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Major Windows 11 update may bring welcome macOS functionality to File Explorer

A test version of Windows 11 has a pretty cool hidden feature that allows tabs to be enabled in File Explorer to have multiple windows in one, similar to a web browser.

File Explorer recently got its biggest makeover, ditching the ribbon interface for a simpler toolbar layout, as well as a refreshed look for its windows and folders.

But managing our workflows on our PCs has become more important than ever. If you have multiple file explorer windows open at once, it can be difficult to manage them, which is why this hidden feature of tabbed windows could greatly help so many users.

However, macOS users have been reaping the benefits for years, and it makes us wonder why Microsoft was slow to switch tabs to File Explorer.


Analysis: Tabbed File Explorer should already be here

Tabbed windows in Finder

(Image credit: TechRadar)

macOS users have been able to use tabs in the Finder, Apple’s File Explorer equivalent, since 2013 with the arrival of 10.9 Mavericks.

The process is the same as for a web browser; you hold ALT/Command and when you click on a link, a new tab will appear. This is very useful when managing files in multiple folders without having to plaster your display with Finder windows.

But in 2022 with Windows 11, it’s still happening, and it finally looks like Microsoft is listening to those comments.

Tabbed windows can be enabled for users who are on Windows Insider build 22581 and above. If you haven’t signed up as a Windows Insider to help test early builds of Windows 11, we expect this feature to appear later this year in the upcoming “Sun Valley 2” update.

The feature can be enabled by going to GitHub, downloading ViveToolby opening the command prompt and after navigating to the ViveTool folder, you must enter this command:

vivetool addconfig 35908098 2

Using ViveTool to Enable Tabbed Windows in File Explorer

(Image credit: TechRadar)

After restarting your PC, you will be able to right-click in File Explorer and see a new “Open in New Tab” command.

Once it works, you won’t want to go back, as we’re already seeing in Windows 11.

It looks like Microsoft has been scouring every avenue of Windows lately and noting what may be needed in each app to keep it up to date with Apple, Linux and the like. Tabs are going to be a big deal for many in File Explorer, where a view will only have one window with multiple tabs instead.

While this is certainly a feature that should have been in Windows years ago, it’s great to see it finally arrive, and the days of multiple File Explorer windows may soon belong in the past.

Via WindowsLatest