How to Find Files and Folders on Windows 7

Search Magnifying GlassMy sister recently “lost” an entire folder that was supposed to be on her PC’s desktop.

(The fact that the folder turned out to be on her desktop after all, but had moved — and her desktop was simply too cluttered for her to be able to tell — is another story entirely.)

(We’re also not going to discuss the fact that she’s still running Windows, despite the combined efforts of myself and our Dad to convert her to — or convince her to at least try — Linux.)

Instead, what we’re focusing on here is how we found the folder, and how you can find any files or folders that have up and walked away… or (more likely) got put somewhere and you forget where.

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How to Mount and Unmount Devices on the Linux Command Line

USB Universal PlugWhen a new file system (ie. removable media device) is introduced in Windows, it is automatically mounted and assigned a drive letter, from which it is accessible until it is removed. Microsoft has us spoiled.

On Linux, file systems (devices) need to be mounted before they can be accessed. It is an extra step, any way you look at it, so just consider the fact that, this way, you have a great deal of control over the entire process.

It is true that most devices can be mounted from the GUI, so let’s briefly cover that option before jumping into the command line.

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File Management Principles & Shortcuts Part 3 of 3

File ManagementWelcome back to the third and final (for now) part of our series on file management.

If you missed the first part, we covered file properties, moving, deleting/restoring, and ordering, so go back and check that out.

If you missed the second part, we covered renaming, bulk renaming, and shortcuts, so go back and check that out.

In this part we will cover showing file extensions, changing file extensions, and how to change file associations, so let’s get to it!

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File Management Principles & Shortcuts Part 1 of 3

File ManagementSome methods of file manipulation are universal, and differ little — if any — from one file manager (or operating system) to the next.

You can move, edit, rename, view, order, copy, sort, group and otherwise change how files and folders act.

And there are usually multiple methods of accomplishing each action, allowing you to choose which ones work best for you.

In this three-part series we’ll cover some of the most basic aspects of file management.

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How To Organize Your Digital Data

Personal Data Filing SystemYou may, by this point in time, have some inkling of my proclivity for all things organization and order.

I’ve heard a saying that goes something like “Organization is for people too lazy to look for things”.

Yeah, I’m not buying that.

I like to know that everything has it’s own place to go, and exactly where that place is, so that I can find things in their proper places at any given time.

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Get to Know the Windows File Explorer File Manager

File Explorer IconA file manager does pretty much exactly what its name suggests; it allows you to manage files and folders from a graphical interface.

You can create, open, edit, view, play, move, copy, delete, rename, organize and otherwise manipulate files and folders to do your bidding, making use of a file manager.

In fact, you probably already use one every day, if you have any files at all. If not, you’re missing out. (Or maybe you always use the command line?)

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Directory Structure Fundamentals

Directory Structure FoldersHow do you know where to find files on your computer?

How, for that matter, does your computer know where to find files?

After learning file system fundamentals, the next step is to learn the directory structure of each file system.

The directory structure is the way that directories (also called “folders”) are organized.

By understanding the basics of your operating system’s directory structure, not only will you be able to avoid causing problems, but you should also be able to stay organized more easily.

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File System Fundamentals

File Cabinet (File System Analogy)A computer, contrary to popular opinion, does not actually have a mind of its own.

It is an entity devoted entirely to following the instructions that it is given, whether they be perfect or flawed. (Hint: It’s usually the flawed instructions — or faulty hardware — that lead us to believe that computers are sentient and out to get us.)

As you may imagine, it takes quite a few instructions, all put together, for a computer to function. The more functions it can perform, the more instructions are necessary. By the time you have an operating system installed with a few programs running on it — well, that’s quite a few instructions right there already.

Have you ever wondered how your computer knows where to find all of the instructions that it needs to be able to function? Maybe stop and think about that the next time it takes an extra millisecond for a program to load. It could be much worse!

All of that instructional data is stored somewhere, otherwise it would be lost from memory the first time the computer is turned off.

How is all of that data saved, so that it can be quickly found again when it’s needed?

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