Microsoft makes File Explorer Tabs official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136

Jun 10, 2022
Windows 11 News

It's finally here, File Explorer Tabs are official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136. The update is currently available for the Dev Channel.

Microsoft makes File Explorer Tabs official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136

What's new in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136

File Explorer Tabs in Windows 11

We first saw Tabs appear as a hidden feature in Build 22572, and were able to activate it using ViVetool. But, Microsoft removed it in later builds. File Explorer Tabs have been officially announced by Microsoft, with the release of Build 25136. It is identical to the one we tested previously, i.e., a + button appears on the Title Bar, clicking on which opens a new Tab in the current File Explorer window.

There are some important improvements in the latest release. Firstly, File Explorer has a right-click menu for Tabs, which you can use to close the tab, close other tabs, or close tabs to 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.

File Explorer Tab bar

Use Ctrl + T to open a new File Explorer Tab, and Ctrl + W to close a tab, or use the middle-mouse button. When opening a folder, you can right-click on it and select Open in New Tab. This also works with directories listed on the navigation pane.

File Explorer open in new tab

The feature is being A/B tested, so it may not be available for you. Don't want to wait for it? You can enable it right away by using the following command in ViVetool.

vivetool addconfig 37634385 2

(via GigaSyntax)

New Navigation Pane in File Explorer

The left navigation pane in File Explorer has been redesigned, it now includes shortcuts to the Home page, your OneDrive, your frequently used 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 enable it.

vivetool addconfig 36354489 2

Dynamic Widgets on the Taskbar

Microsoft is experimenting with Dynamic Widgets on the Taskbar, similar to the weather widget. It is introducing new ones for live updates from the Sports and Finance widgets, and breaking news alerts.

Windows 11 dynamic widget content finance

(Image courtesy: Microsoft)

This feature is also being tested on a limited basis, and is not available for all users yet.

Fixes in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136

Users can now report inappropriate animated GIFs from the emoji panel. An issue was leading to some PCs being detected as Tablets, which prevented File Explorer's Compact Mode and Hide Checkboxes option from working. This has been resolved. Microsoft says that it patched an issue that was causing a SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION bugcheck in recent Preview Builds.

The taskbar has also received a couple of fixes, apps on the taskbar will not overlap with the system tray icons. Hovering over an app in the flash tray will not cause its notification to flash,

The Start Menu will list all recommended items as opposed to showing just one column. Pinning a lot of items to the Start Menu will cause it to refresh to display the shortcuts. Your disks and volumes should appear in the Disk and Volumes section in the System > Storage page.

Switching between the light and dark mode or changing the accent color should no longer crash Task Manager when launching it. A bug that was causing computers to freeze when the wsl -shutdown command is used, has been patched.

Known issues in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136

There are 2 new known issues listed in the release notes for Build 25136. Visual effects like Mica and Acrylic are not rendering properly in certain areas such as the Start Menu, Notification Center. The up arrow icon in File Explorer tabs are misaligned.

Microsoft is yet to fix the issues related to Easy Anti-Cheat, and Live Captions.

Microsoft makes File Explorer Tabs official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136
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Microsoft makes File Explorer Tabs official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136
File Explorer Tabs are official in Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25136. We take a look at how the new feature works.
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  1. Anonymous said on June 10, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    When will they fix the taskbar and start menu? They are so useless after 10 months of the insider program. So far all they been adding are dark patterns all over the OS so you accidently visit their horrible web services. Windows 11 developers are useless and should be fired for their wickedness.

  2. Anonymous said on June 10, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    They did it! they did it Joe! How could they implement such a complex feature! I thought it will be another 10-20 years before the science is advanced enough to make such a feature a reality.

  3. John G. said on June 10, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    It’s very difficult to say what’s good or not in this OS because we don’t get the minimum that other OS have since years: I want in Windows 11 to be able to set the taskbar on top, show seconds in the taskbar and please, not grouping tasks in the taskbar icons is a must have! Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  4. Aaa said on June 10, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Q-Dir is far more superior.

  5. piomiq said on June 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Shock, and almost hell frozen. After couple years finally it happened.

    1. guest said on June 11, 2022 at 12:12 pm


  6. Mystique said on June 10, 2022 at 11:27 am

    It looks nice and probably more similar to clover (even though that has more features) but light years behind QTTabBar which is still being developed.

    It’s nice to see windows as a service still being a thing.
    Why couldn’t they have waited to release windows 11 with a lot more features and stability such as this built in and developed to the point of it being actually usable. I guess Microsoft wouldn’t have to pay staff to bug test stuff this way. :-/

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