Microsoft rolls out Windows 11 tabs in File Explorer preview to the Insider Beta Channel

File Explorer Tabs Hero
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is rolling out tabs in File Explorer for Insiders in the Beta Channel.
  • It arrives less than a week after it arrived in the Insider Dev Channel.
  • This confirms tabs in File Explorer is destined to launch with version 22H2 later this year.

Microsoft is rolling out a new Windows 11 preview update for Insiders in the Beta Channel which introduces File Explorer's new tabbed interface to the version 22H2 RTM build. 

The tabs feature in File Explorer was announced earlier this year, but just rolled out to Insiders in the Dev Channel last week. So it showing up in the Beta Channel so soon is somewhat surprising. 

Additionally, Microsoft is also testing an updated right-hand navigation pane design that better separates different areas of the File System. The build rolling out in the Beta Channel is 22621.160 and is available to download now as a cumulative update.

Here's the changelog:

  • Empty listTo help you work across multiple locations at the same time, the title bar of File Explorer now has tabs. We’d love your feedback on which tabs features you’d like to see next.
  • File Explorer is also introducing a refreshed layout of the left navigation pane which makes it easy for you to navigate to folders that matter to you. The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick access) and your OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows. OneDrive cloud profiles reflect the user’s name associated with the account. Known Windows folders which are available by default in the navigation pane are no longer displayed under This PC to keep that view focused for your PC’s drives. When you navigate to folders syncing to OneDrive such as Documents, Pictures, etc., the address bar displays the correct path to help bring clarity when your folders are on the cloud vs when they are local to you.

Microsoft notes that the new File Explorer features are rolling out in waves, meaning even after you install the preview build, you may not see the new tabs interface right away.

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