Open File in Windows

Windows is a difficult program/operating system to learn because there so many ways to do the same thing.

Below are a couple of ways to open a file in Windows. You might have been shown another way to do this. It doesn’t mean what you have been shown is wrong. You were just shown a different way to do it.

Open a File in Windows

Open a File from Within a Program

The program you are using should have a top toolbar with an item called File at the far left.

  1. Click File in the top toolbar.
  2. From the list that appears, select Open.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  3. At the top of the Open dialog box is a label Look in. Click the arrow on the right to navigate to the folder where the file is.

    A list of files and folders within the selected folder will appear. If you don’t see the file you are looking for, change the File types list below the File name box to show All Files.

  4. Click the file name from the middle box that you wish to open.

    The file name should appear in the box beside File name.

  5. Next, click Open.

    The program associated with that file type should startup then, your file will open.

That wasn’t too hard. Now onto opening a file in Windows via My Documents folder.

Open File from the My Documents Folder

On your desktop (the screen you see when the computer has warmed up) there is what is called an icon called My Documents.

  1. Double click the icon on the desktop called My Documents.

    Windows Explorer will open showing a list of files and folders within your My Doucments folder.

  2. If the file is in a folder within My Documents, click the folder name to move into/expose the files in that folder.
  3. Once in the correct folder, click on the file you wish to open.

    Whether you have to double or single click a file or folder to open it will depend on how your computer is set up. If a single left click does not open the file/folder, then double click it quickly.

That’s it, you are done.

Next up, opening a file from Windows Explorer.

Open File from Windows Explorer

In the bottom left corner of your desktop the is a button called Start.

  1. Right click the Start button.

    A new divided window will open showing folders on the left and files on the right.

  2. Using the scroll bar in the middle of the new window, scroll and navigate to the folder where the is stored that you want to open.
  3. Once you have located the file, left click it.

    Whether you have to click or double left click will depend on how your computer is setup.

  4. The program associated with that file type will open then your file will be opened.

That’s it!

As mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial, there are a number of ways to do things in Windows. Here we have presented three ways to open a file when working in a Windows environment.

Revised: January 22, 2006

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4 Responses to “ Open File in Windows ”

  1. Janet says:

    My problem is somehow the computer has defaulted to opening a file by searching instead of just a double or single click. How can I change it back. Would really appreciate some help. It wastes time right clicking to get open.
    thanks
    Janet

  2. Sounds like you might have a file association problem.

    Each file type is opened by a certain program (or programs if you have multiple programs that can open the same file type).

    You can Google “restore file associations” to find some ideas how to repair your file associations.

    ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM BEFORE TINKERING!

  3. msama says:

    whener i open a file in my desktop shortcut it requares that i choose which program to open with.what can i do to make each file open automatically.

      1. Right click the shortcut.
      2. Select Open with…
      3. Select the program you want to open the file.

        Windows will give you some suggestions or you can browse to the program if it is not on the list.

      4. Tick the box to the left of Always use the selected program to open this type of file.
      5. Click the Ok button at the bottom of the screen and you are done!

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