How to easily access the Windows 10 File Explorer in Tablet Mode

With the launch of Windows 10 two years ago, Microsoft changed the user interface for Windows tablets with their new “tablet mode” feature. “Tablet mode” was the first iteration of Continuum and allowed users on hybrid two-in-one devices like the Surface Pro, Huawei Matebook and Samsung Galaxy Book to switch their device from a conventional Windows laptop interface to the Windows tablet interface.

However, one advantage of Windows tablets is having easy access to the full featured file explorer, with the switch to tablet mode from the conventional Windows 8 UI, this advantage seemingly vanishes. Microsoft turns off access to File Explorer by default from the Start Screen, with the only way to access it without tweaking any settings being relegated to Cortana, long pressing on Start or by turning off tablet mode briefly to open File Explorer from the taskbar. All are user unfriendly.

While Windows 10 is more app-centric than older versions of Windows – and its tablet mode more Windows Phone inspired – File Explorer is still a useful tool for many users on multiple form factors. Without a UWP File Explorer, the classic one will just have to do.

Here’s how to access the Windows 10 File Explorer in Windows tablet mode

  1. Open the Windows Settings app and navigate to Personalization > Start
  2. Under the Start section, search for the sub-menu that lets you “Choose which folders appear on Start”
  3. Here, Microsoft lets you turn on several app libraries including, Music, Downloads, Documents and others. Toggle on “File Explorer” to gain access to the File Explorer directly from your start screen. You can also toggle on individual folder libraries for more direct access, though it will add some clutter to your Start Screen.

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