The Files App Finally Gives Windows Phone 8.1 a File Explorer

Microsoft published a “Files” app to the Marketplace around the end of May that is compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 only.  The Files app enhances the phone’s functionality by providing the phone with File Explorer type access to user files.

I finally got some time to spend exploring all the goodness that the Files app brings to the phone. As you can see from the screenshot below, we can now access the various types of files we store on a phone in a way that is similar to a File Explorer. Instead of opening up the Office Hub to browse and share the Excel, PowerPoint, Word and other files that are stored there, we can find them via the Files app in the Documents folder; Music and audio files are stored in the Music folder, Photos and Videos are stored in the Pictures folder, etc. The Files app also gives us access to a Downloads folder and a Ringtones folder.

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I’m using a Nokia Lumia 920 and the phone doesn’t use SD cards, but if I had a phone with an SD card, the SD card would show up as a separate bar underneath the Phone bar.

For this demonstration, I used the OneDrive app to download a PDF file that was stored there to my phone. Then I:

  • Selected a PDF file and tapped the down arrow in the icon bar.
  • I selected the documents folder and the PDF file was saved there.

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I opened up the Files app, tapped the Phone bar and then tapped the Documents folder

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The PDF file I just downloaded to the phone via the OneDrive app was stored in this folder, I wanted to attach the PDF file to an outgoing email, so I:

  • I tapped the file selection icon (the second icon in the dark gray icon bar) and selected the file I had just downloaded.
  • Then I tapped the “share” icon (the fourth icon in the dark gray icon bar)
  • I could share the PDF file by Bluetooth, by Email or by uploading it to OneDrive. I wanted to send the file as an email attachment, so I selected one of my email accounts and ….

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And there it is! The PDF file is all set to be sent as an email attachment.  wp_ss_20140810_0006

Here’s some more good news! You send multiple files as email attachments!

I went back to the documents folder and selected all the files that are currently stored there – a couple of Word documents, some Excel files and a couple of PDF files.

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After I tapped the share icon and selected my email account, you can see that all of the files are included as attachments to the email.  They don’t all show up in this screenprint, but I swiped my finger across the screen to confirm they’re all there.

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So now let me go back and look a little closer at the downloads folder……stay tuned!

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