File Explorer Might Get Another Overhaul in Windows 11

A fresh Windows 11 logo on a blue landscape

Microsoft mostly the File Explorer alone throughout Windows 8 and Windows 10, but more recently, we’ve started to see some much-needed improvements finally arrive. Even more changes might be on the way.

Windows Central reports that Microsoft is working on a significant update to the File Explorer on Windows 11. Internal mockups currently point to a redesigned header bar, a more modern search box, and “recommended” files at the top of the window (similar to OneDrive’s website). The left-side navigation and details pane will also be updated with a more modern design. Microsoft is also allegedly experimenting with a tagging system, allowing files to be organized using keywords and colors — a feature that exists (but doesn’t seem to be popular) in Finder on Mac.

File Explorer image with updated toolbar and recommended files
Mockup image of new File Explorer features

According to the report, Microsoft is aiming to get some of the changes out before the end of 2023. It’s not clear if the company’s recent layoffs will affect that timeline. The changes would mark the third major update to the File Explorer in recent history — the initial release of Windows 11 updated some of the buttons and menus, and a tab bar was added in late 2022.

More updates to the File Explorer would certainly be appreciated, as the core experience is still unchanged from the Windows Vista and Windows 7 era. Searching is still slow and cumbersome, and many menus and popups haven’t been updated to match Windows 11’s design language. Hopefully, we’ll start to see changes pop up in the Windows Insider channels over the coming weeks and months.

Source: Windows Central