Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Major Windows 11 update may bring a welcome macOS feature to File Explorer

A test build of Windows 11 has a rather cool hidden feature which allows tabs to be enabled in File Explorer to have multiple windows in one, similar to a web browser.

File Explorer has recently seen its biggest change in appearance by ditching the Ribbon interface for a more simple toolbar layout, alongside a refreshed appearance for its windows and folders.

But, managing our workflows on our PCs has become more important than ever. If you've got multiple File Explorer windows open at once, it can be a hassle to manage them, which is why this hidden feature of tabbed windows could go a long way to helping out so many users.

However, macOS users have been reaping the benefits of this for years, and it makes us wonder why Microsoft has been late to the pass for tabs in File Explorer.


Analysis: Tabbed File Explorer should already be here

Tabbed windows in Finder

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Users in macOS have been able to use tabs in Finder, Apple's File Explorer equivalent, since 2013, with the arrival of 10.9 Mavericks.

The process is the same as a web browser; you hold ALT / Command and when you click on a link, a new tab will appear. It's very useful for when you're managing files across multiple folders without having to plaster your display with Finder windows.

But in 2022 with Windows 11, this is still occurring, and it finally looks as though Microsoft is listening to this piece of feedback.

Tabbed windows can be enabled for users who are on Windows Insider build 22581 and above. If you've not signed up to be a Windows Insider to help test early versions of Windows 11, we're expecting this feature to appear later this year in the upcoming 'Sun Valley 2' update.

The feature can be switched on by going to GitHub, downloading ViveTool, opening Command Prompt, and after browsing to where the ViveTool folder is, you have to input this command:

vivetool addconfig 35908098 2

Using ViveTool to enable tabbed windows in File Explorer

(Image credit: TechRadar)

After you've restarted your PC, you'll be able to right-click in File Explorer and see a new 'Open in New Tab' command.

Once you get this working, you won't want to go back, as we're already finding in Windows 11.

It seems as though Microsoft is combing through every avenue of Windows lately, and noting down what may be needed in every app to keep it up to date with Apple, Linux and others. Tabs are going to be a big deal to many in File Explorer, where a display will just have one window with multiple tabs instead.

While it's certainly a feature that should have been in Windows years ago, it's great to see it finally arrive, and the days of multiple File Explorer windows could soon be a thing of the past.

Via WindowsLatest

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Major Windows 11 update may bring a welcome macOS feature to File Explorer

A test build of Windows 11 has a rather cool hidden feature which allows tabs to be enabled in File Explorer to have multiple windows in one, similar to a web browser.

File Explorer has recently seen its biggest change in appearance by ditching the Ribbon interface for a more simple toolbar layout, alongside a refreshed appearance for its windows and folders.

But, managing our workflows on our PCs has become more important than ever. If you've got multiple File Explorer windows open at once, it can be a hassle to manage them, which is why this hidden feature of tabbed windows could go a long way to helping out so many users.

However, macOS users have been reaping the benefits of this for years, and it makes us wonder why Microsoft has been late to the pass for tabs in File Explorer.


Analysis: Tabbed File Explorer should already be here

Tabbed windows in Finder

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Users in macOS have been able to use tabs in Finder, Apple's File Explorer equivalent, since 2013, with the arrival of 10.9 Mavericks.

The process is the same as a web browser; you hold ALT / Command and when you click on a link, a new tab will appear. It's very useful for when you're managing files across multiple folders without having to plaster your display with Finder windows.

But in 2022 with Windows 11, this is still occurring, and it finally looks as though Microsoft is listening to this piece of feedback.

Tabbed windows can be enabled for users who are on Windows Insider build 22581 and above. If you've not signed up to be a Windows Insider to help test early versions of Windows 11, we're expecting this feature to appear later this year in the upcoming 'Sun Valley 2' update.

