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Microsoft Brings back File Explorer tabs in Windows 11

Microsoft could equip the Windows 11 File Explorer with tabs in the future. After a short test phase of Windows 10 in 2017, the much-requested feature is celebrating its comeback. The feature is currently hidden in the latest Insider Preview build in the dev channel. The resourceful programmer Rafael Rivera discovers the new tab function for the file explorer under Windows 11 under the feature code 34370472 and gives his Twitter profile an overview of the look and functionality. So far unconfirmed by Microsoft, it could be part of the 22H2 (Sun Valley 2) update expected in the fall.


The function is simple: all the tabs are collected in the top part of the file explorer. If too many tabs are open, a small arrow on the right edge of the screen indicates additional tabs. Explorer Tabs were last introduced as part of the Sets feature in 2017 and 2018. However, despite the high demand that continues to this day, the tabs never made it past a Windows 10 Insider stage. With a fresh start, this could change under Windows 11. An official confirmation from the Redmond company, however, remains to be seen. The feature is still considered “hidden” and therefore has not yet been fully released to insiders. So you have to assume that it can disappear just as quickly.

More New Insider Preview Features

Unlike the Explorer tabs, the new “Search Highlights” are the official novelty of the current Insider Preview Build 22572. Microsoft is also making changes here to the so-called inbox apps and adapting other parts of Windows 11 to the contemporary look of the operating system. This includes the visual design of the print queue and the icons for the sandbox, notification center, and Quick Assist. Opening the extended context menu has also been simplified.