Windows 11 is getting tabs in File Explorer and the latest Insider version (opens in new tab) just received this resource for testing. That means we could see this feature coming to the real version of Windows 11 sometime this year. This is almost timely for Windows.
File Explorer Tabs does what it says on the tin. It adds convenient shortcuts to new instances of File Explorer in a line at the top of the File Explorer window. Thus, probably drastically reducing the number of File Explorer tabs you have to open at any given time to just one.
It’s been a known feature for some time, but Microsoft has been hesitant on the exact timing of this feature’s release. It might still be a while before the tabs get to the Windows 11 release version as it likely won’t arrive in the 2H22 update, but Microsoft said that the File Explorer tabs won’t get stuck waiting for a major release and could come as a minor update on its own.
You will need Build 22621.160 in the Beta channel for a chance to try out the File Explorer new tabs feature. Although, being Windows, it’s not that simple. Microsoft is just starting to roll out the new feature for testing, and that means you may not have guides available to you, even in the latest Insider Beta. You can follow this guide at pureinfotech (opens in new tab) to try manually forcing the tabs in your version of Windows 11, but keep in mind that you will need to use a command line tool (ViveToolGenericName (opens in new tab)) to do it.
And, of course, there is a known issue. The up arrow is misaligned on the guides, but this will be fixed with a future update.
There are a few other updates included in the new File Explorer Tabs feature, including a revamped left navigation pane with a new organization structure, some minor tweaks to how OneDrive is displayed in the window, and the removal of Windows folders from the East tab. PC for easier navigation of installed units.
As someone who repeatedly loses File Explorer windows, this latest update seems like a lot to me anyway.
I’m sure there are plenty of PC gamers out there who, like me, get tired of opening new File Explorer tabs every time they want to move some images from one folder to another or when they’re desperately trying to sort through their Downloads folder despite knowing which in the end will always be a complete mess.
Just me? No, I know you’ve been out there, and I can’t be the only one waiting for File Explorer tabs and drag-and-drop functionality to access the operating system. Speaking of which, I hope the drag and drop functionality between File Explorer tabs is quick, easy, and bug-free. Otherwise, it won’t be as useful.
It looks like Windows 11 missed a lot of important new features like this at launch. With these updates on the way, we may start to see Windows 11 move from a visual overhaul to a truly better-suited operating system.