A new update for Windows 11's best File Explorer alternative adds a revolutionary Windows search tool and personalized keyboard shortcuts for easy retrieval of files and folders

Files App now features a powerful search tool called Listary
(Image credit: Files)

What you need to know

  • The Files app just got a new update, bumping it to version 3.4.
  • The update includes several new features, including background images, shortcut customization, real-time filtering, a Listary, and more.
  • Windows 11's stock File Explorer is expected to get an AI-themed update, with reports indicating Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X Elite chip will be a requirement for the system.

Microsoft has undoubtedly been pushing significant updates and features to its File Explorer app in Windows 11 in the past few years. The same can also be said about its best third-party alternative, the Files app, which recently received a new update bumping it to version 3.4.

The update ships with new features and quality-of-life improvements, including background images, shortcut customization, real-time filtering, Listary, and more (via Neowin). 

Right off the bat, Files app users can create custom themes that can be used as the app's background. The background's opacity can be adjusted based on your preference.  

Files version 3.4 features a new settings page where you can modify key shortcuts to meet your specific needs and preferences, promoting effectiveness and efficiency. Perhaps the most notable addition to ship with the update is Listary — a powerful search tool that lets you access files and folders quickly. The search tool features a rich context menu that allows you to interact with files differently.

The new update also ships with real-time filtering, thus making it easier to find files that match your exact search entry. 

Files App | $8.99 at Microsoft Store

Files App | $8.99 at Microsoft Store

This third-party file explorer has many features people have requested for years from the built-in File Explorer on Windows. It has tabs, a column view, a file preview, and a customizable interface.


  • The Recent Files widget now respects the setting for displaying file extensions
  • Improved the display of keyboard shortcuts in the Command Palette
  • Added support to the sidebar for multiple SharePoint drives
  • Added an integration for the Lucid Link cloud provider
  • Added audio bitrate, and video to the list of properties in the Details Pane
  • Fixed an issue where pinned items weren’t displayed in the sidebar
  • Fixed an issue clicking the header in the details view wouldn’t change the sort direction
  • Fixed an issue where the adaptive layout option wasn’t disabled when syncing layout settings
  • Fixed an issue where changing the sort preferences didn’t work properly when syncing layout settings
  • Fixed an issue where existing tabs would duplicate when opening a folder from outside of Files
  • Fixed an issue where the Properties Window wouldn’t navigate between pages after returning from advanced settings
  • Fixed an issue where the app would sometimes crash when entering characters into the Address Bar
  • Fixed the alignment of the add tab button
  • Fixed an issue where the Git submenu was sometimes shown for non-GitHub repos
  • Fixed a crash that would sometimes occur when closing the GitHub login modal
  • Fixed an issue where Recycle Bin wasn’t pinned to the Sidebar by default
  • Fixed an issue where the View More and Open All options where disabled in the Tags widget
  • Fixed an issue where the scroll position was sometimes incorrect
  • Fixed an issue where “Scroll to previous folder” didn’t work in some folders
  • Fixed an issue where HWiNFO64.exe wouldn’t open
  • Fixed an issue where changing the focus in columns view caused an extra animation
  • Fixed an issue where the app window wasn’t refocused if minimized on launch
  • Fixed an issue where the conflicts dialog didn’t append numbers when pasting files
  • Fixed an issue where renaming an item in the conflict dialog would leave the copy status in process
  • Fixed an issue where the setting control margin was misaligned
  • Fixed an issue with exporting tags
  • Fixed an issue where certain drive icons didn’t load on the Drive Widget
  • Fixed an issue where ftp addresses were not displayed in the Address Bar
  • Fixed an issue where coping or moving a folder would cause the contents of the destination folder to be empty
  • Fixed an issue where there wasn’t enough space to right click folders in columns view
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong item was shown as active in the sidebar
  • Fixed an issue where holding the arrow key would cause the Preview Pane to freeze
  • Fixed an issue with editing properties of multiple items at the same time
  • Fixed a conflict with svg thumbnails generated by PowerToys
  • Fixed an issue of overlapping brushes leaving a gap in the columns view

While we're still on the File Explorer subject, the app is expected to get an AI-themed update in May. Interestingly, the update might not be available for everyone as Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X Elite chip is a requirement for the system to run. It's also expected to ship to new Arm PCs first. Here's everything we know about the AI File Explorer for Windows 11 so far. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.