It’s finally here, File Explorer Tabs are officially included in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136. The update is currently available for the Dev Channel.
What’s new in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136
File Explorer Tabs in Windows 11
We first saw that tabs appear as a hidden feature in Build 22572, and were able to activate it with ViVetool. But Microsoft removed it in later builds. File Explorer tabs were officially announced by Microsoft with the release of Build 25136. They are identical to those we tested previously, ie a + button appears in the title bar, clicking on it opens a new tab in the current File Explorer window.
There are some important improvements in the latest version. First, File Explorer has a tab right-click menu that allows you to close the tab, close other tabs, or close tabs on the right. You can rearrange tabs by dragging them with the mouse. It’s a little clunky as you have to drag the tab to the edge of another tab to move it.
Use Ctrl + T to open a new File Explorer tab and Ctrl + W to close a tab, or use the middle mouse button. When you open a folder, you can right-click it and select Open in new tab. This also works with directories listed in the navigation pane.
The feature is A/B tested, so it may not be available to you. Don’t want to wait? You can enable it immediately by using the following command in ViVetool.
vivetool addconfig 37634385 2
(above giga syntax)
New navigation pane in File Explorer
The left navigation pane in File Explorer has been redesigned and now includes shortcuts to Home, your OneDrive, your favorite folders, and pinned folders. Network drives and external drives that you have connected are listed separately at the bottom of the sidebar.
Don’t see the new navigation pane in File Explorer? The following ViVeTool Velocity ID should help you with the activation.
vivetool addconfig 36354489 2
Dynamic widgets in the taskbar
Microsoft is experimenting with dynamic widgets on the taskbar, similar to the weather widget. New ones are introduced for live updates from the sports and finance widgets and breaking news notifications.
(Image courtesy of Microsoft)
This feature is also undergoing limited testing and is not yet available to all users.
Fixes in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136
Users can now report inappropriate animated GIFs from the emoji panel. An issue caused some PCs to be recognized as tablets, causing File Explorer’s compact mode and the option to hide checkboxes to not work. This has been fixed. Microsoft says it’s patched an issue that caused a SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION bug check in recent preview builds.
The taskbar also got a few fixes, apps on the taskbar don’t overlap with the taskbar icons. When you hover over an app in the flash tray, the notification doesn’t blink.
The Start menu lists all recommended items instead of just showing one column. If you pin many items to the Start menu, it will update to show the shortcuts. Your disks and volumes should appear in the Disks and Volumes section on the System > Storage page.
Toggling between light and dark mode or changing the accent color should no longer crash the task manager on startup. A bug that caused computers to freeze when using the wsl -shutdown command has been patched.
Known issues in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136
The lists 2 new known issues Release Notes for build 25136. Visual effects such as Glimmer and Acrylic are not rendered properly in certain areas such as the Start Menu or Notification Center. The up arrow icon in File Explorer tabs is misaligned.
Microsoft has yet to fix the issues related to Easy Anti-Cheat and Live Captions.