Windows 11 Build 22572 was released for the Insider Preview Program yesterday. It brought a few additional default apps. But there was something else, a change that went unannounced in the official changelog, File Explorer Tabs.
Let’s hope it does better than Sets. The built-in file manager that comes with Windows is perhaps one of the most used tools in the operating system. Despite its popularity, the app has few features related to multitasking. Notepad, for example, has recently been updated with modern features, and we’ve seen the task manager get a new user interface. Surely File Explorer deserves a similar treatment, right?
There have been minor changes to the menu in Explorer, but that doesn’t really change the overall experience. The only way to get around the multitasking limitations in the program is to open new instances and use them to transfer files from one folder or drive to another. Using Snap Assist in Windows 11 also makes things easier. However, the introduction of tabs in File Explorer could make a big difference in the way users manage their files and folders.
How to enable File Explorer tabs in Windows 11
1. Download the ViveTool program. It is a free, open-source utility and portable.
2. Open a PowerShell or Terminal window with administrator privileges.
3. Paste the following code into the window.
vivetool addconfig 34370472 2
Note: If this command doesn’t work, try adding . in front of it.
.vivetool addconfig 34370472 2
4. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.
5. Open File Explorer and you should see the tab bar at the top of the interface.
To undo the changes, use the delconfig command in vivetool.
vivetool addconfig 34370472 2
Credit: xeno for the tip.
File Explorer Tabs – A quick overview
The design of File Explorer’s tab bar is similar to a browser’s tab bar, also known as the one in Microsoft Edge. Click the + menu to open a new tab and Explorer should immediately jump to the new tab you have open. All tabs work like a normal explorer window, so you can use them to view each folder and perform usual actions.
The new tab bar in File Explorer doesn’t have a right-click menu, hopefully that comes in a future update. The biggest limitation of the tab bar is that you can’t rearrange the tabs. That plus the fact that you can’t copy or move files by dragging and dropping them between tabs. However, the regular file operations like cut, copy, paste are supported, so you can use the shell menu or hotkeys, e.g. B. Ctrl + C, Ctrl + X, Ctrl + V to move your data in open directories using tabs.
You can close tabs by clicking the X button or by using the middle mouse button while the cursor is over a tab. File Explorer tabs seem pretty basic now, but considering it’s an unannounced feature and likely still being tested internally, that’s perfectly understandable. Don’t let that stop you from trying it out.
If you are looking for free file explorer alternatives, there are plenty to choose from like File Voyager, File Commander, Files, Sigma just to name a few.