New Windows Explorer Will Ship With Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 29, 2011
Updated • Jun 25, 2018
Windows, Windows 8

Microsoft is currently pushing out new announcements like crazy on the Building Windows 8 blog. We know for instance that the company will improve file management features like copying in the new operating system. Today another major change was revealed in a very detailed post on the blog.

Windows Explorer will receive a complete redesign and will ship with many changes when the Windows 8 operating system comes out. Many users of Windows feel that the current file manager of the operating system is in desperate need of a redesign, or at least some form of optimization.

The biggest change is a new Ribbon based user interface that many Windows users know from Microsoft Office. Ribbons have been criticized in the past, especially by experienced computer users. The main points of criticism are that a ribbon interface takes up to much space, and that its tabbed interface does not speed up all operations.

The new Windows Explorer on Windows 8 looks like this:

windows explorer ribbon

You see the ribbon interface at the top. To make up for the space requirements the status bar was reduced to a single row in Windows Explorer. Other changes that are visible immediately are a new font used for displaying files and folders and the dynamic Tools listing on the title bar.

The Home tab of the new interface offers buttons for the most popular Windows Explorer features. Microsoft analyzed the command usage and found out that only two of the top 10 Windows Explorer commands are currently visible in the command bar in Windows 7. Windows Explorer on Windows 8 will provide access to all those commands directly from the Home tab.

If you are wondering, here is the top 10 Windows Explorer command list:

  • Paste: 19%
  • Copy: 11%
  • Properties: 11%
  • Delete: 10%
  • Rename: 8%
  • Cut: 7%
  • Search: 7%
  • New Item: 6%
  • Open: 2%
  • Edit: 2%

The Share and View tabs are always displayed in Windows Explorer.

  • Share: The Share tab provides access to features like emailing or zipping files or printing and faxing documents.
  • View: Options to enable or disable panes, change the view mode of a folder or grouping and sorting options.

Dynamic tabs are displayed in addition to that. They depend largely on the current location that is displayed in Windows Explorer. Disk Tools are for instance added as a tab to the computer location. Here it is possible to format, cleanup or optimize a drive, use the Bitlocker encryption or work with removable media and rewritable discs.

Here is a video that showcases the new Explorer of Windows 8.

It is interesting to note that the Windows 8 Explorer will display more files and folders than Explorer of Windows 7. What I'm personally curious about is if Microsoft manages to get the view modes working properly in the new operating system. Another requested feature, the ability to display two Explorer panes with files in one Windows Explorer menu does not seem to have made it into the new version of Windows Explorer.

The most interesting part of the whole blog post is the end, if you ask me. Microsoft confirms that power users will be able to create their own personalized version by minimizing the ribbon ui and configuring a quick access bar instead. Plus, they get access to nearly every command available via keyboard shortcuts.

Here are a few screenshots that showcase the new design:

What's your take on this new Explorer, and especially the Ribbon UI?

New Windows Explorer Will Ship With Windows 8
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New Windows Explorer Will Ship With Windows 8
Windows Explorer will receive a complete redesign and will ship with many changes when the Windows 8 operating system comes out.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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