Home » Free Computer Course. » How to Select More Than 1 File

How to select more than 1 file at a time.

At Home Computer.co.uk - icon

Selecting more than one file at a time is a huge time saver.

Up to now, on the course, we've focused on just 1 file or 1 folder. We've only selected 1 file or folder. But now it's time to move beyond that, and start working on multiple files and folders at the same time.

Whether your using Copy & PasteCut & Paste, Deleting or whatever, being able to quickly pick several files/folders at the same time just makes life so much easier.

There's lots of ways to select more than 1 file at a time, but we'll look at the 3 easiest methods.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    the problem with selecting more than 1 file/folder.

    If you've ever tried to select more than one file or folder at a time, you'll no doubt have run into this issue.

    And it is infuriating.

    First we'll look at the problem, and then the solutions.

    So we're going to need some dummy files and folders to play with.

    We'll save 10 dummy files to use as examples, into a single folder on the Desktop.

    Create a new folder on your Desktop, which we'll call Stan AHC.

    stan AHC.

    So that's a folder to hold our files in. now for the files.

    Open Notepad and type something, anything will do.

    Then save the file into the folder Stan AHC.

    Name the file, File 1.

    save file 1 into stan AHC folder

    Use SAVE AS to save the file again, but change the file name.

    This time call it File 2.

    change file name to be file 2.

    Use SAVE AS again and save the file as File 3, then again as File 4 etc. All the way up to File 10.

    Phew.....

    You can now close Notepad out of the way.

    Open the folder Stan AHC and you should now have 10 files (named File 1, File 2, File 3............File 10) inside it.

    files 1 to 10.

    trying to select more than 1 file at a time.

    OK so now we've got all our files together, let's try selecting a few of them.

    Try to select all the odd numbered files at the same time.

    Left click once on File 1 to select it.

    You can see it's selected because it will have a highlight around it.

    So far, so good.

    file 1 is selected.

    Now left click once on File 3 to select that as well.

    You'll see that the highlight jumps from File 1 to File 3.

    So File 3 has been selected, but File 1 has been deselected.

    Not what we wanted.

    We wanted to select both file 1 and 3 at the same time.

    Could be an issue?

    well that's annoying.

    What's happening is that, when you click File 1, the computer knows you want to select that file. OK.

    But when you click File 3, the computer thinks you've changed your mind, and now you want to select File 3 instead of File 1.

    The machine doesn't know that you want to select both files at the same time.

    Try selecting File 5, File 7 or 9.

    Try doing it really fast.

    You could even try showing the computer your angry face.

    It'll make no difference.

    Each time you click a file to select it, the previous one will be deselected.

    Mr. Angry.

    Advertisement

    How to select more than 1 file at a time. CTRL + Click

    What we need is a way to tell the computer to stop deselecting our files.

    Some method that the machine understands that we're trying to select more than one file at a time.

    CTRL to the rescue.

    Now try this.....

    Left click once on File 1. It's selected. The highlight appears around it.

    On your keyboard, hold down the CTRL key (it's in the bottom left corner, and it will be labelled either CTRL or Control).

    With CTRL held down, left click once on File 3.

    You'll see that both File 1 & File 3 are selected, they both have a highlight around them.

    You can release the CTRL key now.

    file 1 & file 3 are both selected.

    Carry on and select all the odd numbered files.

    Hold down the CTRL key before clicking on a file.

    Once you've selected all the odd numbered files, you can release the CTRL key.

    all the odd numbered files selected.

    Try it again, this time we'll select all the even numbered files.

    Left click once on File 2 (but don't hold down the CTRL key).

    You'll see that all the odd numbered files are deselected, and File 2 will become selected.

    only file 2 is selected.

    To select all the other even numbered files, hold down the CTRL key and left click once on them in turn.

    Release the CTRL key when you've got all the even numbered files selected.

    all the even numbered files are selected.

    Easy when you know how.

    Try it out for yourself.

    selecting more than 1 file at a time.

    Advertisement

    select all. select everything. CTRL + A.

    Sometimes we'll want to select everything inside a folder. All the files and folders.

    Now we could just hold down CTRL and then click on everything in turn. That would work.

    But if we want everything, then there's a quicker way of doing it.

    CTRL + A.

    To select everything in a folder, hold down the CTRL key, and tap the letter A at the same time. As if you were going to type the letter A.

    You'll see that all the files are instantly selected.

    press CTRL and A to select all.

    CTRL + A is a very quick and easy way to select all the files & folders. You'll be surprised at how often you can use it.

    Try it a few times, deselect the files by left clicking on one of them, then hit CTRL and A to select them all again.

    and finally, block selecting. shift + click.

    This one comes in particularly handy when your sorting out your pictures. It's a way of selecting a group of files that are in sequence.

    So we might say, we want all the files from this one to that one.

    Confused, I'm not explaining it well, but read on and you'll see what I mean.

    Let's say we want to select the files 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

    How can we do it quickly?

    Well, we could simply hold down CTRL and then click files 3 through 7 in turn. Yes that would work.

    But there's a better way.

    Shift + Click.

    selecting files 3 to 7.

    The first thing to note, is that all the files we want are in a continuous block or sequence.

    File 4 follows file 3, and file 5 follows file 4 etc.

    When you've got files like this, you can left click once on the first file (File 3), then holding down the SHIFT key on the keyboard, and then left click once on the last file (File 7).

    All the files between the first and last will be selected.

    So in our example, all the files from 3 to 7.

    files 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

    You've just gotta give it a go for yourself.

    Getting to grips with these 3 ways to select more than one file at a time will save you hours of time and frustration.

    using CTRL + A and SHIFT + Click.

    Advertisement

    The beginning of a new chapter.

    starting chapter 2.

    Selecting multiple files and/or folders is incredibly easy to do, once you know how.

    But now it's time to forge ahead into the next chapter. Beyond the Basics.

    "To boldly go where I haven't been before".