How do I select or highlight multiple files?

When in Microsoft Windows or any GUI operating system you may need to select multiple files to copy, delete, or move them. Below are some of the different methods of how to select multiple files in a GUI operating system.

Select all the files in the current directory
Select multiple files that are grouped together
Select multiple files that are not grouped together
Other tips

Select all the files in the current directory

With most operating systems and software programs, whenever you need to select everything, the shortcut key Ctrl + A will select all files or text.

Microsoft Windows users can also follow the steps below to select all the files in the current directory.

  1. Open the folder or directory you want to select all the files in Explorer or My Computer.
  2. Click Edit from the top of the window.
  3. Click "Select All"

Select multiple files that are grouped together

If you need to select multiple files that are all grouped together follow the steps below.

  1. Select the first file and then press and hold the Shift key.
  2. While holding the key down click the last file. This will select all the files in-between the first and last file.

Select multiple files that are not grouped together

If there are multiple files you need to copy but they are not grouped together follow the steps below.

  1. Select the first file you want to copy and then press and hold the Ctrl key.
  2. While holding down the Ctrl key, select each of the other files you want to select.

Other tips

You can use a combination of selecting multiple files and single files at the same time by doing any of the steps below.

  1. Click a file that you want to start the selection at
  2. Hold down the Shift key and select the last file and then let go of the Shift key.
  3. Now hold down the Ctrl key and any other file you select that is not already select will be added to the group of files already selected. If the selection of files contains files you want to not have selected, clicking on any selected file will un-select it.

Additional information

  • See our highlight definition for further information about highlighting, additional examples, and other related information.