How To Select Files Using Check Boxes In Windows Vista

Before we go into the details of how to select files using check boxes in Windows Vista, let us first understand the significance of this new feature. This is because many of us just take this new feature of Windows Vista as a value addition. However, we fail to understand its basic ability of selecting files without any kind of repetition or error.

It is obvious that without understanding the need of this new feature, you might not feel like using it. Therefore, let us start by recognizing the importance of using the check boxes for selecting the files in Windows Vista now!

Problem: Selecting Files Randomly In Windows Explorer Is Burdensome

Have you ever felt the need to select files in a random order in Windows Explorer? Let us take a scenario wherein you have listed the files of your folder in Windows Explorer so that you can select them easily. You actually have to select the files at second, sixth, seventh, and eight positions in the list.

If you have worked with the previous versions of Windows, you would know that you can either use the SHIFT or CTRL key to select multiple files. However, in this case, you will have to hold the CTRL key and select the files using the mouse. While doing so, you noticed that you have ended up with either lost selection while you reach the bottom or missed selection.

This is because you happen to let go of the key in between the selection process, which triggers repetition and consequently frustration. In addition, there is one more con of using this traditional way of selecting the files. It might also end up making copies of wrong files in case you are selecting the files for copying. So, is there a better solution?

Solution: Select The Check Boxes Rather Than File Names In Windows Vista

Certainly, the availability of check boxes is one of the useful features of Windows Vista. You can now select the required files in any order by simply checking the boxes. This means now you need not use the CTRL or SHIFT key for selecting the files, which means no repetition, no missed selection, and no copies of wrong files.

The only requirement is that you need to explicitly turn on this option by changing the folder settings.

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Implementing The Solution: Enable The Check Box Option By Accessing The Folder Options Dialog Box

By default, Windows Vista does not show the check boxes in the Explorer, as the corresponding option is turned off by default. Therefore, here are the steps to turn on this option for selecting files efficiently.
1. Open Windows Explorer.

2. Click the Organize drop-down menu from the Options bar. A drop-down list is displayed.

3. Select Folder and Search Options. The Folder Options dialog box is displayed.

4. Click the View tab.

5. From the Advanced settings list box, select the Use check boxes to select items check box.

6. Click the Apply button.

7. Click OK. You can now see and select the check boxes before the file names.

Tip: To select all files, just select the check box before the Name column.