I often use it in the Search File Results of Windows File Manager to open the parent folder of a file. The idea is to see all the accompanying files. “This feature is so useful that I adapted it in my own developed Disk Space Utility ShowSize where you can select any file or folder and open its containing folder in Windows File Manager.”
Let’s see how this works in Windows File Manager
For example, let’s say, you search for DOCX files in a folder in Windows File Manager. The list that you get contains the DOCX files from subfolders too. In this case, you can select any file in the search list and right-click on the “Open File Location” menu to open the parent folder of that file. This can be useful to see all the accompanying or related files of this file.
Here is an example. I’m searching for some icons containing OPEN in their file name. Then I select one of them and right-click on “Open File Location” to open the containing folder to see other accompanying icons of the same image.
I use this ShowDesktop feature all the time in Windows 7. Thankfully, it’s still there in Windows 10.
Do you know that there is a neat feature called “Show Desktop” in Windows? I use it all the time to quickly access an icon on the desktop even if my screen is choke-full of running applications.
This feature has been there since Windows XP. But somehow, I never noticed it there. It became more prominent in Windows Vista where I discovered it for the first time. Since then, I can’t live without it.
Naturally, when I logged on to Windows 7 for the first time, I thought it has been done away with. But I knew it had to exist. I did a search and found it. It’s so subtle that new users may not even know that such a feature exists.
Here is a picture that shows you where to find it in Windows 7.
The Show Desktop button is placed on the right of the task bar. To see how it works, run a few programs so that your desktop is no longer visible. Then click on the Show Desktop button and you will see the original desktop again so that you can click on another shortcut icon.
A related feature, Peek at desktop
Another good thing to know about is the Peek at Desktop feature. In Windows 7, when you move the mouse over the Show Desktop button, it lets you peek at the desktop without actually switching to it. A peek means you see the desktop momentarily beneath all application windows that are running. In Windows 10, this feature is switched off by default because this does not make sense in a “touch” interface where there is nothing like a mouse hover action. To get this feature, you need to switch it ON on the menu that comes up on the Show Desktop button.