Tabs are coming

Windows 11 22H2 (build 22621.160) brings tabs for File Explorer

Microsoft pushes another preview for Windows 11 22H2 with support for tabs in File Explorer.

Windows 11 22H2 (build 22621.160) File Explorer tabs
  • Microsoft rolls out Windows 11 build 22621.160 in the Beta Channel.
  • The preview introduces support for tabs and redesigned navigation for File Explorer.
  • The new features are only available for some participants of the Windows Insider Program.

Microsoft plans to include tabs support for File Explorer on Windows 11 22H2 after all. The company is now rolling out Windows 11 build 22621 (KB5014770) in the Beta Channel with an updated version of File Explorer that includes support for tabs and redesigned navigation pane.

Originally, tabs and the navigation overhauled were officially available in the Dev Channel with the release of build 25136, but it appears that the new features are now stable enough to make them available on version 22H2.

Tabs for File Explorer work similarly to the experience in the web browser. Instead of having multiple instances of the app, you will now be able to use one instance to navigate multiple folders and drive locations. You will also be able to re-arrange and create new tabs as needed.

Also, the file manager has 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.

When navigating to folders syncing to OneDrive, the address bar will now display the correct path to make it easier to understand when the folders are on the cloud versus when they are local to you.

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 download and install the Windows 11 build 26621.160, you need to enroll your device in the Beta Channel using the “Windows Insider Program” settings from the “Update & Security” section.

Once you enroll the computer in the program, you can download build 22621.160 (KB5014770) from the “Windows Update” settings by clicking the Check for Updates button. However, you will need a device that meets the minimum system requirements to receive the update if you are new to the Windows Insider Program.

If you install the update and you don’t see the new feature, you may be able to enable tabs and the new navigation pane with these steps.