Latest Windows 11 Insider build adds tabs to File Explorer
Could the long-requested feature finally arrive?By Daniel Sims 21 comments
Something to look forward to: Windows users have wanted Microsoft to bring tabs to File Explorer for years. The company is taking another stab at it in the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview. Let's hope it reaches the public build this time.
File Explorer tabs form the primary new functionality that Windows 11 Insider Preview build 25136 introduces this week. As users would expect, the feature works similarly to web browser tabs --- letting users switch between different folders from the top row of File Explorer. Evidence that the much-requested capability was coming first appeared in preview builds in March. Build 25136 also made Quick Access easier to reach in the left navigation pane.
Microsoft last tried to give the File Explorer tabs in 2018 when they appeared in a Windows 10 Insider Preview under the name "Sets." It was supposed to use a single window to organize not only File Explorer tabs but also other programs. However, the company eventually removed the feature before reaching general Windows users.
Also see: 5 Windows File Explorer Alternatives You Should Try
Those who want tabs in File Explorer without installing Windows 11 or Previews have plenty of third-party alternatives. Files is an open-source app that tries to look more like the rest of the Windows 11 UI while offering tabs, tags, and other additional features. Another option is RX Explorer, which has a unique visual aesthetic.
Windows 11's new Preview build also gives the taskbar dynamic widgets. They can display constantly-updating information about things like the weather, sporting events, or finance.