Multiple Explorer windows no longer
Having been accessed through a tool in recent Insider builds, File Explorer tabs are now available to all users in a Windows 11 update, rolling out starting today along with other app features.
The ability to open multiple tabs in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something users, including this writer, have wanted for years. This seems like an obvious feature for File Manager, since we’ve all been in the situation where we had to open multiple windows 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 move to Windows 11, although it may seem late to some.
But other features are also coming for the app, such as file suggestions and a new homepage.
Analysis: About time
A homepage for File Explorer looks odd at first, but it makes sense as an app you probably check on your PC every day. 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, breaking news, and more.
The same concept might work well for File Explorer, except for breaking news. Many users have mapped network drives and cloud storage folders prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. Having another easy method to reach them will be welcome.
But the main feature of File Explorer will be tabs. After using the feature through ViveTool (opens in a new tab) and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features in development, it works just as well as a web browser.
It’s surprising to see this feature coming so soon, especially with rumors that the next major Windows 11 update, named Sun Valley 2, is set to be released in the second half of 2022. makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead we see major updates throughout the year.
With Windows Media Player and now the Start Menu and File Explorer improvements already showing up, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us know.
And if that’s the case, we’re all for it, and it only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major annual releases.