As Microsoft works on the first major update to Windows 11, codenamed Sun Valley 2, there are already some welcome improvements to the File Explorer for Windows Insider users.
As of Windows 11 Insider build 22557 (opens in new tab) and above - which allows you to sign up to features in testing that are not ready for a final release, you can have OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud service, integrated to the top right of a window, so you can see which files are synced and are being uploaded.
Alongside this, folder previews are seeing a return, so you can look at what the folder contains without having to double-click it. You can also pin files to an Explorer window, as well as folders as before, making managing your content a lot easier than before.
It's yet another example of Microsoft listening to feedback, such as drag and drop coming back to the taskbar, alongside folders to the start menu. But these features to File Explorer arguably shouldn't have disappeared in the first place, and would have avoided some unneeded irritation to users.
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Sometimes the little features make a big difference when you use a PC or Mac every day. Dragging and dropping to the Windows 11 taskbar is another example of a feature being in Windows 10, being absent in the launch of Windows 11, and being brought back in a forthcoming update.
Apple has introduced and removed features for a later date before, but arguably only when there's been public beta programs for major software updates. A bunch of new features to the Files app and iCloud in iOS 13 were held back and weren't seen in a final version 5 months after they debuted.
But Microsoft does this with public releases, and it's getting to the point of wondering - why?
Folder previews and the drag and drop function of the taskbar are features that didn't need to be removed in the first place. They're the little features that help the user in their workflows, whether that's for a day job or gaming.
But on the flip side of this upcoming build, seeing OneDrive integration into the File Explorer window, alongside pinned files are new features that are going to be welcomed by plenty of users. Its functions can help highlight the files that are most important to you, and it's encouraging to see Microsoft focus on the smaller features of its existing applications.
However, if a Windows 12 does appear, one of the best efforts the company could do is to simply not remove the useful features that have no justification in doing so. Build on them, redesign them, but removing them in public releases will only irritate users.
Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)
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