opening applications from File Explorer without moving focus to them

JM Casey

Hey everyone.

Kind of trying to think “outside the box” a little here – there might be a few different ways of doing this and I’m trying to think creatively and probably missing something obvious.


So, when I’m on the web, sometimes I’ll go to a site with links to different pages, which I’ll open with ctrl-enter while I keep reading the page. The links open new tabs that I can go and look at later and close at leisure, of course, not affecting the original page at all. This is something I find very efficient.


I’m now wondering if I can do something similar with file explorer, when it comes to opening things.

What got me thinking about this was that yesterday, I was doing some reading for my podcast and preparing to take notes. I take notes in notepad (go figure). So I opened up the folder containing all my files for the upcoming episode. I opened something like four or five notepad instances in succession. This is all well and good, but of course, every time I highlight a file and open it by hitting enter, my cursor is instantly placed inside the file, and I have to return to file explorer to open the next file. Repeat process several times.

Now I’m thinking, why not just tell file explorer to open all these files and stay in the explorer window until I’m done with the opening?

Obviously, I don’t mean having things run “in the background” – I’d still like the instances (or by extension, other apps perhaps) to be open and available to focus on…but is there an efficient way to move around in file explorer, and get it to open various files/applications, but not move the focus immediately to them?

I’m even imagining selecting a whole bunch of files, hitting enter to open, and they all open, but my position remains in file explorer, with the applications open and ready for e to move to later.

I hope this is making sense to others.

I did some poking around with google and found lots of references to Sets. I’m not sure this is quite what I had in mind.

Any thoughts?

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