In the latest Windows 11 preview build (25136) - now available to members of the early-access program - Microsoft has introduced a new tabbing system to File Explorer, similar to those found in web browsers.
Instead of opening an additional File Explorer instance to browse a new file location, users can now simply bring up a new tab, which will sit neatly within the same window.
Windows 11 File Explorer tabs
The objective is simple: to reduce desktop clutter and make it easier to work across multiple file locations at once, by cutting down on the number of windows open simultaneously.
The announcement was well-received by Windows fans, who have been calling for the feature for years; pretty much ever since it was introduced to macOS in 2013. Until now, users have had to rely on third-party solutions to enjoy the functionality in Windows 11, but no longer.
The new tabbing system is not the only change coming to File Explorer, however. As described in a new blog post, Microsoft has also revamped the side panel, bringing cloud storage service OneDrive to the fore.
“File Explorer is introducing a refreshed layout of the left navigation pane, which will make it easy for you to navigate to folders that matter to you,” explained Microsoft. “The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick access) and your OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows.”
It’s still unclear when the new version of File Explorer will make its way into a full public build, but users can at least take comfort in the fact that testing has now begun in earnest.
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.