Today, Microsoft has released yet another servicing pipeline
update (KB5014105) to test Windows Update channels ahead of the
next major update’s preview testing. Unlike the previous
pipeline updates, it doesn’t include the new File Explorer with
tabs, a feature announced in early April.
An early version of File Explorer’s tabs made its first public
appearance in Windows 11 Build 22572, but the company removed
the feature from newer builds, such as Build 22579 or the most
recent one –
The feature was still included in the servicing pipeline
updates for the preview builds, but after the release of
KB5014105, it is no longer possible to enable tabs in preview
builds running the servicing pipeline update. This has led to
some speculation that tabs won’t debut this year or won’t be
ready for Sun Valley 2, but that’s not true.
Microsoft is still planning to add tabs to File Explorer in
2022 and the new feature will begin rolling out to consumers
with Windows 11 version 22H2 (Sun Valley 2) or at some point
after the release of the feature update.
Our hands on with tabbed File Explorer
The tabbed File Explorer was something the company had hoped to
ship in 2018 with Windows 10 Sets, but the feature was
cancelled and tabs were delayed.
Tabs are now set to return in File Explorer and Microsoft says
it will allow the file manager to have multiple windows in one,
similar to Microsoft Edge.
As you’re probably aware, File Explorer has seen its biggest
change in overall design with the introduction of Windows 11’s
new command bar design.
The new WinUI command bar interface replaced the Ribbon
interface with a more simple toolbar layout and it also made it
easier for Microsoft to develop new features like tabs without
making significant changes to the legacy code.
Tabs support would be helpful for anyone with multiple Windows
File Explorer windows open at once. It can be a problem to
manage multiple instances of the Explorer, which is why tabs
support is one of the most requested features in the Feedback
As mentioned above, these tabs will be similar to Microsoft
Edge or Chrome, so you can have dozens of tabs open at once and
you can also move tabs into a separate Explorer window or
instance. Tabs can be invoked via command bar, context menu,
and keyboard shortcut.
It is not yet clear if users can disable the new tabs interface
and switch back to the classic design.