To select multiple items in the File Explorer, you can enable the item checkboxes feature. Here’re the steps to show File Explorer checkboxes in Windows 10.
The most common way to select multiple items in the File Explorer is to either use the Ctrl + Click method or Shift + Click method. Ctrl + Click allows you to select specific individual items while Shift + Click is useful to select all items in a specific range. Though both these methods are pretty handy and useful, you can also use a third way by enabling the Windows Explorer checkbox feature. Once enabled, you will see checkboxes right before the file or folder names. To select files, all you have to do is select the checkboxes.
One of the biggest advantages of using the File Explorer checkbox feature is that you no longer have to hold down the Ctrl or Shift key to select files. Rather, you just need to select the checkboxes. This is particularly useful if you are more of the mouse user than the keyboard shortcut user.
In this quick and step-by-step guide, let me show you the exact steps to show checkboxes in File Explorer / Windows Explorer in Windows 10.
How to Add or Show Checkboxes in File Explorer
- Open the Windows File Explorer with the “Win + E” keybinding.
- After opening the File Explorer, click on the “View” option on the top navbar.
- Here, select the “Item checkboxes” checkbox.
- As soon as you select the option, the Windows File Explorer will show checkboxes next to all files and folders when you hover over an item.
To select a file, simply select the checkbox. If you want to select all the items in a folder or drive, simply select the topmost checkbox.
For better usability, I recommend you set the View Type to Details or List. You can set that directly from the “View” tab in the File Explorer.
Registry Key to Show File Explorer Checkboxes
You can also enable File Explorer checkboxes from the registry editor. All you have to do is create the AutoCheckSelect reg key and set it to On. Let me show you the steps.
- First, open the Start menu.
- Type “regedit” in the search field and click on the search result.
- After opening the registry editor, go to the following folder. You can copy and paste the path in the address bar.
- Right-click on the “Advanced” folder.
- Select the “New → Dword Value” option.
- Name the new value as “AutoCheckSelect“.
- Double-click on the AutoCheckSelect value.
- Type “1” in the Value Data field and click “Ok“.
- Close the registry editor.
- Restart the Windows 10 system.
As soon as you restart the system, the registry key will be applied and you will see the checkboxes in Windows File Explorer.
Note: If you cannot find the “Advanced” folder in the above registry path then create one. To do that, right-click on the “Explorer” folder, select “New → Key” and name the folder as “Advanced”.
To disable the checkboxes, change the value data in steps 8 to “0” or delete the AutoCheckSelect value.
That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, check out how to open File Explorer as an administrator in Windows 10.