- Microsoft is planning to introduce tabs to Windows 11’s File Explorer and a new layout that makes it easier to browse directories quickly and find favorite files.
- The much-anticipated tabs feature was first discovered in last month’s Windows 11 beta releases, and Microsoft is now making it public during today’s Windows 11 hybrid work event.
- The revised File Explorer interface now includes tabs for exploring many directories simultaneously in a single window and the ability to rearrange tabs.
Microsoft is set to add tabs to Windows 11’s File Explorer and a redesigned interface that makes it simpler to explore folders and locate favorite files swiftly. The much-anticipated tabs feature was initially detected in Windows 11 beta releases last month, and Microsoft is now making it public during today’s Windows 11 hybrid work event.
The redesigned File Explorer interface now supports tabs for navigating numerous directories in a single window and the option to reposition tabs. Microsoft initially tested accounts in Windows 10 apps as part of Sets’ feature. This contained tab functionality within File Explorer; however, Microsoft ultimately discontinued the project and never made it available to Windows 10 customers.
Additionally, Microsoft is introducing a redesigned File Explorer interface that contains the standard Quick Access folders, recently accessed documents and a new favorites option. Soon, you’ll be able to right-click a file to add it to favorites, which will show pinned to the File Explorer homepage. Additionally, file sharing options have been enhanced, with a new share window now allowing you to send to current contacts or applications such as Teams, Outlook, and OneDrive.
However, it is unclear when we will get this upgraded File Explorer. Microsoft is only hinting at it as part of a slew of upcoming Windows 11 upgrades, and the firm has not yet committed to a release date. As with many of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 features, the redesigned File Explorer may be included in a monthly operating system update.
About File Explorer’s ‘Sets’
The name of the tabs feature reveals the concept behind it. “Sets” are used to organize related tasks. If you’re working on a Word document and need to conduct web research or get notes from an app, you may create Sets (or tabs) that contain all of these activities in a single window. It’s meant to keep the browser tab you’re using to do research distinct from the one you’re using to watch YouTube and group tabs relevant to the tasks you’re completing in Windows into a single window.
As with Windows 10’s Timeline feature, which will be available to testers in the upcoming version, Sets are intended to enable you to continue working on or from a mobile device. Microsoft hopes that by organizing chores into these Sets, iPhone and Android users would be able to start and resume Sets on a PC or vice versa. It’s a logical extension of Timeline, which groups your apps similarly to be continued across mobile and desktop platforms.
Microsoft intends to expand these tabs to include basic desktop applications such as File Explorer or Notepad and eventually to include applications with bespoke title bars such as Photoshop. Early next year, an improved desktop version of Office will consist of support for Sets. The main difficulty for Microsoft with Sets will be getting developers to use them on the mobile side, allowing programs to restart effortlessly. That is not an easy problem to solve, and I would anticipate that this type of experience will initially be limited to Office and Edge mobile.
The Sets experience also includes a universal search feature, and the new blank tab interface is identical to that of the Microsoft Edge browser.