Windows 11 build 25136 unleashes the tabbed File Explorer

File Explorer Icon

The one we have been waiting for! Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 preview build to the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program, and this one packs in a couple of neat new features.

One of which is the highly anticipated tabbed interface for File Explorer.

Point your browser to the announcement post for all the details regarding build 25136, which is part of the Sun Valley 3 development branch. This is, of course, the version that will eventually become the one that is released in 2023.

The main highlight of this build is support for tabs in File Explorer, to go with the addition of what is being called the Dynamic Widget on the Taskbar.

Build 25136 File Explorer Tabs

Getting down to business, the long-waited tabbed UI for the file management program is designed to help you work across multiple locations simultaneously. These tabs can be found in the title bar and provide you with quick access to your favorite content.

Interestingly, this feature seems to be in A/B testing phase at the moment, meaning it will not be available to all Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel just yet.

And this is kind of odd, as it negates the point of the Dev channel, which is the ring of the preview program designed for enthusiasts to test out new features before anyone else. Limiting features like this makes sense during wider testing, but certainly not in this inner ring of the preview program.

Oh well.

In addition to the tabbed experience, Microsoft has also refreshed the layout of the left navigation pane to make it easier for you to navigate to the folders that matter to you. You get access to your pinned and frequently used locations, as well as your OneDrive cloud profile added to Windows.

The second new feature in this build relates to widgets.

Build 25136 Dynamic Widget

Microsoft is trying out dynamic widget content on the taskbar. This means that in addition to seeing live content from the weather widget, you will also be able to see updates about sports, finance, as well as breaking news.

All in a bid to make it easier for you to know when something important happens.

As usual, the build comes with a whole range of changes, fixes, and improvements. These are primarily centered around input, Taskbar, Start, settings, and more. There are a few known issues that have also crept in that you should be aware of.