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What just happened? One might imagine that Microsoft had given up trying to repair a Windows 11 bug that caused File Explorer to open automatically, seeing as it was first reported back in late 2022. But after a wait of around 15 months, the fix is finally rolling out.
It was September 2022 when the 22H2 update for Windows 11 was released, bringing several changes and new tools to the operating system. One of these was the tabs feature within File Explorer, though it arrived a month later due to pre-launch issues.
Unfortunately for some Windows 11 users, the update also introduced a bug so concerning that many thought their systems had been infected by malware.
As noted by this Redditor, the issue presented itself while File Explorer was open, with the app suddenly appearing on top of all other open windows within the OS after a certain amount of time. Users reported that File Explorer would steal focus within a few minutes, some said it happened at specific times of the day, and others complained that it just happened randomly.
While the bug wasn't a system-breaking one and could be avoided by closing File Explorer after use, it's certainly been an annoying problem, especially if it occurred in the middle of a game or a presentation, the latter of which happened to one angry user.
The bug also caused several people experiencing the problem to wonder if they had been hacked and if this was some form of malware on their system trying to open folders and steal personal data.
Thankfully, Windows Latest reports that Microsoft is finally doing something about the File Explorer bug, around one year and three months after it first appeared. The fix is rolling out with Windows 11 KB5033375 (December 2023 cumulative update).
Microsoft's release notes for the update state that it addresses an issue in which File Explorer windows appear in the foreground when users do not expect them. It's unclear why the company took so long to fix this issue, though one could speculate that Microsoft didn't feel it was very important.