How to open Universal Touch-optimized File Explorer in Windows 10

Windows 10 v 1703 includes a new UWP Windows File Explorer app file, that is optimized for Touch devices. This post will show you how to access this hidden Explorer app. Now we are not sure if it’s the final version of the File Explorer but it something really interesting to try out. It is quite possible that Microsoft intends to make some more changes to it and has therefore not brought it out in the open.

New Touch-optimized File Explorer

To access this new hidden File Explorer app in Windows 10, open File Explorer and copy-paste the following folder path in its address bar and hit Enter:

C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.FileExplorer_cw5n1h2txyewy

windows file explorer app

Here you will see a FileExplorer.exe file. If you click on it, nothing will happen.

To open it, you will have to create its desktop shortcut. To do this, go to your Desktop, right-click in an empty space and choose ‘New’ option. Next, select ‘Shortcut’ from the list of options displayed. In the Create a Shortcut wizard, enter the following in the location field:

explorer.exe shell:AppsFolder\c5e2524a-ea46-4f67-841f-6a9465d9d515_cw5n1h2txyewy!App

Click Next, give it a name/icon and exit.

Now when you click on this desktop shortcut, the Universal app version of Windows File Explorer will open.

You will be able to navigate to all your folder locations and files.

touch optimized file explorer windows 10

In the bottom right side, you will see file & folder operation options like Search, Select all, Clear selection, Rename, File properties, Copy To, Move To, Delete, Select,  Display Icons or Lost, Sort by, and so on. They will appear depending on the relevance.

Please note that the touch-optimized version of File Explorer introduces some changes. For instance, it does away with most interface elements that are originally a part of the regular Windows Explorer. You cannot enter a path or location for a file/folder directly, nor you get any option to access file sync services directly, or options to access locations quickly.

But as seen, it retains the basic functions. You can create folders, delete files, move or rename them and search for the same. Besides, you can switch between storage locations and display basic file properties such as the number of files or folders on a drive.

You can see that its icon is different from the existing File Explorer, in the Taskbar.

You can also use the Dark Theme for this File Explorer app. You will see this setting in Settings > Personalization > Colors.

This Explorer app first appeared in Windows Insider Build 14936 and was reported on Technet Forums. It is available on Windows 10 Mobile as well as Surface Hub in Windows 10 for PCs.

Do try it out and see how it feels.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags

Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.