What you need to know
- Microsoft just announced the availability of several new Windows 11 features.
- The operating system now has a tabbed File Explorer, suggested actions, more sharing options, and a handful of other new features.
- A new Photos app will also ship to Windows 11 by the end of October, 2022.
Windows 11 just gained several new features, including a tabbed File Explorer, more sharing options, and suggested actions. Microsoft announced the availability of the features today and shared more details about all of them. The announcement comes on the heels of the Windows 11 2022 Update rolling out, which PCs have to have installed to take advantage of the new features.
Earlier this year, Microsoft confirmed that it would ship new features to Windows 11 throughout the year rather than holding them for major annual updates. Today's announcement is for the first wave.
Here are the new features that start shipping today or in the near future:
- Tabbed File Explorer
- Suggested Actions
- Taskbar Overflow and easy access to Task Manager
- Share to more devices
- New Photos app
Today's update adds tabs to File Explorer, which have been highly requested for several years. The latest version of File Explorer also has a new Favorites section for file organization. The tool will also suggest contacts that you're likely to share files with.
Windows 11 will anticipate your next steps and suggest actions for you to take. For example, highlighting text with a date will suggest creating an event in Outlook. This is similar to functionality seen on Android and should be a welcome addition to Windows.
The Taskbar also gained a pair of features in the update. It will now show an overflow menu to pin more apps. Right-clicking the Taskbar will now show options to open the Task Manager or Taskbar Settings.
The Windows Share experience got a boost as well. You can now directly share files to discoverable devices through the desktop, File Explorer, Photos, Snipping Tool, Xbox, and other apps.
While it won't start shipping until the end of October, a new Photos app is also on the way to Windows 11. That app will support iCloud integration starting in November.
Microsoft also highlighted the fact that the Amazon Appstore and Android apps are now supported on Windows 11 in 31 countries. That list greatly expanded around the end of September to include the UK, Canada, Germany, and several other countries. Previously, Android app support was limited to the United States and Japan.
A new ESPN app is available through the Microsoft Store starting today as well.
Except for the new Photos app, the features discussed by Microsoft are available starting today through an optional non-security preview release as well as a phased rollout.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.