Early preview

How to enable tabs for File Explorer on Windows 11

Here are the steps to try an early preview of File Explorer with tabs on Windows 11.

Enable tabs in File Explorer

On Windows 11, you can now enable an early preview of tabs in File Explorer on the latest preview available in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program.

The feature was first spotted by Rafael Rivera on Windows 11 build 22572, and now it’s officially available since build 25136, but because it’s not broadly available, you may need to enable it manually. The feature works just like in Microsoft Edge. You can open multiple tabs for each section of File Explorer or folder. Also, you have an option to create new or close open tabs, and the feature works in the dark mode.

In addition, File Explorer now also comes with a redesigned layout for the left navigation pane. The design organization provides easy access to pinned and frequently used folders and OneDrive cloud profiles, which now reflect the user’s name associated with the account. Also, the known folders (Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc.) are no longer displayed under “This PC” to keep that view focused on the drives.

If you want to get hands-on with tabs and the new navigation pane, you can use a third-party tool known as “ViVeTool” created by Rafael Rivera and Lucas on GitHub to enable the new experience on your computer.

This guide will teach you the steps to turn on the tabs feature hidden in the latest insider preview of Windows 11 from the Dev channel.

Enable tabs for File Explorer on Windows 11

To enable tabs in File Explorer, use these steps:

  1. Open GitHub website.

  2. Download the ViveTool-vx.x.x.zip file to enable the new Start menu.

  3. Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.

  4. Click the Extract all button.

    Extract ViveTool files

  5. Click the Extract button.

  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the ViveTool folder and press Enter:

    cd C:\FOLDER\PATH\ViveTool-v0.3.1

    In the command, remember to change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following command to enable File Explorer tabs on Windows 11 and press Enter:

    vivetool /enable /id:37634385
  11. Type the following command to enable File Explorer’s new navigation pane and press Enter:

    vivetool /enable /id:36354489

    Vivetool enable tabs in File Explorer (Dev)

  12. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, File Explorer should now have tabs and the new navigation pane design.

If you don’t have the Windows 11 build 25136, you need to enroll in the Dev Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Windows Update” section. Once you enroll the device in the program, you can download build 25136 from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button, and then you can follow the steps outlined above.

If you change your mind, you can revert the changes with the same instructions, but on step No. 10, make sure to use these commands: vivetool /disable /id:34370472 and vivetool /disable /id:36354489 and then restart the device.

Enable tabs for File Explorer on Windows 11 build 22621.169

If you are on Windows 11 build 22621.169, you want to use these commands to enable tabs and the new navigation pane:

  1. Open GitHub website.

  2. Download the ViveTool-vx.x.x.zip file to enable the new Start menu.

  3. Double-click the zip folder to open it with File Explorer.

  4. Click the Extract all button.

    Extract ViveTool files

  5. Click the Extract button.

  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the ViveTool folder and press Enter:

    cd C:\FOLDER\PATH\ViveTool-v0.3.1

    In the command, remember to change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following commands to enable File Explorer tabs and new navigation UI on Windows 11 and press Enter (on each line):

    vivetool /enable /id:39145991
    vivetool /enable /id:37634385
    vivetool /enable /id:36354489
  11. Restart the computer.

After completing the steps, the tabs and the new navigation pane design should enable on File Explorer. You may need to repeat the steps a couple of times if the features don’t turn on.