File Explorer tabs need just 1 MB of RAM


Well, that’s, um, impressive! While not everything Microsoft adds to Windows 11 is great, there are times when the company does genuinely good work in adding and optimizing features of its new OS.

One such feature is the highly requested arrival of tabs in File Explorer.

The public has been demanding a tabbed File Explorer for decades now. And it appeared that they were about to get their prayers answered with Sets — a feature that Redmond was developing that added such an option to various elements in the operating system.

But it sadly turned out to be a false dawn, and the feature was unceremoniously dumped.

Now, however, we have confirmation that the company has finally developed a capable enough solution that is sure to make life easier, particularly for power users who need to access several folders at the same time on their computers.

We got our first taste of this new tabbed interface for the default file management application in the operating system with build 21536 that made its way out earlier this month.

Build 25136 File Explorer Tabs

And further testing has revealed that not only does this amp up productivity for people who have multiple instances of File Explorer open, there is an unexpected side effect of this whole deal in that the memory usage is significantly reduced.

The feature apparently reduces RAM usage of File Explorer, requiring just 1 MB for each new tab open.

So, if you are one of those folks who like to have multiple tabs open as you breeze through your files and folders in Windows, then doing so will only increase your memory usage by a few megabytes. This will be most noticeable, and appreciated, on systems with relatively small amounts of RAM installed.

Pretty welcome development, this.

Although the tabbed File Explore is not available for everyone just yet, it will not be long before it is.

The Explorer upgrade is part of the Sun Valley 2 development, which should be in our hands as Windows 11 version 22H2 in the next few months. And while this upcoming release is not as high on new features as it could have been, it is nice to see that what it brings is properly optimized.