My Computer

Windows My Computer, Computer, and This PCA section of Microsoft Windows that was introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 and included with all versions of Windows after that. My Computer allows the user to explore the contents of their computer drives as well as manage their computer files. The picture shows examples of the My Computer icon in Microsoft Windows XP, the Computer icon in Windows Vista and Windows 7, and This PC icon introduced with Windows 8. Although the name has changed, this icon still acts the same as My Computer.

How to open My computer

  1. Get to the Windows Desktop.
  2. Double-click the My Computer icon, this icon is almost always located on the top-left portion of the desktop and should look similar to the icon shown earlier. Below are two examples of what should appear when My Computer is open.

My Computer
Drive listing in My Computer

Windows Explorer
Browsing My Computer in Windows 2000

You can also access My Computer or Computer through the start menu, as shown below.

My Computer through the Windows start menu

Using My Computer

Once My Computer is open you'll see all available drives on your computer. For most users, you'll only be concerned with the Local Disc (C:) drive, which is the hard drive and what stores all your files. Double-click this drive icon to open it and view of its contents.

Tip: If you are looking for a document such as a word processor file you've created, music file, picture, or other personal file it's likely that it's contained in your documents folder. This folder is displayed in My computer as a folder and usually contains your name. For example, if your username was John, this folder would be named John's Documents.

Finding files in My Computer

If you're having trouble finding where one of your files is stored, use the Windows find feature to find the file. To do this from within My Computer either click on File and then Search or right-click on the C: drive or other folder you want to search and click Search.

In the Search window, type the name or part of the name of the file you're trying to find.

Adjust system settings with your computer

If you want to manage your computer or view other settings and information about your computer instead of double-clicking the My Computer icon to open it, right-click on the My Computer icon and click Properties. Performing these steps opens your System Properties (the same window accessible through the Control Panel).

Related pages

Also see: Explorer, My Documents, Operating system terms