Windows 11 could get this popular macOS feature

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

Windows 11 would appear to be bringing in a popular feature from macOS, or at least a rough equivalent to Apple’s Quick Look capability is reportedly in testing at Microsoft.

Windows Latest claims that the feature is being considered for inclusion in Windows 11 – and Windows 10 for that matter – via the PowerToys suite of tools, and it’ll supposedly be called ‘Peek’.

Like the Mac’s Quick Look, the idea is that you can highlight a file – say an image – and tap a key to see a preview of that pic pop up on the desktop (then you can tap the key again to dismiss that preview). As the name makes clear, it’s a way of quickly peeking at a preview of the file in question.

Windows Latest reckons that this feature was experimented with during a hack week at Microsoft, and was well-received, so the functionality has been drafted into internal builds of PowerToys at this stage.

Whether or not it’ll make the cut and actually get released – and how much truth there is to this report, which remains speculation, of course – we’ll just have to see.

Analysis: You can already do this in Windows (sort of) 

It’s certainly true that this is a feature that a good number of Windows users have been longing for in the past. Indeed, there’s already an app for Windows 10 called ‘QuickLook’ (ahem) which can be grabbed from the Microsoft Store, and enables swiftly previewing files (or at least some files – ‘tons’ of formats are supported, the developer claims) by tapping the spacebar.

Having an official solution, rather than a third-party app, would of course be a much more preferable situation and a generally neater state of affairs.

The power of Peek or Quick Look is to be able to quickly glance at an image to, say, check if it’s the right one you want to upload somewhere, rather than having to fully open the photo and wait for an app to fire up. It’s a highly convenient way of working for certain situations.

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).