught. 90% of users will make zero effort to explore new things. They will try to simply replicate their old workflow.
  • Anyone agrees the Windows blogs need to use a bigger font with more spacing and be less wordy?
  • Nice feature, I assume the follow up to this would be automatically sorting files into folders, an extension on the automatic sorting of emails that already exists. Now that id pay for, i suck at maintaining files in correct folders.
  • I hope they make a rename file/folder option for quick access. Like the games folder for steam is called common, and I want it to be renamed Steam or whatever, and that isn't possible now.
  • The explorer looks alien to the OS. They should replace the icons with symbols painted in the systems accent color. Having quick access requires tracking of the users. That favorites are seldom used could be down to the fact, that despite many requests there are still no registers.
  • How about ability to print folder contents like in Windows 3.11?
  • I use the favorties feature in Windows 7 everyday at work. I'm glad they put it in WIndows 10.
  • Sounds really helpful! I'm excited.
  • ME TOO. 
  • Ok
  • I'd love to see the file system improved. Folder tags colour coding etc, there are third party tools but really should be part of the OS. Also a shame OneDrive couldn't follow on the system that Live Mesh uses to use for creating synced folders. That was awesome
  • If you need dual explorer panes check out www.zabkat.com. Been using it since 1997 and it's brilliant.
  • FINALLY!!
  • "While people with older versions of Windows have the option of pinning folders in one location, via Favorites, Microsoft says that few of them took advantage of that feature." Maybe that's because nobody knows how to add folders to favourites? I remember when I first noticed it, I looked for a right-click option to "Add to Favourites" but when that options wasn't there, I gave up. To be honest, until I read this I had forgotten it was even there and to this day I have no idea how to add anything to Favourites, even though I find the Sidebar on the Macs at work indispensible. I had the same discoverability issue with search in Windows 7. I only found out you could hit the WIN key and just start typing after I had already moved to Windows 8. It is one area where I think Microsoft are the absolute worst. You can't expect users to look up help for a feature they don't even know exists. Old-style HTML based help systems at least had an index you could browse to find stuff like this. All that said, I really like this new feature. I'd say it is the one and only thing in Windows 10 I've discovered that is actually an improvement over Windows 8.
  • Yea, the way the industry has moved in terms of documentation (and the way they tend to pawn users off on self-support forums) is kind of disgusting.   I do agree discoverability is weak in Windows as far as features are concerned. But you could hit Windows and start typing since Vista, IIRC.  I don't know how it would take anyone that long to realize that.  Part of the reason people laughed at them when they were talking about the "just start typing" search in Windows 8.1 is becasue if you boot to desktop, you're basically doing the same thing to search in Windows 8.1 as you did in earlier versiosn of Windows. Except now it completely takes over your entire screen. I've moved to iOS and OS X on my desktop.  I still have a Windows Notebook and a Windows Tablet that I only use as a PDF/news reader because there isn't any software that is really usable on a tablet in the store that's worth installing anyways...  I think I'll eventually get rid of the notebook for a macbook or something.  They've pretty much lost me at this point.  They have just wasted 3 years reinventing the wheel on thier desktop OS, while making really no decent improvements to it as a tablet OS. Windows on Tablets is basically Desktop Windows with Legos slapped on top of it.  I'm starting to wonder if they even care, but I'm not willing to wait another 2-3 years to find out.  I'm gonna have to bounce.
  • Bye. Not everyone is going to be pleased. You are one. So don't let the door hit you on the way out.
  • "But you could hit Windows and start typing since Vista, IIRC.  I don't know how it would take anyone that long to realize that." Why would anyone just randomly try to do that, especially when hitting the WIN key brings up a Start Menu with a search box in it? I rarely use search because I am completely OCD when it comes to where I put files on my drives and even since learning of this feature I rarely, if ever, use it. 90% of the searches I do are from Explorer. "Except now it completely takes over your entire screen." The Start Menu has always completely taken over your screen when you open it, in that you couldn't interact with any open windows, it just didn't make good use of the space before. I am forced to do battle with OS X every day at work and I simply cannot imagine why anyone would actually choose to use it. I cannot think of a single thing it does as well as Windows. Preview used to be good but they screwed it up a few versions ago and now it's as limited as anything in Windows. I think Win8 on tablets is brilliant, way better than iOS or Android, but that will definitely change with W10 unless they pull something very dramatic out at the last minute. Right now, I am planning on selling my tablet before Windows' reputation on that form factor goes down the gurgler and it becomes worthless. Actually, Windows 10 Mobile would be a better bet on a tablet than W10 itself. I am mostly impressed with where Mobile is going, although I think a lot of the graphics are worse than WinPhone.
  • I have to say that it's incredible that the whole UX on Windows 10 is not even close to being finished. I just try 10130 and it have so many visual inconsistences that almost make me cry. I'm a UX developer and I can't stand so many inconsistences. 1) Windows titlebar with misplaced window controls.
    2) Start menu tiles size (smaller and squeezed) - there's no air in here! - All it's squeezed for no reason.
    3) Size of fonts inconsistencies. Some settings boxes still using tahoma font. It's just unbeliable! All segoe ui fonts in setting are too big!. Setting should be in a fixed size window or pane. There's no reason at all to maximize the setting windows in a 1920 width screen: it shows very big blank space!
    4) Hour and date BELOW... 2 text row in the taskbar looks very bad.
    5) A (now RED) 1px border around every windows it's just BAD TASTE! - There's no reason to use borders around windows or panes. If windows/panes have shadows, they do not need 1px horrid border around it: for what? Only visual clutter.
    6) Selections. Just look at the Start menu, when you roll hover (with the mouse) on every item, it shows a translucent no-padding/margin horrible rectangle. It shoul be like: 80% white text, and when you roll hover with the mouse, the item shows 100% white (of course, whith no rectangles and other clutter)
    7) All icons in taskbar and start menu (not tiles ones) show an horrible color square behind!!! For what reason? This is just stupid and full of clutter. In example: when you open Music App, it should show only the icon on the taskbar (without a blue box behind) - it should be solved giving the color of the tile to the "headphone" icon.
    8) Those old terrible icons! They are not changing it. They ar mixing it... Old same story.
    9) Icons labels on desktop. All the same as before. Useless grotheske labels below each icon on desktop. Labels should be on the right side of each icon. Or at least give us an option. And all labels are illegible. All in white with a low definition shadow, it's plain horrible. Windows 10 UX should be fixed soon. They still doesn't get it. Windows 8 have definitelly a better UX design.
    They clearly don't know what a good and modern interface is.
  • Man, now I got to rename all those porn folders to something no one else will click because it will be up there so often lol
  • "Nothing_to_see_here_1", "Nothing_to_see_here_2", "Nothing_to_see_here_3", "Nothing_to_see_here_4", etc.