Windows 7 Tutorial

Select multiple files at once in Windows 7 + Invert selection

Whenever you are trying to copy, cut, move, or delete multiple files (or folders) in Windows 7, you can perform the operation one file / folder at a time, but this quickly becomes tedious. Instead you can learn how to select multiple files at once, and then only perform one time the operation you want (cut, copy, move, delete, etc.) Note: while this tutorial was written for and with Windows 7, it applies to all recent versions of Windows (Vista, XP, etc.)


Select multiple files at one time (all files in continuous order)

The first type of selection is a continuous set of files in a folder:

Tip: if you want to select all files inside a folder, the fastest way to use the keyboard shortcut of "Ctrl+A" ("A" as in All). This works for text in editors like Microsoft Word, but also for files inside a folder in Windows Explorer!

Select multiple files in random order (not continuous)

Windows 7 also lets you select in one go multiple files that are not listed in continuous order:

Tip: You can combine selection modes - select a continuous number of files with the Shift key as explained earlier, release the key, and then select non-continuous files by holding down the Ctrl key. (Or, again, simply using the Ctrl+A keyboard shortcut to select all files.)

Unselect (deselect) one or more files from a selection

When you have selected a group of files, you can unselect some of them by holding down the Ctrl key: click on each file you want deselected, one after the other. To "re-select" an unselected file, also hold the Ctrl key and click on this particular file.

Invert the file selection

If you want to select all but a few files in a folder, the easiest way to proceed is to start by selecting the files you don't want, and then to invert the selection and end up with only the files you wanted:

The "Invert Selection" command in Windows Explorer is available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista (all editions of both), but does not exist in all older versions of Windows.

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