Windows 7 Tip: Invert Selection


In a post debating the new design of Windows Explorer in Windows 7 with a clueless post, Ed Bott shared a nice tip existing in Windows Explorer that I have been omitting for so long, the Invert Selection that lays in the Home tab in new ribbon in Windows 8.

eb invert selection - Windows 7 Tip: Invert Selection

This actually has been around for a while. It was removed in Vista but was brought back because of an outcry from beta testers. It is hidden in the pull-down menu in Windows 7 windows explorer. Ed claims that it’s a tremendous timesaver for specific file management tasks. And it sure is.

For example, I have a large number of files in a folder. I’ve spend quite a bit time selecting a handful of them using a combination of Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click. Here is what it looks like:

image thumb7 - Windows 7 Tip: Invert Selection

Now, I can copy, move, or rename these files I’ve selected but what is the easy way to copy, delete, move those that aren’t selected? That’s how this Invert Selection comes to play.

Hold down the Alt key, and click on Edit dropdown menu and select Invert Selection option.

image thumb8 - Windows 7 Tip: Invert Selection

Hola…all the ones that aren’t selected are now selected and highlighted with just one click.

image thumb9 - Windows 7 Tip: Invert Selection

Wanna even quicker, try Alt+E+I, a keyboard shortcut that would do the same.

Glad this will be kept in Windows 8, and even better, it’s no longer hidden. It will be just there right in the home tab.


  1. Well, having one feature but missing the other happens to all OSes all the time. I don’t see it ridiculous at all. Don’t you think the invert selection useful. 🙂



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