The feature can be switched on by going to GitHub, downloading ViveTool, opening Command Prompt, and after browsing to where the ViveTool folder is, you have to input this command:

vivetool addconfig 35908098 2

Using ViveTool to enable tabbed windows in File Explorer

(Image credit: TechRadar)

After you've restarted your PC, you'll be able to right-click in File Explorer and see a new 'Open in New Tab' command.

Once you get this working, you won't want to go back, as we're already finding in Windows 11.

It seems as though Microsoft is combing through every avenue of Windows lately, and noting down what may be needed in every app to keep it up to date with Apple, Linux and others. Tabs are going to be a big deal to many in File Explorer, where a display will just have one window with multiple tabs instead.

While it's certainly a feature that should have been in Windows years ago, it's great to see it finally arrive, and the days of multiple File Explorer windows could soon be a thing of the past.

Via WindowsLatest

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If you’re still using Internet Explorer, just please stop now, Microsoft says

Microsoft has once again urged users to stop using its outdated Internet Explorer browser as the software limps closer to its retirement.

The company has again reminded users that Internet Explorer 11 is being retired from Windows 10 in June 2022, with Microsoft Edge taking its place.

It seems that some users may be a touch unwilling to make the jump, however, with Microsoft forced to emphasise that the days of Internet Explorer really are numbered.

The future is Edge

“As previously announced, the future of Internet Explorer on Windows is in Microsoft Edge,” Microsoft stated in a company announcement.

“The Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop application will be retired on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. This means that the IE11 desktop application will no longer be supported and afterward will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it.”

The company did highlight that any particularly nostalgia-driven users can still use Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) within Microsoft Edge for the time being. IE mode aims to support legacy websites and applications within Microsoft Edge until they can be ported over to the new software.

Microsoft first announced plans to retire support for Internet Explorer 11 across Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 back in August 2020, and since then has been gradually stripping back services for the software.

Its Microsoft 365 deadline passed in August 2021, although some apps may still function via the browser, albeit with users seeing a severely diminished experience.

External tools have also pulled back, with Google Search withdrawing support for Internet Explorer in October 2021, leaving the browser reliant on its own in-house Bing search, with support for Docs, Sheets, Slides and other Google Workspace apps removed in March 2021.

Microsoft Edge continues to perform strongly in the global browser market, with recent figures placing it on the verge of surpassing Apple's Safari offering. 

The latest StatCounter numbers show Microsoft Edge is now used on 9.54% of desktops worldwide, just behind Safari at 9.84% – although both are still far behind runaway market leader Google Chrome on 65.38%.

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If you’re still using Internet Explorer, just please stop now, Microsoft says

Microsoft has once again urged users to stop using its outdated Internet Explorer browser as the software limps closer to its retirement.

The company has again reminded users that Internet Explorer 11 is being retired from Windows 10 in June 2022, with Microsoft Edge taking its place.

It seems that some users may be a touch unwilling to make the jump, however, with Microsoft forced to emphasise that the days of Internet Explorer really are numbered.

The future is Edge

“As previously announced, the future of Internet Explorer on Windows is in Microsoft Edge,” Microsoft stated in a company announcement.

“The Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop application will be retired on June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. This means that the IE11 desktop application will no longer be supported and afterward will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it.”

The company did highlight that any particularly nostalgia-driven users can still use Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) within Microsoft Edge for the time being. IE mode aims to support legacy websites and applications within Microsoft Edge until they can be ported over to the new software.

Microsoft first announced plans to retire support for Internet Explorer 11 across Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 back in August 2020, and since then has been gradually stripping back services for the software.

Its Microsoft 365 deadline passed in August 2021, although some apps may still function via the browser, albeit with users seeing a severely diminished experience.

External tools have also pulled back, with Google Search withdrawing support for Internet Explorer in October 2021, leaving the browser reliant on its own in-house Bing search, with support for Docs, Sheets, Slides and other Google Workspace apps removed in March 2021.

Microsoft Edge continues to perform strongly in the global browser market, with recent figures placing it on the verge of surpassing Apple's Safari offering. 

