They're back

File Explorer to get tabs on Windows 11

Microsoft is working on a version of File Explorer with tabs for Windows 11.

File Explorer tabs on Windows 11
  • Windows 11 might bring tabs to File Explorer.
  • The first preview of tabs is hidden on build 22572 in the Dev Channel.
  • Microsoft hasn’t officially shared any details about the new feature.

Tabs in File Explorer might finally come to Windows 11 after all. Microsoft first unveiled tabs for all apps back in 2017, then briefly debuted it on Windows 10 in 2018, but the company quickly abandoned the idea. However, according to Rafael Rivera, Windows 11 build 22572 has an updated version of File Explorer that includes support for tabs.

Although Microsoft hasn’t talked about this feature, we can see from the screenshots that tabs work very similarly to tabs in your web browser. 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.

File Explorer tabs
File Explorer tabs (Source: @WithinRafael)

Since there’s not enough information, it’s unclear whether this will be the new default experience for Windows 11 users. If so, it’s also unknown if users will be able to disable it. Or if the company is planning to make it an optional feature you have to turn it on manually.

You can follow these instructions if you want to try this feature on Windows 11 build 22572.