How to: Enable file-selection using checkboxes in Windows Vista, 7 and 8

Selecting files and folders is one of those tasks that every computer user has to do, but the regular Ctrl and Shift selection methods can become quite annoying when you’re managing lots of files. There is another way to do that, which can be particularly useful when you’re selecting only specific files/folders from a large list.

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 all have a feature that will allow you to select files and folders using checkboxes and it won’t affect or disable Shift and Ctrl selection methods. This means that even with the checkboxes enabled you can use either one of the three methods, according to your needs. Let’s begin:

1. The first thing you need to do is open Folder Options.

In Windows Vista/7, go click on the Start button and search “folder options” in the search bar. Select “Folder Options” from the results.

In Windows 8 open File Explorer and select the View tab. Click on the Options drop-down menu and select “Change folder and search options”.

2. In Folder Options search for the option “Use Check boxes to select items” in the Advanced Settings pane and select it. Press OK to save changes and close the Folder Options window.

3. If you hold the mouse over any file or folder in Explorer a  checkbox will appear as in the picture below:

Note: You can use checkboxes to select multiple files and/or folders. If you click anywhere else on the file/folder your previous selections will be canceled.