Windows 11 releases a test build featuring File Explorer tabs
Microsoft tested and then abandoned an attempt to introduce tabbed browsing to the File Explorer in Windows 10 approximately four years ago, and now a new Windows 11 preview build released today is giving it another shot. Rafael Rivera of EarTrumpet discovered evidence of the test in March before Microsoft confirmed that the feature, as well as the new Home page for File Explorer shown above, is coming to Windows 11.
According to a post on the Windows Insider Blog, Build 25136 is testing a File Explorer browser with tabs, allowing you to hop back and forth between folders without opening a new window. However, even if you are a Windows Insider and have your PC set to receive Dev Channel builds (for users who want to receive the most active updates, even if they may be unstable), you may not notice the test straight immediately. The enhancements are being rolled out, as senior program manager Brandon LeBlanc stated in a tweet. Apparently, they will wait for comments before allowing more testers to participate.
It also has an experimental left navigation panel that puts the Home button first, then your OneDrive cloud-synced folders, then folders you’ve pinned for quick access, and finally This PC and Network drives. “Known Windows folders that are available by default in the navigation pane are no longer displayed under This PC to keep that view focused on your PC’s discs,” Microsoft states in the test.
The other major change being tested in this release is the addition of more dynamic material to widgets in the Windows 11 taskbar. Microsoft recently reintroduced the Weather widget to the Windows 11 taskbar with live updates, but it is now testing automatically refreshed material for sports and financial widgets, as well as breaking news alerts.