Fed up with Windows 11’s Copilot already? Then you won’t like this leak which suggests the AI could be inserted into File Explorer

Windows 11 File Explorer on a PC in an office
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 might soon witness Copilot coming to File Explorer, or in other words, the folders on your desktop that you use to interact with files on a daily basis.

The theory is that Microsoft could be planning to bring the Copilot AI to these folders based on a line of code uncovered by a leaker on X (formerly Twitter).

PhantomOfEarth made the revelation in a tweet that noted there’s a new feature called ‘CopilotFEContextMenu’ present in test builds of Windows 11 which can be enabled using a special configuration tool. (Not that there’s any point in doing so, as the feature doesn’t do anything yet – it’s just a signal of Microsoft’s potential intentions here).

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As the name suggests, this would appear to hint at a context menu option. In other words, when you right click a file in a folder, a choice relating to Copilot will be present in the menu that pops up.

As theorized, it might be a ‘Send to Copilot’ option that passes the file to the AI, whereupon you’ll presumably get the assistant popping up offering further choices (summarizing a document, for example).


Analysis: No surprises, but maybe alarms for some

All of this is mere speculation, of course, at this point, and lines of code in the background are the very earliest of signs that something is happening around a potential feature.

However, it’d be no great surprise to see Copilot integrated into File Explorer in this way, as it makes sense to have a convenient option to invoke the AI when you want it to work with a specific file.

Certainly, Microsoft has made no secret that it’s massively focusing on pushing AI across all its products, including Windows. Only yesterday we saw that Microsoft is ushering in a new key for the keyboards of Windows PCs – a move mirroring the introduction of the Windows key itself nearly 30 years ago.

Think about it for a moment: that’s how important Copilot is, in that it gets a dedicated key in the same vein as the key named after the operating system itself.

It’d be a shock if Microsoft wasn’t planning to introduce Copilot to other parts of the Windows 11 interface, frankly, and we can certainly expect further ways of invoking the AI across the desktop in the future – alongside the ability to directly summon Copilot from the keyboard as mentioned.

The best that those who aren’t so keen on Copilot can hope for is that they get ways to turn off the AI assistant across the board in Windows 11.

Via Neowin

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).