Computer File Management
Folders – Part 1

In this computer file management section of basic computer training you will learn how to manage windows folders.

You will also find out how to organize computer files; learn about different computer file formats and drag and drop files and folders.

We will be using the folders which you created in How to Create and Organize Windows Folders. Open up Windows Explorer and get your folder tree. I have included it below as a reminder.

Computer File Management, Windows Tree Complete, Tony Bastos

If you have not created this folder tree, go ahead and create it.

If you need help, follow the step by step instructions in How to Create and Organize Windows Folders.. When you have finished, close the tab and you will be back here.

Basic Computer Terms,How to be Organized,Tony Bastos

♥ Tip ♥

If there are any basic computer terms mentioned on this page that you are not familiar with, click over the icon on the right to open up a new page explaining all computer terms used on this site.

Expanding and Collapsing Folders

You may have to expand some of your folders in order to see all of their sub-branches.

There are many ways to do this but I do it two ways. Place the mouse pointer on the icon for the folder (in the left tree column of your Windows Explorer) that you wish to expand and either:

a) Double click, or
b) Right click and select “Expand”.

While we are on the subject, you may want to close some of the sub-branches of a specific folder. In computer jargon this is called collapse. Again there are several ways to do this but I use the same two methods. Place the mouse pointer on the icon for the folder that you wish to collapse and:

a) Double click, or
b) Right click and select “Collapse”.

Do the following to our folder tree above;

Expand “Branch 1” and “Branch 1a”.

Collapse “Branch 1b”.

Your tree should look like the one below.

Computer File Management, Windows Tree, Tony Bastos

Look at the folder tree in the left column of your Windows Explorer.

You will notice that folder “Branch 1b” has a clear right facing arrow on the left of the folder icon. This symbol means that this folder has some sub-branches and can be expanded.

After a folder has been expanded the symbol changes from the clear arrow to a solid black pointing down. Look at folders “YOU”, “Branch 1” and “Branch 1a” in our example above.

Folders without any symbol such as “Branch 2” in our example, do not have sub-branches with folders.

Deleting Folders and Files

Next in computer file management we are going to practise deleting folders which also forms part of proper computer file management.

Please note that when you delete a folder, you also deleting all sub-folders and files contained in that folder. Fortunately your recycle or trash bin gives you a chance to recover any folders or files that you have deleted by mistake.

Once we have deleted a few folders we will practise some computer file recovery out of the recycle bin.

Let’s go back to the folder tree.

Again there are several ways to delete folders but I will show you the two methods which I prefer.

Let’s delete folder “Branch 4”.

Place your mouse pointer on “Branch 4” and left click.

a) Right click on “Branch 4” and select “Delete”. You will get a warning with a question that you will have to answer. In this case “Yes”; or

b) With “Branch 4” selected, press the “Delete” key on your keyboard. You will receive the same warning and again click “Yes”.

“Branch 4” has been removed from the folder tree and has been placed in your recycle or trash bin.

Repeat the procedure above and delete “Branch 3”, “Branch 2”, “Branch 1c” and “Branch 1b-2”.

The procedure for deleting files is the same as what you have just done for folders.


Your folder tree should now resemble the one below.

Computer File Management, Windows Tree, Delete Folders, Tony Bastos

Computer File Recovery

Now let’s assume that you have made a mistake when you deleted “Branch 1b-2”. No problem.

Do the following:


Place your mouse pointer on your “Recycle Bin” icon, right click on the icon and select open. You will see the folders that you have deleted.


Now place your pointer on “Branch 1b-2”, right click and select “Restore”.


Your “Branch 1b-2” is moved from the recycle bin and is back on your folder tree.

By the way! The procedure for recovering deleted files is exactly the same.

This concludes the section on Computer File Management, Folders – Part 1. If you need help with renaming, copying and moving folders and files click to go to Computer File Systems, Files and Folders – Part 2.

I also address customizing your folders and files by changing their default icons.

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How to Be Organized Home Page.