The latest StatCounter numbers show Microsoft Edge is now used on 9.54% of desktops worldwide, just behind Safari at 9.84% – although both are still far behind runaway market leader Google Chrome on 65.38%.

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Windows 11 gains back File Explorer features that shouldn’t have disappeared

As Microsoft works on the first major update to Windows 11, codenamed Sun Valley 2, there's already some improvements to the File Explorer for Windows Insider users.

As of Windows 11 Insider build 22557 and above – which allows you to sign up to features in testing that are not ready for a final release, you can have OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud service, integrated to the top right of a window, so you can see which files are synced and are being uploaded.

Alongside this, folder previews are seeing a return, so you can look at what the folder contains without having to double-click it. You can also pin files to an Explorer window, as well as folders as before, making managing your content a lot easier than before.

It's yet another example of Microsoft listening to feedback, such as drag and drop coming back to the taskbar, alongside folders to the start menu. But these features to File Explorer arguably shouldn't have disappeared in the first place, and would have avoided some unneeded irritation to users.


Analysis: Restoring features like a yo-yo isn't a great experience for users

Sometimes the little features make a big difference when you use a PC or Mac every day. Dragging and dropping to the Windows 11 taskbar is another example of a feature being in Windows 10, being absent in the launch of Windows 11, and being brought back in a forthcoming update.

Apple has introduced and removed features for a later date before, but arguably only when there's been public beta programs for major software updates. A bunch of new features to the Files app and iCloud in iOS 13 were held back and weren't seen in a final version 5 months after they debuted.

But Microsoft does this with public releases, and it's getting to the point of wondering – why?

Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 improvements

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Folder previews and the drag and drop function of the taskbar are features that didn't need to be removed in the first place. They're the little features that help the user in their workflows, whether that's for a day job or gaming.

But on the flip side of this upcoming build, seeing OneDrive integration into the File Explorer window, alongside pinned files are new features that are going to be welcomed by plenty of users. Its functions can help highlight the files that are most important to you, and it's encouraging to see Microsoft focus on the smaller features of its existing applications.

However, if a Windows 12 does appear, one of the best efforts the company could do is to simply not remove the useful features that have no justification in doing so. Build on them, redesign them, but removing them in public releases will only irritate users.

Via Windows Latest

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Internet Explorer might not be entirely dead just yet

Internet Explorer may soon be set for a passage to the graveyard, but developers will be able to feel like they are still using the iconic software thanks to a new launch from its successor, Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft still offers an “Internet Explorer mode” in Chromium-based Edge, but has now released a new tool to allow developers to check whether their legacy websites will still work in the more recent browser.

Internet Explorer Driver allows those organizations or developers that still require the use of Internet Explorer 11 for backward compatibility of business-critical legacy websites or apps to make sure everything is still running smoothly, for now at least.

Internet Explorer Driver

Run alongside (and maintained by) browser automation experts at the Selenium Project, Internet Explorer Driver can be a great help to developers looking to keep legacy websites or apps running that little bit longer, Microsoft says.

“With just a few changes to an existing test that runs against Internet Explorer, you can get your tests running in Internet Explorer (IE) mode in Edge,” Zoher Ghadyali, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge, wrote in a blog post.

“By running your tests in IE mode, you will be able to verify that any legacy web content that runs in Internet Explorer will work as expected in IE mode in Microsoft Edge.”

Internet Explorer Driver supports C#, Python, Java, and JavaScript, and Microsoft says it will be supported until 2029, giving developers more than enough time to ensure their work is stable.

Microsoft does note that support for Internet Explorer 11 is still set to begin expiring from June 15 2022, and developers and organizations that still depend on the browser should start to transition to Microsoft Edge as soon as possible.

The company has already withdrawn Internet Explorer support for all Microsoft 365 apps, although some may still function via the browser, albeit with users seeing a severely diminished experience.

Even Google Search pulled support for Internet Explorer in October 2021, leaving the browser reliant on its own in-house Bing search, with support for Docs, Sheets, Slides and other Google Workspace apps removed in March 2021.

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