Microsoft is finally developing a new modern File Explorer, and it will be preloaded on Windows 10X when it launches later this year. This new File Explorer is a simplified, lightweight explorer for browsing your OneDrive or local storage, and syncing files back and forth between the cloud and your machine. It's a very early build of the new File Explorer, so hopefully, there's more to come in the future.
In this initial preview, the user is only able to manage and download files stored on OneDrive. It doesn't appear to support local file management yet, but hopefully that will show up officially in a future build. The UI is very similar to the OneDrive website, and that's by design. This new File Explorer is essentially a web app, with a few OS integration hooks here and there.
It has both light and dark mode support but doesn't yet appear to support spanning on dual-screen PCs properly. In the bottom right is a little status indicator that gives you an overview of your currently syncing files, locally and on OneDrive.
Microsoft hasn't outlined its plans for File Explorer on Windows 10X, so this app is a little confusing right now. Microsoft describes it as a File Explorer for OneDrive, but is that always going to be the case? Is Microsoft going to expect users to switch between two File Explorer's to manage cloud and local files? That would be a terrible UX if so, and is step backward in Windows 10X's goal of simplifying Windows.
Update: Someone smarter than me has done some poking around and discovered that yes, the new File Explorer can in fact browse local files as well. So it's likely that Microsoft really is building out this new File Explorer as the default and only experience for Windows 10X. Nice!
One thing is for sure; Windows 10X will have a modern, UWP-based File Explorer out of the box. Finally. What are your thoughts on this early build of the new File Explorer beta? Let us know in the comments.
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