Microsoft Now Testing Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

Windows 11 Logo
Microsoft

Microsoft planned to add tabs to the File Explorer back in the Windows 10 days, but it never happened. At long last, tabs have arrived in Windows 11 Insider Preview builds.

The File Explorer already received a few changes for Windows 11, like an updated toolbar and simpler menus, and now tabbed navigation is in the works. Tabs appear in the title bar of File Explorer menus, and adding more tabs allows you to switch between different directories and drives without managing multiple windows.

image of tabs in the Windows 11 File Explorer

Tabs in Windows has been a long time coming. Microsoft was experimenting with a feature called ‘Sets’ in 2017, which allowed different applications (or multiple windows from the same app) to be grouped into a single tabbed window. The Sets feature was shelved in 2019, after Microsoft reportedly received mixed feedback and was running into technical problems getting it to work with Office apps.

Microsoft is also testing a “refreshed layout” for the left navigation pane. OneDrive folders now display the synced account’s name, and default folders like Downloads, Music, and Videos are now listed above ‘This PC’ instead of under the ‘This PC’ submenu.

These changes are now rolling out to some (not all) people in the Windows 11 Insider Preview Dev Channel. Once all the bugs are ironed out, tabs and the updated navigation should roll out to everyone.

Source: Windows Blog