Windows 11 File Explorer is getting a Recommended section

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 9, 2023
Windows 11 News

Microsoft is testing a new recommendations feature for Windows 11's File Explorer application. File Explorer is the default file manager on Windows 11 systems.

Recommendations are not a new feature in Windows 11. Microsoft displays recommendations in the Start Menu already, which includes files, and it is also displaying folder recommendations as part of the Quick Assist feature of File Explorer.

Tip: find out how to hide recommended items in the Windows 11 Start Menu.

Current versions of File Explorer display recently used files already. The new recommended section is attached to the Home screen of File Explorer.

Microsoft shared a screenshot of the Recommended section. It shows six document recommendations and recent events associated with them. For one document, File Explorer noted that another user had left a comment, for another, that it was related to a recent meeting.

Microsoft announced the feature on its Windows Insider Blog. There, it notes that the feature is currently only available to users who are signed into Windows with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account. In other words: users who do not meet the requirement won't see the Recommended section on File Explorer's homepage.

All recommended files "will be cloud files associated with that account", according to Microsoft. Files are only recommended if they are either owned by the user directly, or have been shared with the user.

The feature is being rolled out to all Windows Insiders who have installed the latest Windows 11 Insider build. Not everyone gets it immediately, even if all requirements are met.

Microsoft plans to monitor the rollout of the feature and will use the data gathered in deciding if and when it will be rolled out to everyone. One reason for Microsoft's careful approach is that it has abused the recommendation system in Windows 11 in the past for promotions.

The last thing Microsoft wants is to annoy its Enterprise customers with such a feature. It looks as if the Recommended section can be collapsed, but it is unclear if that is permanent.

Home users may also get another dose of recommendations soon. A recent Insider build introduced a hidden option to show more recommendations in Start, which may include tips, shortcuts and new apps among other things. The feature has a toggle, but it is likely that it will be enabled by default once it lands in Stable versions of the Windows 11 operating system.

Closing Words

Some Enterprise users who use Windows 11 may find the new Recommended section on File Explorer's Homepage useful. It does highlight documents with recent events attached to them, which they may find useful to open them quickly.

Others may have little use for the functionality, as the changes are also provided elsewhere. They may collapse the Recommended section, but it may still occupy space in File Explorer. It is unclear if a toggle to turn it off will be provided.

Now You: what is your take on the new Recommended section?

Article Name
Windows 11 File Explorer is getting a Recommended section
Microsoft is testing a new Recommended section in File Explorer, the default Windows 11 file manager.
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  1. danny said on March 10, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    Welp! back to Windows 10 I guess

  2. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    As the days/years go by, my Windows 7 just keeps looking better and better, despite the fact that it hasn’t changed in any way for a long time.

    The golden era of the utilitarian and stylish desktop OS is really coming to an end (or it has, already?) – this is what happens to a company when all that success goes to it’s head.


  3. 45 RPM said on March 10, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Stop it. Just stop it. If your devs are bored have them fix and unf*ck Windows 11 instead of more stuff nobody asked for, wants, needs or should subjected to.

    I wish so hard I didn’t need Windows for my work.

  4. Robert said on March 10, 2023 at 2:15 am

    I recently installed NetLimiter and was surprised to see how much band width File Explorer was using calling out to the internet. So I fire walled it. It’ll be interesting to see if NetLimiter can tame File Explorer. The only thing is that I have to disable the NetLimiter service temporarily when it comes time for the monthly updates.

    1. John G. said on March 10, 2023 at 9:32 am

      Thanks for this good info! I wonder if the culprit was Onedrive.

  5. olbaze said on March 9, 2023 at 7:57 pm

    This looks like a first step towards a File Explorer that recommends apps that you don’t have installed. If that happens, it will start with Microsoft’s own stuff, and later it’ll contain “sponsored” items.

  6. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    More unnecessary Windows bloat. Now that it is a system app, File Explorer is no more. Microsoft is now able to destroy it faster.

  7. Big Tech Goood said on March 9, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Well, it’s their OS so they can do whatever they want on your computer. You agreed to the EULA so stop crying about it. You own nothing and you are happy.

  8. chesscanoe said on March 9, 2023 at 11:29 am

    This sounds like a “make work” project to keep otherwise idle people busy.

  9. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 9:42 am

    just making it worse and worse. time to have a serious look at alternatives and try get used to using one of them.

    1. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 10:50 am

      +1, W11 is absolutely determined to sink itself into the misery of improductivity and oblivion.

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