Use Check Boxes to Select Multiple Files in Windows

Looking for an easy way to select multiple files in Windows Explorer?  There are several options.

Old School File Selection:

This method is tried and true and has been around since at least Windows 3.0 in 1990.

  • To select multiple files, hold down ctrl while clicking on the individual files you want.
  • To select a large range, select the first file, then shift-click on the last file.  All files in-between will be automatically selected.
  • You can combine the above two methods with ctrl-shift-click to select multiple ranges.

While the above method has been around forever, and is commonplace for most users, it can still require patience and dexterity.  It is also very easy to lose your selection by a wrong click of the mouse.  There is an easier method.

The easier method:

In Vista and newer, including Windows 7 and Windows 8, there is an option to use check boxes for multi selection.  For some reason, this cool feature is turned off by default, but it is simple to turn on:

  1. In Windows Explorer, hit the ALT key one time to make the hidden menu bar appear.
  2. Select Tools > Folder Options
  3. Select the View tab
  4. Scroll down and select the option named “Use check boxes to select items”
  5. Hit OK

You will now have the option to select each file by simply placing a check to the left of each filename.  This can even be used in conjunction with the Old School method mentioned above.  Check out the samples below.




Select Multiple Files In Windows

Windows Multi-Select List View