How To Select Multiple Files On Windows 10/8.1 Tablet Without Keyboard

Selecting multiple files or folders in Windows has always been a simple task. To select a consecutive group of files or folders, we first select the first item, hold down the Shift key and then select the last item. To select non-consecutive files or folders, we hold down the Ctrl key and select the each item we wish to select.

And as all of you know, pressing Ctrl + A hotkey selects all items. But how to select multiple files on a tablet running Windows 8 or the recently released Windows 10? Even though many tablets such as Microsoft Surface ship with a physical keyboard, not every manufacturer includes a physical keyboard.

So, how to select multiple files on a touch screen device running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 without using the keyboard and mouse?

Easily select multiple files on touch devices on Windows 10/8.1

Simply follow the given below instructions to select multiple files on Windows 1o Windows 8.1.

Step 1: First, open up the folder or drive where you have your files/folders.

Step 2: Switch to Details view by clicking on the Details view button located in the lower-right of the window. You can also change the current view by clicking on View tab and then selecting Details.

Select Multiple Files In Windows 8 Tablet (1)

Step 3: You should now see an item check box in the left of the column header (see the picture). If the item check box isn’t appearing, open the View tab and then enable the option named Item check boxes.

Select Multiple Files On Windows 8 Tablet

Select Multiple Files In Windows 8 Tablet (4)

NOTE: The option “Use check boxes to select items” (under Folder Options) to show check boxes next to all files/folders is present on non-touch devices only. Windows doesn’t show the option on a touch screen device, or at least it’s not available on my tablet.

Step 4: Tap on the check box in the column header to select all files. To select non-consecutive files, first select all files by tapping on the check box and then deselect files that you don’t wish to select by tapping on the check boxes next to your files/folders. As simple as that!

Select Multiple Files In Windows 8 Tablet (2)

Select Multiple Files In Windows 8 Tablet (3)

Do let us know if you know any other better methods to select multiple files on a touch screen.



  1. Ollie says

    Useless article, doesn’t work on WINDOWS 10, (as per the title) nor does it offer a helpful solution if it did work.

  2. Carlene says

    On my pc, if I have 200 files in a folder and I want to delete 50 of them that are located sequentially, what is the best way? I don’t want to check 50 individual boxes nor do I want to uncheck 150 boxes.

  3. kristy says

    Corny-thank you so much! I now use that method to get my photos across in month batches-brilliant. Far better than selecting the check boxes. Check boxes can be selected but as someone already said, you can accidentally uncheck them all by a slight tap and that’s very frustrating.

  4. Jacko says

    I have tried to select multiple images on W8 tablet and still couldn’t find any possible way to do it.
    It is virtually impossible to use. If you have spent 15 minutes selecting carefully every image and then accidentally (happens all the time) hit one out of the microscopic range it will deselect all you have just done.

    Let’s face it: tablet is only a TOY, good for playing angry birds. Don’t ever think you can use them for anything useful.

  5. Corny says

    I think I found a nice way.
    Touch the area between some files and wait until a square appears around your fingertip. Now move your finger above the screen. It will be like holding the left mouse key to select items.

    Way better than selecting everything and then check off the boxes….

    by the way: wait for the square, release and you will get the menu you would get with a right mouse key click!!

  6. Zaz says

    You can view in large icon or extra large icon, on the right side of the photos or pictures slightly in the middle (space between other pictures) long press, than drag all the photos you want to highlight. If it don’t work keep on trying until you find the trick. It should work. It works on my windows 8.1 Asus tablet.

  7. Glenn says

    @Lars: i think you already solved your problem but i found this site on google so for the other: Uncheck the ten you want then “invert selection” from the start tab in the ribbon bar

  8. kodl says

    just tap to the area left to the files you want to select where the check box appears and that is it. no need to bring up the touch keyboard.

  9. Peter says

    In addition to my previois post.

    Alternatively if you do not want to change your keyboard, you can tap “select all” under the home tab and then unselect the the files you want, then tap the “inverse selection” to make the files you want marked.

  10. Peter says

    Sorry this method does need to use the on-screen keyboard.

    If you are using a tablet, another way is (as long as the “items check box” is active on the view tab) bring up the on-screen keyboard (seems to work better on the full keyboard and better undocked so you can move it out the way), tap the Ctrl key, then drag the keyboard down as far down to the bottom of screen so it is out of the way and then you should select the files you want. (This emululates holding down the physical ctrl key). This will work in any view.

    It will probably work on a desktop but seems to be a bit of a hassle if the keyboard is right in front of you.

    Having said this Microsoft should really provide an additional check to multi-select files.

  11. lars says

    Let me get this straight. i have a folder with 500 files and i want ten. i have to uncheck 490?

  12. firstbob says

    Surfaces do NOT ship with physical keyboards. You must specify a keyboard as an add on at extra cost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *