This file explorer got a major update just in time for Windows 11

Files Modern Explorer Lede 4
Files Modern Explorer Lede 4 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Files, a file manager for Windows, just received a major update to version 2.
  • The update adds support for columns, compact overlay mode, and improves the speed of the app.
  • Files works on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, but it looks best on Windows 11.

Files, a third-party file explorer for Windows, just received a major update. The update brings the app to v2.0 and adds a new column layout, a redesigned right-click context menu, and several performance improvements. The update to Files arrives just one day before the launch of Windows 11. Files works on both Windows 11 and Windows 10 but looks best on the new operating system from Microsoft, according to the app's developer.

A blog post by the app's developer, Yair Aichenbaum, highlights the new features in Files v2.0, including column view, tags, and support for custom themes. Here's everything that's new, according to the app's changelog:

  • Added a column layout
  • Redesigned the right click context menu
  • Improved support for libraries
  • Improved item enumeration speed
  • Improved the design of the preview pane
  • Improved the search feature
  • Added details when moving & deleting items
  • Added support for canceling file operations
  • Improved behavior when opening new tabs
  • Allow dragging items without selecting them first
  • Added advanced options for solving conflicts when transferring files
  • Added the ability to create a folder with the current selection
  • Display more details when hovering the mouse over a file
  • Clicking the up button in the root directory now navigates to the home page
  • Added a setting to always open folders in a new tab
  • Added support for using executables as drop targets
  • Added support for grouping folder contents
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for changing the layout mode
  • Added support for copying, moving, and renaming items as administrator
  • Added support for changing file permissions
  • Added support for browsing and extracting archives
  • Added compact overlay mode
  • Added FTP support

We've followed the development of Files for quite some time. We reviewed the app back when it was in preview and have followed its updates leading up to the release of Files v2.0.

If you'd like to find out more about Files and its development, you can hop into the Files Discord channel for a Q&A at 10 AM EST on October 4, 2021.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at