File Explorer Tabs Get a Little Closer to Reality on Windows 11

Windows 11 gets tabs in File Explorer and the latest insider release (opens in a new tab) just got this feature for testing. That means we could see this feature make it into the actual Windows 11 release this year. It’s almost timely for Windows.

File Explorer tabs do what they say on the box. It adds convenient shortcuts to new File Explorer instances in a row at the top of the File Explorer window. Thus probably drastically reducing the number of File Explorer tabs you need to have open at any one time down to just one.

This has been a known feature for a little while now, but Microsoft is hesitant on when exactly to roll out this feature. It could still be a while before tabs make it into the final version of Windows 11, as they probably won’t arrive in the 2:22 update, but Microsoft said Explorer Tabs files wouldn’t be locked pending a major release, and might come as a small update on its own.

You will need beta channel build 22621.160 to have a chance to try out the new File Explorer tabs feature. However, being Windows, it’s not that simple. Microsoft is only just beginning to roll out the new feature for testing purposes, which means you might not have tabs available to you even on the latest Insider beta. You can follow this guide on Pureinfotech (opens in a new tab) to attempt to manually force tabs in your version of Windows 11, but keep in mind that you will need to use a command-line tool (ViveTool (opens in a new tab)) do this.

And, of course, there is a known issue. The up arrow is misaligned in the tabs, but this will be fixed with a future update.

There are a few other updates included with the new File Explorer tabs feature, including a reformatted left navigation pane with a new organization structure, some small tweaks to how OneDrive displays in the window and a removal of Windows folders from the This PC tab for easier navigation of installed drives.

As someone who repeatedly loses File Explorer windows, this latest update means a lot to me, anyway.

I’m sure there are plenty of PC gamers like me who are tired of opening new File Explorer tabs every time they want to move images from one folder to another. , or when they are desperately trying to sort through their Downloads folder despite knowing deep down that it will always be a complete mess.

Just me? No, I know you’re 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 was sorely lacking in major new features like this at launch. With these upgrades on the way, we may start to see Windows 11 go from a visual overhaul to an actually more adept operating system.

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