Microsoft has started rolling out a long-awaited new feature for Windows 11 that should make navigating through files and folders easier.
In the latest Windows 11 preview build (25136) – now available to members of the Early Access Program – Microsoft has introduced a new tabbing system in File Explorer, similar to those found in web browsers.
Instead of opening an additional instance of File Explorer to browse to a new file location, users can now simply view a new tab, which will fit seamlessly into the same window.
Windows 11 File Explorer Tabs
The new look of File Explorer has been first announced in Aprilat an event focused on hybrid work new for Windows 11.
The goal is simple: reduce desktop clutter and make it easier to work with multiple file locations at once, by reducing the number of windows open simultaneously.
The announcement was well received by Windows fans, who have been asking for this feature for years. roughly since its introduction on macOS in 2013. Until now, users had to rely on third-party solutions to take advantage of the features of Windows 11, but no more.
However, the new tab system isn’t the only change to File Explorer. As described in a new blog post (opens in a new tab)Microsoft has also revamped the side panel, bringing online storage service OneDrive in the foreground.
“File Explorer introduces an updated layout of the left navigation pane, which will allow you to easily navigate to the folders that interest you,” Microsoft explained. “The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick Access) and OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows.”
Also, regular folders like Documents, Pictures, Downloads, etc. will no longer fall under “This PC”, a space that will now be reserved for the computer. HDDs and external storage exclusively.
It’s still unclear when the new version of File Explorer will make it into a full public release, but users can at least take comfort in the fact that testing has now begun in earnest.