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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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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IRS will soon require a selfie to file your taxes

Paying your taxes online in the US is about to get a whole lot more difficult as the IRS has revealed that taxpayers' existing credentials will no longer work beginning this summer.

Instead, the government agency is partnering with a third-party identity verification service called ID.me that requires users to submit copies of bills and other identity documents though they will also have to submit a live video feed of their faces using a mobile device.

First launched back in 2010, Virginia-based ID.me was originally created to help ecommerce sites validate the identities of customers like veterans, teachers and students who might be eligible for discounts at online retailers. Now though, the company is widely known for providing US states with online identity verification services to help them deal with unemployment fraud.

According to KrebsOnSecurity, around 27 states currently use ID.me to screen for identity thieves applying for benefits in someone else's name. Unlike other online verification services, ID.me requires applicants to submit even more documents including copies of utility bills and details about their mobile phone service in addition to scans of their driver's license or other government-issued IDs.

Getting verified

If an applicant doesn't have the documents required by ID.me or their application triggers a potential fraud flag, the company may require a recorded, live video chat with the person applying for benefits.

As Brian Krebs' credentials at the IRS will soon no longer work just like the rest of American taxpayers, he decided to create an ID.me account and found the process to be quite lengthy and tiresome. For instance, Krebs stepped away for just five minutes and had to login again as well as re-submit the documents he had previously uploaded.

After entering your email and choosing a strong password, users are then prompted to confirm their email address. Following this, ID.me then prompts users to choose a multi-factor authentication (MFA) method. Fortunately, the service supports several different MFA options including a six-digit code sent via text, a phone call to code generator apps and physical security keys that support the FIDO (Fast ID Online) security specifications.

From here, users need to upload the necessary documents and if they are accepted, ID.me will then prompt you to take a live selfie using your smartphone or your computer's webcam. The company then verifies your phone number but Krebs reported that his application got stuck at the “Confirming Your Phone” stage.

Preventing fraud is certainly something the IRS should be doing but by requiring users to submit additional documents and biometric data to a third-party company, the agency is making the process of filing your taxes more difficult for US citizens. At the same time, if ID.me falls victim to a data breach, cybercriminals will have more than enough information to commit identity theft.

We'll have to wait and see how the IRS' rollout of using ID.me to verify taxpayers identities goes but given the difficulties Krebs had getting verified, it has the potential to be a real pain for US citizens this summer.

We've also featured the best software and best accounting software

Via KrebsOnSecurity

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Classic File Manager from 1990 gets remade for Windows 11

The first iteration of managing your files and folders has been remade and released for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users, giving you a useful alternative to Windows Explorer.

File Manager first appeared back in 1990 with Windows 3.0, where it was the only way to add, delete and manage your files and folders. But following the appearance of a graphical user interface and Windows Explorer with Windows 95, it was eventually retired in 1999.

But there were some users who loved the control that File Manager gave them, and that control is something that’s seemingly missing or hidden with Windows 11 in Explorer. 

With File Manager, almost every feature was discoverable either through an icon at the top of the window, or when you right-clicked a folder, but in Windows 11 currently, some features, such as Command Prompt and ‘Copy’, are displayed through a right-click menu or in an Options menu at the top of the Explorer window.

Thanks to the source code having been released back in 2018, this rewritten version has been headed up by Microsoft Azure Architect Craig Wittenberg, you can drag and drop files into the app, alongside a search function, and much more. You can download it from GitHub or directly from the Microsoft Store to use on your PC to manage your files like it’s 1990 all over again.


Analysis: what’s old is useful again

Using File Manager in 2022 through Windows 11 is, to pardon a phrase, like stepping through a window to 1990. While the appearance of this File Manager may be overwhelming to some users, who may be used to a more elegant appearance for a user interface, the features it offers are very helpful.

Whereas in recent years with Windows Explorer, you’d have to go to the Taskbar or a different app to reach some of the features that exist in a right-click menu in File Manager, such as ‘Run’, ‘Move’ or ‘Go to ‘Directory’. Every function is accessible in a few clicks, and thanks to the tree layout of your files and folders, you gain a better overview of where your content is, alongside how you can manage these files across multiple hard drives for example.

File Manager in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

But it also shows how far interfaces and methods in computing have evolved in 30 years. It would be unimaginable now to start up Microsoft Edge through a command line, for instance, or use physical media such as Floppy Disks to play God of War in 8K.

Looking at Explorer in Windows 11, there’s plenty that could be influenced by File Manager. The inclusion of different view options to more clearly display folders and what they contain, alongside the facility to browse multiple windows in one Explorer window rather than separate ones, would be much more useful than what we have now.

With the next major update of Windows 11, Sun Valley 2 on its way, there’s always a chance that we could see further improvements to Windows Explorer that takes everything about what File Manager still does so well, and repackages it for a 2022 audience.

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