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Windows users want to see tabs in more apps, not just File Explorer

The latest Insider build of Windows 11 includes a hidden option to enable tabs in File Explorer. Some insiders were able to enable the feature, giving us a glimpse of what Microsoft seems to have in store for its default file manager app. Tab support has been a feature that many have requested for some time, and it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see it officially rolled out.

While many welcome the addition of tabs to File Explorer, some think Microsoft should take it a step further and add tabs to more apps. In 2017 and 2018, Microsoft worked on a feature called Sets, which allowed users to organize any app with tabs.

Over the weekend, we ran a poll to see if our readers are happy with the tabs just added to File Explorer or if they would like to see tabs added to more apps. The vote was relatively split on the issue. Just under 50% of readers surveyed want to see tabs in more apps. Over 43% are happy to see tabs only added to File Explorer. About 7% of participants surveyed said they don’t use tabs at all.

In our comments section, GraniteStateColin explained why they love tabs. “I always like tabs as the easiest and fastest way to group related tasks together. Sets would have been great for me, but just providing the option of tabs in more apps is a solid victory.”

Others have called for tabs to come to other apps from Microsoft. “Tabs in File Explorer are a good first start. Now let’s implement tabs in Office 365 and Notepad,” Peiaird said.

Tarkus13 expressed different thoughts in the comments section. “The only thing I used Sets for was Explorer, so yeah, that’s good enough for me. Much better to have that natively in the app too, rather than the clunky Sets method.” They don’t seem to be alone, as more than 43% of voters said they were happy with the addition of tabs only to File Explorer on Windows 11.

Although not a native solution, it is already possible to get tabs in Windows using Stardock’s Groupy app. Groupy lets you organize any application on Windows with tabs. It also supports saved groups, making it easy to launch a collection of apps you frequently use together.

If users prefer to wait for support for built-in tabs in File Explorer, it looks like they won’t have to wait long. Although File Explorer tabs have not been announced by Microsoft, the feature’s user interface appears to be in development. Of course, Microsoft could always change its plans.



Group

This third-party app lets you organize any app on Windows into tabs. It also supports saved groups, making it easy to quickly launch a collection of apps.

$10 at Groupy