Windows 11 File Explorer Tabs Are Now Available for Beta Channel Testers

Windows Insiders in the Beta channel can now test the new Tabs feature for File Explorer. The feature will roll out to select Beta channel testers who install the freshly-released Windows 11 preview build 22621.160.

With this update, Beta channel testers will also discover navigation updates in File Explorer, with the new Home section providing quick access to pinned and frequently used folders, as well as OneDrive files. The new tabs feature, which Microsoft previously made available for select Dev Channel testers in the Windows 11 preview build 25136, also makes it easier to multitask.

The fact that File Explorer tabs are now being tested so soon on the Beta channel is quite surprising, and it suggests that the feature may actually roll out with the upcoming 22H2 update for Windows 11. However, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed this yet and the Windows Insider team reiterated today that not every feature being tested in the Beta channel will ship to all users.

Microsoft made Windows 11 version 22H2 (build 22621) available on the Release Preview Channel last week, though the company didn’t provide a full list of new features in this update. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, but if File Explorer Tabs do end up in Windows 11 version 22H2 later this year, this will likely make this upcoming update a bit more exciting for most users.

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Conversation 16 comments

  • Matthew Santacroce (InnoTechLLC)

    13 June, 2022 - 3:40 pm

    <p>I updated this morning, but I’m not one of the select beta users getting the feature. Gotta love A/B testing. </p>

    • thejoefin

      Premium Member
      14 June, 2022 - 1:36 pm

      <p>I didn’t have tabs in my File Explorer after the update, but I restarted and there it was. So maybe try a reboot</p>

  • will

    Premium Member
    13 June, 2022 - 6:45 pm

    <p>Microsoft should <strong><u>NOT</u></strong> be doing any A/B testing in BETA channel. That should stay with Dev</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      13 June, 2022 - 6:49 pm

      <p>There are LOTS of things MSFT shouldn’t be doing that it’ll keep on doing for decades to come. That’s MSFT.</p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    13 June, 2022 - 7:49 pm

    <p>I think this is an overdo feature. I have enjoyed using it in gnome with its file manager (nautilus ?). It helps keep contain work flows a little. Not something I use all the time but there some instances where it’s handy </p>

  • benhaube

    13 June, 2022 - 9:44 pm

    <p>I am bummed! I updated both my desktop and my laptop. Neither of them have the tabs in Explorer. I will be excited the day I get them. That is the single feature I want the most. </p>

    • thejoefin

      Premium Member
      14 June, 2022 - 1:35 pm

      <p>Reboot after you install the update, that turned it on for me</p>

      • benhaube

        14 June, 2022 - 7:11 pm

        <p>Really? I have rebooted multiple times since installing the update the other day and I still have not gotten the tabs. ?</p>

      • benhaube

        14 June, 2022 - 7:18 pm

        <p>I have gotten the new navigation pane though. Weird!</p>

  • SherlockHolmes

    Premium Member
    14 June, 2022 - 1:15 am

    <p>I dont get it. What is so great about tabs in file explorer? </p>

    • justme

      Premium Member
      14 June, 2022 - 6:05 am

      <p>I’ve had the same question. I understand its a feature that many people seem to want, I just dont understand why. Perhaps its a holdover from when Microsoft were going to introduce Sets.</p>

      • SherlockHolmes

        Premium Member
        14 June, 2022 - 6:42 am

        <p>I have the same question about PWAs. Why? Why not simply open them in the browser? Do some really think people will put their fav websites to the taskbar? </p>

        • rob_segal

          Premium Member
          14 June, 2022 - 10:01 am

          <p>Some people find it easier to navigate through tabs in a single window instead of multiple windows. I use tabs all the time in macOS Finder and this is why I prefer it. Some Windows users have gotten used to not having tabs in File Explorer, so they may not see the benefit till they start using it.</p><p><br></p><p>Regarding PWA’s, the ones I use the most (ex. Google Photos, Twitter), I have installed. I like the native-looking experience in that it launches in its own window without all the browser controls. I also have a couple pinned to the dock and I have the Chrome Apps folder pinned to favorites in Finder, so I can launch them from there. </p>

    • rickeveleigh

      Premium Member
      14 June, 2022 - 6:23 am

      <p>Kind of think the same (why not just open another window) but I suppose like tabs in an Internet browser we didn’t think we needed them and now they’re second nature.</p>

  • straker135

    Premium Member
    15 June, 2022 - 11:47 am

    <p>So Explorer tabs have just shown up on the 22621.160 instance on my Surface ProX, but not yet on my primary desktop, which was installed at about the same time this week. Looks Ok, but I can’t pin any tabs, only the Home tab is persistent on launching File Explorer. It is OK I guess but really, meh…</p>

  • Dr.Tek

    22 June, 2022 - 4:33 pm

    <p>So. I’m in the Dev channel, and don’t have tabs. But they decide to roll it out to people in beta? </p><p>Without enabling it for everyone in the Dev channel? WTH?</p>


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