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You can now set this versatile file explorer as your default on Windows 11

Files Modern Explorer Lede 4
Files Modern Explorer Lede 4 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Third-party file explorer Files recently received an update.
  • The update adds the ability to set Files as the default file manager on Windows 11 or Windows 10.
  • The app also gained support for a new shortcut to copy file paths as well as several other new features.

Files, a third-party file explorer for Windows, recently received an update to version 2.0.33. The update includes a handful of new features, including the ability to set Files as the default file manager on Windows 11 and Windows 10. This was a highly requested feature and should make it a bit easier to switch to Files.

The update to Files adds some other useful features, including the ability to use CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy a file path.

Here's everything that's new in Files:

  • Added Ctrl+Shift+C shortcut to copy file path
  • Added an option to set Files as the default file [manager]
  • Show file operation progress on taskbar & continue operations when minimized
  • Added individual options for amount of clicks to open files and folders
  • Added group by path option for libraries
  • Respect default app for zip files
  • Use proper tab name on the home page
  • Added caching to load thumbnails faster
  • Added options to import/export settings
  • Improved reliability of the search experience
  • Added support for choosing custom icons

The full changelog for the app also lists the bug fixes it received.

We reviewed Files back when it was in preview. It's due for a re-review, as it received a major update to align with Windows 11.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 (opens in new tab).

  • Thank you, I have Total Commander : )
  • Me Too, since 2002
  • Wish you could theme this properly on Windows 11. Seem to have lost that.
  • Can you please provide the steps to make it the default? I do have the v2.0.33 update installed. But how to make it the default explorer?
  • Only available from the MS store or sideloading from github. I will give it a miss then
  • its for Windows 10/11 clearly it would be wiser to work under the store format, makes things easier even if you're on an ARM or just about any "new" windows version, store apps work fine enough plus I've been using "Files" for quite a while, it works quite nicely and was easier to find because it was on the store. store apps tend to be lighter on the memory usage, not to mention "safer", so I will most certainly take it as a store app and nothing else.
  • I don't have a MS account and for some reason files require a MS account to be installed, which is strange because others don't. i also don't like this App store thing on a computer, Phone yes, computer no.
  • Is Microsoft preventing you from getting an account?
  • No, I just don't want one.
  • "Sideloading from GitHub" what does that even mean? It's a place you can download software like any other site on the internet. Files is open source, if you're worried, inspect the code on GitHub. That's what it's there for.
  • Sideloading simply refers to moving files between two devices, in other words you put the files in the right directories. files don't install like other software, it is in zip file, and it seems like you have to copy the files into the correct directories
  • I'm using it antd it's very efficient. Unfortunately there are some functions which are unavailable via right click.