A mixed bag of Windows 11 beta updates includes hidden File Explorer tabs

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Enlarge / File Explorer finally gets some tabs.

Microsoft is testing a tabbed interface for Windows 11 File Explorer. after screenshots by developer Rafael Rivera. You can’t access the feature without changing hidden settings in the latest Insider Preview build for the Dev Channel, but XDA Developers has published a guide on how to enable the interface. The process involves downloading ViveTool, a utility used to unearth other existing but hidden features in Windows Preview builds.

Microsoft briefly tested File Explorer tabs in Windows 10, but never included the feature in the publicly released version of the operating system. We expect the tabbed File Explorer interface to be officially rolled out and enabled in a future Windows 11 Insider build, as we’ve seen in the redesigned Task Manager and a few other UI changes that were spotted before they were announced became.

Insiders added other less-hidden Windows features to their builds this week, including tweaks to the Android subsystem for Windows that improve scrolling performance and a few other features. A Microsoft Family app to manage parental controls will be included with all installations of Windows 11 Home. The print queue has been revamped in the style of Windows 11, another example of how deeply Microsoft is starting to delve into the operating system to make it more unified and consistent. And the web-based Clipchamp video editor has been added to standard Windows 11 installs (although its best features, including exporting videos larger than 480p, still lag behind an expensive subscription).

Microsoft has also detailed some upcoming changes to Windows Search for individuals and organizations. For individuals, new “Search Highlights” will begin to include date and location-based images and information, as well as information about search trends (whether you can turn these off if you don’t want to see them). it’s not clear). For computers signed in to a Microsoft account at work or school, the search highlights “show your organization’s latest updates and suggested people, files, and more.”

Most of the recently covered Windows 11 Insider Changes are useful changes that fix some of the operating system’s current shortcomings. Making Windows look and feel like one consistent operating system rather than a mess is a worthy goal. But a paid subscription-based video editor and even more unsolicited suggested content in core UI areas are decidedly less useful. It’s a microcosm of the general state of Windows and Edge right now – to get smart, functional changes like touchscreen enhancements and better window management, you’ll also need to embrace Bing and MSN-based features like widgets and shopping suggestions that do try to be helpful, but usually just get in the way.

Listing image from Microsoft


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