Windows 11 22H2 October feature drop arrives with tabs for File Explorer

The October 2022 feature drop update for Windows 11 22H2 arrives, and here is everything you need to know.

Windows 11 22H2 October feature drop
  • Microsoft releases the October 2022 feature drop for Windows 11 22H2.
  • The feature drop is available for anyone as an optional install through Windows Update.
  • The update KB5019509 enables File Explore tabs, Suggested Actions, and other features.

Microsoft begins the gradual rollout of the first feature drop for Windows 11 22H2, which brings tabs for File Explorer, Suggested Actions, the Taskbar Overflow menu, and the improvements for Nearby sharing to discover more devices.

The update is available starting October 18 as an optional install for anyone running version 22H2 through the Windows Update settings. The update is also described as KB5019509 and bumps the version number to build 22621.675.

Microsoft also notes that the feature drop is only available for those who want to start early with the new features. However, the rollout will expand more broadly during the next November 2022 security update release.

Windows 11 22H2 October feature drop

Here are the new features for the October 2022 feature drop update brings to Windows 11 22H2:

File Explorer tabs

Tabs in File Explorer allows you to manage the file manager windows like you would manage tabs in the web browser. You can open multiple tabs for each section of File Explorer or folder. Also, you have an option to create new, close, and re-arrange the tabs, and the feature works with dark mode.

File Explorer even includes some keyboard shortcuts to work with tabs. You can use the “Ctrl + T” keyboard shortcut to create a new tab, the “Ctrl + W” keyboard shortcut to close a tab, and you can use the middle button of the mouse to close a tab. If you middle-click a folder or item from the left pane, it will open the location in a new tab.

File Explorer tabs (moment feature)
File Explorer tabs (moment feature)

File Explorer also comes with a redesigned navigation pane. The new visual changes provide easy access to pinned and frequently used folders and OneDrive cloud profiles, which now reflect the user’s name associated with the account.

File Explorer new navigation (preview)
File Explorer’s new navigation

Also, when navigating to folders syncing to OneDrive, the address bar displays 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.

This PC page with drivers only (preview)
This PC page with drives only

Taskbar Overflow

The Overflow feature makes switching and launching apps easier when you don’t have any more space in the Taskbar. While in the mode, the Taskbar will offer an entry point to an overflow menu that allows viewing the apps in one space. 

Taskbar Overflow menu
Taskbar Overflow menu

Suggested actions 

This new version also comes with “Suggested actions,” a new feature that brings up inline suggestions to create a calendar event or make a phone call when copying a date, time, or phone number.

Suggested actions moment feature
Suggested actions moment feature

If you copy a phone number, the inline flyout would suggest making the call with Microsoft Teams or other apps available on the computer.

Coping a date or time will suggest creating a calendar event, and when you choose the app, an event will be created with all the information already filled in.

You can enable or disable this feature with these instructions.

Nearby sharing 

When using “Nearby sharing” from File Explorer, the Share interface uses the UDP protocol (in private networks) and Bluetooth to discover even more devices, including desktop computers.

In addition, as part of the feature drop release, the company will be making available an updated version of the Photos app at the end of October through a Microsoft Store update. The new app introduces a new photos-managing experience that brings a gorgeous gallery, simplifying browsing, finding, management, and consumption of your collection of photos. ​It also allows you to easily back up your photos with OneDrive and connect to other cloud services, such as Apple’s iCloud.

Microsoft also highlights that the Amazon Appstore to download Android apps on Windows 11 is generally available in 31 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more. Also, the ESPN app is available in the Microsoft Store, bringing sports news coverage, scores, highlights, and commentary for NFL, MLB, NBA, College Football, NCAA Basketball, and more globally across 239 markets.

If you want to download and install the Windows 11 build 22621.675, go to Settings > Windows Update, and click the Check for Updates button.