Windows 11 change proves so unpopular that Microsoft reverses course

Microsoft has reversed a decision it made to change File Explorer in Windows 11 following complaints from testers.

This happened in the freshly introduced build 23486 in the Dev channel, and as Microsoft announced in the blog post to go with that preview version: “Thank you to all the Windows Insiders who gave us feedback on the Folder Options changes in File Explorer that removed a handful of old settings in Build 23481.

“We’ve rolled back this change. As is normal for the Dev Channel, we will often try things out and get feedback and adjust based on the feedback we receive.”

If you missed it, the change (brought in just over a week ago) was removing what Microsoft felt were outdated options for the folders that sit on your desktop.

That includes the setting to ‘Show drive letters’ and ‘Hide protected OS files’ among a number of other options (nine of them in total).

Build 23486 also brings in some work on the passwordless front, with Microsoft enhancing the passkey experience in Windows 11, allowing users to go to any supporting website or app and use passkeys via Windows Hello. (Speaking of the latter, you may get a head-scratching pop-up related to Windows Hello, as we reported yesterday).

Analysis: Registry workaround was not well-received

We should note that Microsoft did leave a route to still access those folder options in the build where they were dropped, namely editing the Registry. But that’s obviously a pretty clunky way of doing things, so it’s no wonder folks weren’t happy with being thrown that ‘bone’ as a consolation of sorts.

To be fair to Microsoft, as the company makes clear in its statement, this is what test builds are for. Someone has an idea – in this case, for streamlining the interface – so they try it out and see whether it works okay, and what the reaction is to the change.

In this case, there was quite a good deal of feedback from users – power users in the main – not happy about having these folder options stripped away in Windows 11, because they still find many (or at least some) of them useful. After they made their feelings known, Microsoft dropped the idea.

It’s good to see the software giant is listening and taking the feedback from testers seriously (as it should, of course: this, and finding bugs, is the entire point of the Windows Insider scheme). There are those out there, mind, who can’t understand why Microsoft would even think about ditching some of these choices.

We may find that in the future, when a broader redesign happens – and a big File Explorer revamp is indeed in the pipeline – that Microsoft might again try to shed some of these options in the name of tidying up the interface. (Hopefully, they can be left in and tucked away in an ‘Advanced’ panel somewhere, though).

Via Neowin

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Microsoft quietly reverses one of the most outrageous Windows 11 changes

Microsoft has quietly walked back a change pushed out with Windows 11 that caused anger and frustration among a large section of users.

With the latest Windows 11 update, which is currently in the process of rolling out, changing the operating system’s default web browser is as simple as a single button press.

The new system is a far cry from the previous arrangement, which required users to manually register their browser preference for each and every file extension (.HTML, .HTM, .PDF so forth).

Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge

Since Windows 11 went live last year, Microsoft has taken a large amount of flak for its attempts to weaponize the new OS in an effort to turn Microsoft Edge into a genuine competitor in the browser market.

In addition to deliberately making it harder to change the default web browser in Windows 11, Microsoft also took steps to funnel all links housed within its own products (e.g. the Start Menu) into Edge, no matter which browser was recorded as the preferred option.

Given the size of the Windows install base, you’d think efforts of this kind would have a dramatic effect on the Microsoft Edge market share. But in reality, the browser has still struggled to make up ground on Chrome or Safari, which hold a combined 82% of the market, the latest data suggests.

To Microsoft’s credit, however, the company appears to have taken on board the howls of anger from the community. With the latest Windows 11 update, switching the default browser is a single-click process, performed from within the default apps menu under Settings.

Instead of strong-arming Windows users into embracing Edge, Microsoft will instead rely on a steady stream of feature updates to entice people organically. In recent months, for example, the browser has received upgrades that allow users to debug performance issues, shield against novel cyberattacks and switch freely between multiple profiles.

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