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Windows 11 version 22H2: File Explorer changes

In part four of the series, we take a look at the default File Explorer file management tool and the changes Microsoft plans to introduce in the Windows 11 2022 Update.

Microsoft changed File Explorer in several key areas when it launched the new Windows 11 operating system in 2021. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of the compact context menu, which File Explorer displays by default.

Point: here are the instructions to restore the classic File Explorer context menu in Windows 11.

The change wasn’t the only one, as Microsoft streamlined File Explorer’s main toolbar, making many items accessible only after an extra click or two.

Windows users who were hoping Microsoft would fix these issues in the next feature update will be disappointed. There are other changes, however, and the following paragraphs highlight all the important changes in File Explorer.

File Explorer in Windows 11 2022 Update

pin favorite windows 11

Several items have changed when you open File Explorer. The home page, the first screen that opens when you launch the file manager, may look similar at first glance. The menu bar at the top is identical to the 2021 version, but the sidebar has seen several changes.

Quick Access has been renamed Home, but the underlying function is still called Quick Access in the menus. Microsoft has replaced the Quick Access star icon with a new Home icon to better visualize the change.

In the main area of ​​the homepage, Folders has been renamed Quick Access. It offers the same functionality, but has been renamed. Pinned files are listed under Favorites, a new section on the File Explorer homepage.

Files and folders can be added to favorites via the context menu. Right-click on a file or folder and select the “add to favorites” entry to add it to the homepage section.

favorites

Favorites are displayed on the home page but not in the sidebar quick access list.

Search will find files and folders listed under favorites and recent files, even if they are not local files. Files hosted on OneDrive can be returned here.

Home isn’t the only entry point available when File Explorer is open. Windows 11 users can open This PC or OneDrive instead.

start file explorer

Here is how it is configured:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select Menu > Options from the main toolbar at the top (the menu is the three dots).
  3. Open the menu next to “Open File Explorer To” in the Folder Options window to make the selection:
    • Home: the default selection.
    • This PC: Shows quick access folders and all connected drives.
    • OneDrive: Displays OneDrive content.

OneDrive was missing in the final version of the Windows 11 operating system. Other file sync providers can also add their services to the menu so that users can choose them as their start page when they open File Explorer.

Folder options lists another new feature in Windows 11 2022 Update. The view files option of Office.com is enabled by default.

view office.com files

Windows 11 users who don’t need it can uncheck “Show files from Office.com” to disable the feature and remove Office.com file listings.

Folder overviews

windows 11 folder previews

Next, the Folder Preview feature is making a comeback in the upcoming Windows 11 feature update. Microsoft launched Windows 11 without it.

Basically what it does is provide a preview of a folder’s contents in the folder icon. If a folder contains images, one of the images may be displayed as a thumbnail in the folder icon.

Other file types may also appear as previews. Applications appear as the default application icon and Office documents as a preview of one of the documents. Other file types may not display as previews at all or only with generic icons.

Still, for Windows 11 users who use File Explorer to browse image or media collections, it may improve the experience.

Shortcuts and context menu

again right click on this pc

Microsoft is improving the full context menu shortcut in Windows 11 version 22H2. Windows 11 users can use the Shift-F10 shortcut to display the full context menu of the selected file, folder, or drive.

In the new feature update, users can also hold down the Shift key and right-click an item to immediately bring up the full context menu, bypassing the compact menu.

Shift-F10 remains an option for keyboard-only users, but Shift-Right-Click improves the experience for Windows users who prefer using the mouse.

The compact right-click context menu shows a few new options when certain items are active. .inf and .cer font files now display a new install option in the context menu to improve the installation process for them.

Right-clicking This PC brings up the new “Map Network Drive” and “Disconnect Network Drive” options, and right-clicking a mapped network drive displays Disconnect Now in the new update.

The same options also appear when you right-click This PC in the File Explorer navigation pane.

Some context menu items have new icons.

The new keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-C copies the full path of the selected file or folder to the clipboard.

Other Changes

share windows 11

The Share function, listed as one of the options available in the toolbar, can now show contacts, people nearby and apps. The sharing menu opens right after you select sharing, making it easy to share with users or apps that content is shared with regularly.

The options available depend on whether you are using a local or Microsoft account and the apps installed on the device.

Tabs in File Explorer

It looks like Tabs won’t be part of the Windows 11 2022 Update, but will ship via a smaller update after the first feature update is released.

Tabs are one of the main features that Microsoft has been working on for a long time. Windows 11 users can open multiple different folders and drives in a single File Explorer when the feature lands, similar to how tabbed browsing works in modern web browsers.

Closing words

File Explorer in Windows 11 version 22H2 gets a handful of new features that improve it. The new full context menu shortcut option, folder previews, or the option to show cloud provider content when launching File Explorer should be specifically mentioned.

The update does not fix usability issues, on the other hand. There are still two context menus that users have to juggle between, and the main toolbar still hides options that were accessible right away before.

Summary

Windows 11 version 22H2: File Explorer changes

Article name

Windows 11 version 22H2: File Explorer changes

The description

In part four of the series, we take a look at the default File Explorer file management tool and the changes Microsoft plans to introduce in the Windows 11 2022 Update.

Author

Martin Brinkman

Editor

Ghacks Technology News

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