How to Open Second or Multiple File Explorer Windows in Windows 10

In Windows, if you ever tried to open multiple file explorer windows, you will quickly know that there is no visible option or way to do it. For instance, if you click on the file explorer icon in the taskbar twice, it will just open the file explorer and minimizes it. The good thing is, there are quite a few ways to open multiple instances of the file explorer in Windows 10. Just follow any one of the below methods to open a second file explorer window.

1. Use Keyboard Shortcut to Open a Second File Explorer Window

The easiest way to open second, third or any number of file explorer windows is to use the good old keyboard shortcut.

Related: 50 Must-Know Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

When you want to open multiple file explorer Windows, just press the shortcut Win + E. As soon as you press the keyboard shortcut, Windows will open a new instance of the file explorer. So, if you want three file explorer window, press the keyboard shortcut three times.

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Do keep in mind that when you press the keyboard shortcut, a new file explorer window will open to the default page. i.e, Quick Access or This PC.

2. Shift + Left Click Method to Open Multiple File Explorer Windows

An alternative method is to use the shift-click method. This method is particularly useful if you are a heavy mouse user or don’t like the awkward file explorer shortcut position on the keyboard.

To open multiple file explorer windows using the mouse, simply hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the File Explorer icon appearing on the taskbar. This action will open a new file explorer window with its default page. i.e, Quick Access or This PC.

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3. Use the Right-click Option to Open a Folder in New Window

Now, sometimes you need to open a specific folder in a new window rather than a fresh file explorer window with its default page. This method is particularly useful when don’t want to manually navigate to the target folder. Thankfully, it is quite easy to open a folder in a new window.

To open a folder in a new window, right-click on the target folder and select the “Open in a new window” option. As soon as you select the option, the folder will be opened in the new window.

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(Optional) Change File Explorer Default Page from Quick Access to This PC

In Windows 10, by default, the file explorer opens to the Quick Access page. In general, the quick access screen gives you easy access to your recent folders and files. If you want to, you can change the default page from Quick Access to This PC. In case you are wondering, This PC page lists all your drives and partitions front and center. Which means that all your drives and partitions a single-click away.

To change file explorer from Quick Access to This PC, we are going to use the folder options tool. So, open the file explorer, click on the “View” tab and then click on the “Options” button. This action will open the Folder Options window.

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In the folder options window, select “This PC” from the dropdown menu next to “Open file explorer to” and click on the “Ok” button to save changes.

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That is it. From now on, whenever you open the file explorer, it will open to This PC.

If you like this article, do check out how to clear file explorer address bar history and how to remove 3D objects folder from the File Explorer.

6 thoughts on “How to Open Second or Multiple File Explorer Windows in Windows 10”

      1. Avatar for Red

        Nope, I haven’t installed anything at all yet, aside from FireFox which is my preferred browser. The laptop is brand new, and using Windows 10 Pro. No matter which suggestions I try (I just did it again), such as WIN + E, or opposite mouse click, I consistently get tabs at the top and no new window. If there is a way to send you a screen shot to prove it, I’d be happy to do so. The options are properly set to “This PC” and to open each time in a new window. I made sure to attend to that from the start, as I’m familiar with folder options. Doesn’t matter what I try of the suggested options, I still get a new tab at the top of that particular window rather than a second (or more) window. I did find I could drag that second tab out, and it will become a second window, but the behaviour then persists unless I actually drag out each tab. I want separate windows, each showing on my task bar. While I realise I’m in the minority, I detest tabs regardless of programme in use.

      2. Avatar for Red

        I found the problem. A co-user installed a programme that we do use, but didn’t know which settings to put into place. One of the default settings, which I instantly disable, forces tabs in File Explorer. I didn’t realise the programme had been installed until a few minutes ago when it was commented up. I have now disabled the “grouping” function that programme provides and the File Explorer is working correctly.

        Thank you for your comments.

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