One of the biggest new features coming to Windows 11 is now in advanced testing. File Explorer tabs have been made available for folks enrolled in the Release Preview channel of the preview program.
For now, we still don’t know when Microsoft will formally make it available to all.
But this progress is good news.
Tab support in the default file manager of the operating system has been a public demand for more than a decade. After a false start with Sets — an ambitious feature that was in development a couple of years back before being canned — Redmond finally got it right.
As the company announced back then:
“To help you work across multiple locations at the same time, the title bar of File Explorer now has tabs. We’d love your feedback on which tabs features you’d like to see next.
File Explorer is also introducing a refreshed layout of the left navigation pane which makes it easy for you to navigate to folders that matter to you. The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick access) and your OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows.”
In other words, this is a whole UI refresh for File Explorer, a very welcome one at that.
Previously only available for Dev and Beta users of the Windows Insider Program, tabs in File Explorer have quietly made their way to the Release Preview ring as well.
This has been reported by the German site Dr. Windows, with a confirmation that the feature is enabled in the latest Windows 11 preview build in this final channel. And with this development, there is solid evidence that we are on the cusp of launch.
Although there has been no official confirmation of any sorts, there is solid evidence that the public availability of the File Explorer tabs feature could be announced as part of Windows 11 version 22H2.
Makes perfect sense that the first update for Windows 11 could be getting this marquee feature, which itself, coincidentally, is currently in Release Preview.