Windows 10’s Upcoming Sets Feature to Bring Tabs to UWP Apps

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 25 Comments

One of the biggest feature requests for Windows has been the ability to get tabs within apps like File Explorer. For years, Microsoft didn’t allow users to open up different tabs in File Explorer, but that could be changing soon.

The company has been working on a new feature under the codename Tabshell, which will bring a tabbed experience to some of the apps in Windows sometime in the future. Although, I will be curious to see if their implementation is any better than what Groupy offers.

The new feature, dubbed Sets, will bring a tabbed experience to Windows 10. The idea behind Sets might sound a little confusing at first, but it is pretty straightforward. You will be able to create a group or a set of windows where you can add separate apps as tabs (“app tabs”), or even add a web tab powered by Microsoft Edge (via WalkingCat).

Like regular Microsoft Edge tabs, you will be able to switch between them using Ctrl + Tab and take them out of a set to turn them into a completely separate window. Opening a new tab in Sets will open up Microsoft Edge’s new tab page which the company will then promote as increased usage of its browser; if you could change the browser that would be helpful but not holding my breath.

Microsoft will be targetting Sets towards creators as part of its recent push towards bringing more creators-focused features in Windows 10, and it hopes to help improve productivity through an easier multi-tasking experience in the OS. The company Sets won’t require any work from app developers, as it should work with almost every third-party UWP apps in Windows 10 right off the bat.

Sets will be tremendously useful for apps like File Explorer, Microsoft Word, and similar apps, but it is not clear whether it only supports UWP apps for the time being. It is important to note that Microsoft could bring Sets to Windows Insiders in the coming months, or even weeks — so make sure to keep an eye out for it in the upcoming Insider builds.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Windows 10’s Upcoming Sets Feature to Bring Tabs to UWP Apps”

  1. dhallman

    I always looked at the taskbar as a programs tabs area. If the taskbar has the open app, is it not redundant to have apps in tabs? What am I missing? Apps belong in the taskbar. Tabs belong in the apps. How is an app in a tab more productive?

  2. Simard57

    "Tabshell" - is that "Tab Shell" or "Tabs Hell"?

    Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US that celebrate it!

  3. JaviAl

    I don't want, I don't like and I don't need ugly and limited mobile UWP apps in my desktop computer that i never use. I need new features to real applications/programs.

  4. JimP

    I hope we'll be able to rearrange the tab order. Sometimes, I'll have 3 or 4 instances of Visual Studio opened at the same time and it's helpful for me to keep them in a particular order.

  5. Win74ever

    We need tabs in Windows Explorer. An useful software. Not some mobile-app-on-desktop nonsense.

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  8. Tony Barrett

    Wow. Tabs... in UWP apps no less. Now there's a game changer if ever I saw one. Maybe UWP has a chance after all! ;-)

  9. moogleassassin

    Looks like how they might be doing the ui for pwa as well, that screenshot looks almost like the mail app is being run as a pwa, which must surely be their intend to make it look to the users they are all the same?

  10. John Jackson

    One of the biggest feature requests ...

    ... Microsoft didn’t allow users ...

    ... the company has been the future...

    ... but not holding my breath ...

    Sets will be tremendously useful ...

    So get it ******* finished, already!

  11. Person

    They’ve been looking at macOS a lot lately so it seems.

  12. Luis Sohal

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  13. Davor Radman


    I've been wanting this since.. Forever. It's the main reason I almost always go for a website.

  14. Alex Taylor

    When done well (KDE), it's a great option with no downside.

    Unlike the taskbar, you can see the target without having to hover, so for navigating eg multiple spreadsheet it's awesome.

    It also makes it easy to drag a group of windows around (like to another monitor), which the taskbar can't do.

    Because it uses the otherwise 80% empty title bar, you don't lose any space either.

    Looking forward to seeing it on Windows, especially if it eventually works for all apps, not just UWP.

  15. warren

    Okay this is a nice idea and all, but wouldn't the OS be better served by having these developers contribute to the necessary work of killing off the old Control Panel for good? The lack of cohesiveness in configuring/maintaining the OS should be their #1 priority right now.

    Okay, that -- and a place in the UI where can see precisely and exactly what is being sent to Microsoft.

    Do just those two things, Microsoft, and a ton of people will get on side.

  16. JWadle

    The tabbed window capability appeared in my Office 365 Outlook about 10 days ago (e.g. message list and open messages in separate tabs of the same window), but then disappeared a few days later. I assume this was in conjunction with a new Windows 10 preview build or Office 365 update?

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