Microsoft is revamping Windows 11 File Explorer to include significant additions such as tabs that will allow users to navigate multiple folders in a single window. PC users have for a long time requested that File Explorer should allow them to work between different folders without having to open different windows for each. Microsoft said the new changes to File Explorer also include a new home page and a new favourites option.
With tabs, File Explorer will gain the ability to open different folders at once without increasing the load on the machine with individual windows. While people have managed to work between windows using drag-and-drop and, of course, Alt+Tab, a dedicated tabs option will make things easier. Microsoft started testing tabs for apps in Windows 10 and the feature was called Sets. That feature also includes tabs for File Explorer, but before things could work out, Microsoft pulled the plug on the project and tabs could never make it to the PC operating system.
Windows 11, which Microsoft wants to modify to a point where it becomes the go-to OS for hybrid work, will also show a new home screen for File Explorer, which includes the Quick Access folders, recent documents, and new favourites option. To add a file to favourites, you will need to right-click on the file and add it to the tab. All favourited files will show up under one tab. The sharing options for each file have also been improved with a better dialogue box that lets you send a file to contacts on apps such as Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive. However, the ability to also send files to contacts on WhatsApp or Slack installed on the PC could have been better.
Microsoft said it is currently testing the new features for File Explorer, which means these features are not available to everyone right now. And testing features does not mean that Microsoft will finalise them and roll them out to everyone. There is uncertainty, just like before. But since this is the second time tabs in Windows apps are being tested, chances are high the feature will make it to the stable OS version of Windows 11. Microsoft has not committed a release date yet, so even if File Explorer tabs and other options end up getting finalised for release, there is no telling when they will be available. It could take months, just like many Windows 11 features.