How to add or remove Check Boxes to Select Multiple Files or Folders on Windows 10 File Explorer?

Enabling Checkboxes for Easy File Selection in Windows 10 File Explorer

How can you easily select multiple files or folders in Windows 10 File Explorer? Typically, when copying or moving a file, you simply right-click on it and choose “Copy.” You then navigate to your desired destination, right-click in an empty space, and select “Paste.” This method is straightforward for handling a single file. However, when dealing with multiple files, this approach can be time-consuming. Most users select multiple files on a Windows 10 PC by holding the Ctrl key while clicking on the desired items. Another method is to click on a single file and press the Ctrl + A keys simultaneously to select everything in the folder. But what if your Ctrl key isn’t functioning, or you prefer using checkboxes for selection? Fortunately, Windows 10 offers a checkbox feature for this purpose, although it’s disabled by default.

Once this feature is activated, check boxes appear next to files and folders when you hover over them. This allows you to easily select or deselect items without needing the Ctrl key. Such checkboxes simplify processes like copying, cutting, and deleting multiple files.

To toggle this checkbox feature in Windows 10 File Explorer, there are two primary methods:-

  1. Via the File Explorer Options.
  2. Through the Registry Editor.

How to add or remove Check Boxes to Select Multiple Files or Folders using Folder Options?

Follow these steps to add or remove Check Boxes to Select Multiple Files or Folders using Folder Options:-

Step 1: First, open File Explorer Options on your computer.

Click on the Start button and type folder options to access the Folder Options on your Windows 10 computer. To open it, click on File Explorer Options from the list of results.


Step 2: In the File Explorer Options window, select the View tab and scroll down to the Use check boxes to select items option. Select this option. Now, press the Apply and OK buttons.

When you do the above instructions, a checkbox will display when you hover your mouse over any object in File Explorer. These checkboxes can be used to select or deselect any item.

In case you change your mind and want to remove the checkboxes from the File Explorer in the future, uncheck the checkbox that says “Use check boxes to select items.

How to enable or disable Check Boxes to Select Multiple Files or Folders via Registry Editor?

Use the following steps to enable or disable check-boxes to select multiple files or folders using the Registry Editor:-

Step 1: First, open Registry Editor on your system.

Step 2: In the Registry Editor’s left side window, navigate to the following key:-


Step 3: Find AutoCheckSelect on the right side of the Advanced key and double-click on it to edit its Value data.

Step 4: Set the Value data figure to 1.

Step 5: Click on OK.

After completing the above registry settings, a checkbox will display anytime you hover your mouse over any object in File Explorer. These checkboxes can be used to select or deselect any file or folder.

To disable this functionality, repeat the preceding steps and modify the Value data from 1 to 0 in step 3.

On Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can enable or disable the checkboxes for selecting multiple files or directories by repeating similar processes. This function is useful if you have a touchscreen laptop.


The ability to select multiple files or folders with ease is crucial for efficient file management in Windows 10. While the traditional method involves the use of the Ctrl key, the checkbox feature offers an alternative for those who might face issues with their keyboard or simply prefer a more visual approach. Whether you choose to enable checkboxes through File Explorer Options or the Registry Editor, the feature ensures a smoother user experience. Furthermore, similar functionalities are available in previous Windows versions, like Windows 7 and 8, especially beneficial for touchscreen laptop users.


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