File Explorer to get new header and cloud integration on Windows 11

More details of the next version of File Explorer show a new header, deeper cloud integration, and various other changes.

File Explorer new design 2023
  • File Explorer overhaul is coming to Windows 11.
  • The changes include a new header, redesigned command bar, and Microsoft 365 integration.
  • The new version of File Explorer may arrive before the end of 2023.

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new version of File Explorer that includes a bunch of visual changes and new features. According to a new report from Windows Central, in addition to previously revealed improvements, Windows 11 is expected to receive an update for File Explorer meant to modernize the design and enhance its functionality to better integrate with Microsoft 365 products, such as OneDrive and Office.

In this overhaul, users can expect visual changes to the header frame of File Explorer with a new search box, “Home” and “Refresh” buttons, and a new address bar.

The command bar with the “New” menu and commands for “Cut,” “Paste,” “Copy,” “Rename,” “Share,” “Delete,” and others will now appear below the address bar.

File Explorer new design 2023
File Explorer new design 2023 (Source: Future)

The “Home” page will integrate more deeply with Microsoft 365 products. This means that you will see recommended files with thumbnails similar to the same experience available in OneDrive and Photos app.

The left navigation page is being reworked with new code, and while it might look similar to the current design, you will notice some visual changes like new highlight colors.

The “Details” view will also show more details from files and better integration with Microsoft 365 products. The report claims that this integration means that users will be able to see email threads and comments from files shared with the user.

Other changes include optimizing the interface to make it better for devices with touch screens.

In recent preview builds, we’ve seen a new “Gallery” entry for File Explorer, and the latest report suggests that Microsoft will use this to bring changes to the picture viewing experience, including the ability to hover over an image to see a larger preview. Also, tags will allow users to organize files by colors, keywords, and more, similar to macOS.

Although recent previews of Windows 11 have shown us pieces of these improvements, it’s unclear when the new version of File Explorer will be available. However, the report suggests that these changes could arrive before the end of the year through a feature-drop update or as part of version 23H2.