File Explorer gets new file suggestions and shortcuts on Windows 11

Microsoft updates File Explorer with new access key shortcuts for the context menu and file recommendations feature.

File Explorer on build 23403
  • Microsoft updates File Explorer with new features.
  • These features include a new “Recommended” section on the “Home” page to suggest files.
  • File Explorer also introduces a new context menu with access to key shortcuts.

As part of the preview build 23403 for Windows 11, Microsoft has also rolled out an updated version of File Explorer that introduces some new improvements to the “Home” page and context menu.

The “Home” page has been updated with a new “Recommended” section that suggests relevant files. However, the recommendations are not based on your recent activities since the “Recent” section is still available on the page and surfaces those files you use frequently.

File Explorer recommended files
File Explorer recommended files (Source: Microsoft)

Instead, the feature is available to Windows 11 users signed in with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account, which means that the recommended files will be cloud files associated with that account, either owned by the user or shared with the user.

In addition, File Explorer is also implementing access key shortcuts into the XAML context menu to execute a command quickly. You can access the shortcuts view by selecting the file and pressing the physical “Menu” key on the keyboard.

File Explorer context menu shortcuts
File Explorer context menu shortcuts (Source: Microsoft)

The improvements come soon after the company began experimenting with a new version of File Explorer using the XAML programming code and the new WinUI 3 from the Windows App SDK (WASDK).

Although the file manager is now based on a different programming and design language, the overall design remains the same but with a few additional changes, such as the new “Gallery” section that brings a new view similar to the Photos app and the new “Recommended” section in the “Home” page. (The update for the context menu is still only available for the legacy version of the app.)

In a previous report, it’s been suggested that Microsoft is also planning other updates for File Explorer, including “Shared Status,” “Conversations,” “Insights,” and “Activities” pages which are said to be features that will integrate with the Microsoft 365 products.

In addition, the company is reportedly planning to add modern design updates to make File Explorer more touch-friendly with a simplified interface in the sidebar and header and bigger hitboxes.