Microsoft is finally bringing tabs to File Explorer on Windows 11

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is experimenting with a new tabbed interface for File Explorer.
  • It's hidden in the latest Windows 11 preview builds.
  • The feature enables tabs along the top of the File Explorer app window.

It's finally happening! Microsoft appears to be adding a tabbed interface to the top of File Explorer, as Insiders testing the latest Windows 11 preview build have discovered the feature in a hidden state. First spotted by Windows Insider Rafael Rivera on Twitter, once enabled, tabs will appear along the top of the File Explorer app, allowing users to have multiple folders open in one window.

Tabs in File Explorer has been a highly requested feature among the Windows community for years at this point. Microsoft almost delivered the feature via its canceled "Sets" UX, which saw the introduction of tabs in every app window, including File Explorer. But when Sets was killed off, so was the idea of tabs in File Explorer.

But now, Tabs in File Explorer appears to be making a return, and it works exactly like you'd expect. This feature is yet to be officially announced by Microsoft, and since this is currently only in the Dev Channel, it's possible that Microsoft could cancel the feature before it ships, though we think that's unlikely.

We'll have a hands-on look at the new tabbed File Explorer interface soon. For now, it looks like Microsoft is finally shaping up the next major release of Windows 11. Insiders recently received two new builds with a bunch of improvements for touch users, among other general improvements and changes over the last handful of months.

Microsoft's next major feature update for Windows 11 is expected to ship in the second half of this year as "version 22H2."

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads