Windows 11 is Getting File Explorer Tabs and More New Features

Posted on April 5, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Windows, Windows 11 with 24 Comments

Windows 11 with app logos

Microsoft has announced new features coming soon to Windows 11 during an event about how Windows will power the future of hybrid work. Windows 11 received its first big update in February with improvements for the Taskbar, File Explorer, Quick Settings, and other features, and more incremental updates are in the pipeline.

Most of the features that Microsoft announced today are already being tested with Windows Insiders on the Dev and Beta Channel. If you’re not an Insider, though, here’s what you can expect:

Tabs in File Explorer: This is a hidden feature in the latest Windows 11 Insider builds, but Microsoft made it official today. File Explorer tabs have been a popular request, and they should really make it easier to multitask.

Contextual suggestions in File Explorer: This feature will suggest relevant content and contact across Windows in File Explorer. It’s powered by Context IQ, a set of capabilities for Microsoft 365 that Microsoft announced last year/

App Folders in Start: This one is pretty straightforward, but Windows 11 users will be able to create app folders in the Pinned section of the new Start Menu.

Live Captions: Windows 11 is getting a big accessibility feature with system-wide Live Captions, which will support all audio experiences including web-based audio sources.

Voice Access: The speech-recognition feature will soon allow Windows 11 users to use voice commands to control their devices, switch between apps, enter numbers and text, and more.

Touch Snap layouts: Snap layouts on Windows 11 made it easier to optimize your screen space with window snapping, and Microsoft is now working on adding touch snap layouts for touch-enabled devices.

Intelligent meeting features: Windows 11 will improve the meeting experience with new hardware-dependent features like Voice clarity, Automatic framing, and Portrait background blur.

Security improvements: Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is getting enhanced phishing detection and protection. Smart App Control will also ensure that only trusted applications can run on a Windows 11 PC.

Windows 365 integration: A new native Windows 365 app is coming to Windows 11, and Windows 365 Switch will also allow users to switch between their Cloud PC and local PC with a single click.

Microsoft didn’t give a clear ETA for all these new Windows 11 improvements, but the company can now start rolling out new features when they’re ready without having to wait for the release of Windows 11’s next major update, which is expected later this year. Windows 365 actually got a lot of attention today, and you can learn more about what Microsoft is doing to remove barriers between the PC and the cloud in our separate post.

“Since launching Windows 11, we’ve seen strong demand and the highest quality and product satisfaction scores of any version of Windows we’ve ever shipped. This is just the beginning, our team is committed to innovating how Windows can streamline experiences whether you’re returning to the office, working from home or never left the workplace as a frontline employee,” said EVP and Chief Product Officer Panos Panay today.

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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Windows 11 is Getting File Explorer Tabs and More New Features”

  1. blue77star

    Nothing useful to me here. Best version of post Windows 7 crappy releases is Windows 10 LTSC...no bloatware with it.

    • dftf

      And if you use the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 edition, it is supported until January 2029! All other versions (except obscurer ones like IoT) are currently set to die in October 2025. Though, of course, as with Windows 7, they might do an ESU programme if enough users are still on W10 come end-of-life...

    • mikegalos

      And if you haven't bothered to learn how to take advantage of any new features since 1995 then Windows 95 is the "Best version".


      Some of us have actually progressed to use new features. For us, each new version gives us more power and convenience.

  2. hrlngrv

    | Contextual suggestions in File Explorer


    Clippy for Windows?


    As long as its straightforward to disable, NBD.

  3. Donte

    This comment section is a bag of Microsoft hate. I actually really like Windows 11 and do not want to go back to 10. These new features are nice IMHO.

  4. shark47

    So, no performance improvements.

  5. wolters

    As an IT Pro (and SOLO IT person for 11 years), I am so interested in Hybrid IT help...VPN is actually pretty bad as some users have major bandwidth issues and some don't and as SOLO IT Director, I need all the help I can get and I can SPEND money...)

  6. mdlynam

    I wonder how much of the accessibility/voice features are a direct result of the Nuance acquisition (and improved upon by MS).

  7. lwetzel

    They just keep on truckin'. ;)


  8. dftf

    If you want a tabbed File Explorer type experience on Windows 10 right now, download the "Files" app by Yair A (microsoft.com/en-gb/p/files-app/9nghp3dx8hdx).


    As for the other stuff, I'd expect that the accessibility improvements (Live Captions and Voice Access) will get backported to Windows 10. And I'd think the Windows Security improvements and the Windows 365 app will likely make it over also.


    (Hopefully the new-look Start Menu won't though! And I'm fine with the Snap options that exist in Windows 10 right-now... if you really like the hover-over-Maximise-Restore functionality, I'd imagine by-now a third-party app already exists that could replicate that behaviour.)

    • spacein_vader

      Files also has a twin pane view, quite how a file explorer worthy of the name ships without one of those is beyond me. It's existed since the days of X-Tree Gold on DOS.

  9. sherlockholmes

    Coming to a Windows 11 PC near you soon (or never).

  10. navarac

    Contextual suggestions in File Explorer


    Suggestions of what? Adverts in other words.

  11. ubelhorj

    This is cool and everything, but all I want is to move the task bar.

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