Major File Explorer design updates and RGB device controls roll out in latest Windows 11 preview

The new Windows 11 file explorer
The new Windows 11 file explorer (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 build 25475 is rolling out to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • It includes major updates to the File Explorer with a modern design.
  • It also features new RGB device controls as announced last month.

Microsoft is now testing a major update to the File Explorer on Windows 11 that introduces a more modern design using Microsoft's WinUI 3.x technology. The new design is similar to a web browser, with your navigation, address bar, and search bar housed in the same row just below the tabs.

The new design also moves the File Explorer command bar to below the address bar, which makes the interface look much cleaner. Microsoft also says the Home page is getting a modern WinUI update as well, which will bring it more in-line with the rest of Windows 11's design language.

The address bar itself is now smarter, too. It will change depending on whether you're viewing a local or cloud-based directly, and offer options such as backup to OneDrive when looking at a OneDrive folder. You can learn more about the modern File Explorer in our coverage last month. 

Outside of File Explorer, today's build also includes native controls for RGB peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and monitors. No longer will you be required to download third-party tools to change basic features such as the color of your lights, as those options can now be configured directly in the Windows Settings app.

Windows 11 build 23475 changelog

Windows 11 RGB controls (Image credit: Windows Central)
  • Now that File Explorer is powered by Windows App SDK, we are introducing a modernized File Explorer Home powered by WinUIRecommended files for users signed into Windows with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account will be displayed as a carousel and support file thumbnails which is coming soon. Quick Access folders (available by default for users signed into Windows with a Microsoft account), Favorites, and Recent also bring in an updated experience with WinUI.
  • We are also introducing a modernized address bar and search box to File Explorer. The new address bar intelligently recognizes local vs. cloud folders with built-in status. For OneDrive users, you’ll notice the address bar now contains your OneDrive sync status and quota flyout.
  • Dynamic Lighting provides Windows users and developers with native control of Lighting Devices implementing the open HID LampArray standard. By adopting an open standard, and by working with our OEM and ODM partners,  Microsoft seeks to improve the RGB device and software ecosystem for users by increasing interoperability of devices and apps. Included are APIs for Windows apps to control devices from the background and foreground, as well as a page in Windows Settings for users to customize how their devices behave.
  • Several device manufacturers including Acer, ASUS, HP, HyperX, Logitech, Razer, and Twinkly have partnered with Microsoft on Dynamic Lighting
  • The feature where we now detect if the user is interacting with toasts or not and provide a suggestion to turn the toast banners off for such apps that began rolling out with Build 23466 is now available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The Unicode Emoji 15 is beginning to roll out to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. Users will now be able to see, search for and insert new emoji from the emoji panel. Here are a few of our Emoji 15 designs which include more hearts, animals and one new smiley face.
  • Fixed an issue where the taskbar may not have shown the correct apps when using multiple desktops.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator customers were unable to navigate down the left side panel of the search flyout.
  • Fixed an issue where when using a Japanese display language, sometimes apps with names written in kanji would all show at the bottom of the all apps list, rather than displayed alongside hiragana and katakana app names.
  • Fixed an issue where certain notifications were leading to an explorer.exe crash.
  • We’re rolling out the fix for an issue where Korean touch keyboard sometimes finalizes characters unexpectedly in the search flyout on the taskbar.
  • Backups of a PC that was set up using a restore will now show up in subsequent restores.
  • Restore of solid color desktop backgrounds are now supported.
  • Fixed issues that were causing voice access commands for moving settings sliders and selecting things on the taskbar to fail.
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

  • nablor
    Excited about the dynamic Lighting feature . Here's hoping i can get rid of Razers painful, bloated and very poor Synapse software.