Tabs to File Explorer and more finally arrive in new Windows 11 2022 update

Windows 11 2022 update
(Image credit: Microsoft)

After what felt like radio silence from Microsoft since April, the company has announced that a major 2022 update for Windows 11 is now available to all users from today (September 20), with tabs in File Explorer being one of the tentpole features, even though it's a feature arriving in October.

Microsoft's Insider program, which allows you to try out features in development for Windows on your PC, has been hinting at a bunch of ways to speed up your workflow, alongside improving the divisive taskbar and Start menu.

This new update not only brings better customization to the Taskbar, but greater accessibility features that bring live captions across the operating system, and a more natural human voice for text-to-speech features.

Finally, tabs have arrived to Explorer

File Explorer with tabs in Windows 11 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Tabs in File Explorer may not sound like a big deal, but once you start to play around with the feature as you move files around, you wonder how you managed without it after all this time. However, for some reason Microsoft has confirmed that this one feature will arrive to Windows 11 users in October.

Adding a new tab is just like your web browser, by pressing CTRL + T for a new one to appear in the same window. Dragging and dropping files between tabs is easy enough, so you can re-arrange photos and games without having multiple Explorer windows to do this as before.

However, accessibility is another tentpole feature for Windows 11's first major update. Natural voices for narration and text-to-speech finally replace the robotic voices of past Windows releases, making your opinions and statements more human than before.

Windows 11 Live Captions in 2022 update

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Alongside this improvement, there's also live captions that are now system-wide, not just limited to a few applications as it was before. You'll be able to switch this on by going to Settings > Accessibility > Live Captions, where these captions will be at the top of the display. Microsoft Teams calls, videos, and more will be displayed with subtitles thanks to this new update.

Granted, there are better customization options for the taskbar, but this will be seen as a small victory in the war for this part of Windows 11, as users will still be limited in how they can change the look of it.

Regardless, this new update is at least proof that Microsoft has been listening to feedback, and is a great example of how it's catering to the accessibility needs of Windows 11 users.

If you can't see the update showing on your PC as yet, our guide should give you an idea as to how you can access it.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.