Microsoft restores File Explorer Folder Options that it removed in Windows 11

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2023
Updated • Apr 14, 2024
Windows 11 News

Last week, Microsoft released a new development build for Windows 11 that removed nine preferences from File Explorer's Folder Options menu. Today, Microsoft released a new build which restored the removed Folder Options.

Folder Options may be accessed by selecting the three dots menu in File Explorer on Windows 11, selecting Options, and then switching to the View tab in the Folder Options window that opens.

The configuration menu offers some important preferences for Windows 11 users. There, Windows 11 users may disable the hiding of hidden files, folders or drives and the hiding of extensions for known file types among other things.

Microsoft removed nine different options in the previous build, but only in the Folder Options window. We published nine Registry tweaks back then, as it remained possible to edit the Registry directly to make these tweaks.

Windows 11 build 23486 restores the functionality

Microsoft published Windows 11 Insider Preview build 23486 today, which restores the removed Folder Options. The company writes on the official blog post of the release: "Thank you to all the Windows Insiders who gave us feedback on the Folder Options changes in File Explorer that removed a handful of old settings in Build 23481. We’ve rolled back this change. As is normal for the Dev Channel, we will often try things out and get feedback and adjust based on the feedback we receive."

Windows 11 testers and developers who install the new build, either as an upgrade or by installing it from scratch, will notice that the missing options have been restored.

Development builds are used for testing and Microsoft is asking for active feedback. While it does not happen often that Microsoft restores features that it removed in previous builds, it has happened in this case. Microsoft mentions user feedback specifically as a driving factor for making the decision.

The new Windows 11 build features another File Explorer related change. Microsoft is testing transparent background menus for some use cases in File Explorer.

Closing Words

Folder Options help Windows users customize File Explorer. At least one of the settings there, the option to display file extensions for all files all the time, is considered an essential security tweak by many experts in the field.

The removed and then restored preferences may not be on the same level as it, but it is still good to see that Microsoft is not hellbent on removing more and more options from the operating system.

Now You: do you use Folder Options?

Microsoft restores File Explorer Folder Options that it removed in Windows 11
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Microsoft restores File Explorer Folder Options that it removed in Windows 11
Microsoft restored the nine Folder Options preferences of File Explorer that it removed in an earlier development build of its Windows 11 operating system.
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  1. Sebas said on June 25, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    From reliable sources in Russia I heard in Windows 12 Clippy from XP, the first and still the best AI package, will make a glorious return.

  2. P.J.C. said on June 24, 2023 at 6:16 am

    Only if the Microsoft boys (& girls) knew what they are doing…

    Useful Windows Features are removed (and then restored…)
    while unnecessary ones are added.

    Overall, Windows becomes more and more bloated.

  3. Scroogled said on June 24, 2023 at 12:15 am

    The person who decided it would be a good idea to eliminate these options should be fired and publicly shamed.

  4. Ty said on June 23, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    It seems that Microsoft is more focused on catering to the needs of their customers, while other companies such as Google may have released updates like their Manifest 3 extension that significantly undermines users ability to stop hackers and ads

  5. VioletMoon said on June 23, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Martin, thanks for informing us that the Folder Options issue is resolved.

    And what makes us think MS can produce an OS such as Windows 12 that will be superior to Windows 11/10?

    I don’t know, but because Windows is a template type of OS, there is only so much MS can do, and simple UI changes are a rather tiresome attempt to make it all better.

    Fundamentally, foundationally, Windows can’t change, ever.

    1. Anonymous said on June 23, 2023 at 9:40 pm

      Microsoft eventually wants to get things to the point where Windows becomes purely cloud based. In the era of you’ll own nothing and be happy about it.

  6. BOOOOO said on June 23, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    Clearly Microsoft developers read the comments section on ghacks, because they most certainly do not analyze any telemetry or listen to any users feedback on their official channels. Wherever there’s a possibilty to comment on Windows 11, 99.99% of all comments are extremely negative. Every Microsoft OS after Windows 7 has been complete, user hostile, forever in alpha-stage GARBAGE that focuses on selling users data instead of UI consistency, security or usability. Windows 11 is a hundred times worse than any one-man created linux distro that has been discontinued since 2007. But when you’re the only vagina in town, you can afford to be a total whore.

    1. John G. said on June 23, 2023 at 9:37 pm

      @BOOOOO > “But when you’re the only vagina in town, you can afford to be a total whore.”

      It’s quite an unfortunate phrase imho.

  7. John G. said on June 23, 2023 at 11:31 am

    Windows 11 should die this year, and let Windows 12 replace it without further hesitation. Please Microsoft don’t embarrass us anymore, the users don’t deserve this absolute shame one year more.

    1. Mystique said on June 23, 2023 at 4:26 pm

      This is assuming that Windows 12 isn’t the same or worse which is more than likely what is going to happen.
      Windows is like a really bad sandwich with multiple layers of ingredients that either do not go well together are just outright bad with maybe a few good things in between but you just know it’s still going to be a bad sandwich anyway.

      1. John G. said on June 23, 2023 at 9:25 pm

        @Mystique > “This is assuming that Windows 12 isn’t the same or worse which is more than likely what is going to happen.”

        After reading this sentence I don’t know how I can sleep peacefully tonight. I will see W12 with an axe chasing me all around. However, being serious, I hope that Microsoft will release a better Windows. Just remember: “one bad, one good”, so W12 should be the good one.

      2. Mystique said on June 24, 2023 at 3:45 pm

        Hahahaha, Hilarious!

        I hope so too but given the culture, workplace structure and direction I don’t see it happening. From what I understand they depend almost completely on telemetry and have gutted the testing team to very few. That alone tells me that we have been and will be headed for garbage.

        This would also imply that windows 10 was good. I wouldn’t say it was good just that it is better than 11 which isn’t saying a lot. All it had to do was be better than windows 8 so the goals were not set very high to start with really.
        Metro was the tell tale signs of where Microsofts mindset was at. They wanted to create and OS that was not designed completely for the desktop market or even the laptop market but also for tablets and touch screens such as their surface pro. It was a bad move then and is still relevant today. Their pursuit for “simplicity” speaks to nobody. They wanted to appeal to every moron because tech has to be in the hands of everyone but the problem with that is you are diluting everything including the talent and pursuit for people to improve their understanding of tech. Computers were never meant to be as simple as a toasters, we were meant to use them to become more intelligent and share knowledge.

        The cultural problems at Microsoft runs deep and its almost completely lost because I doubt there is enough of the old guard left to guide the younger talent with core values that we as consumers also hold dear.
        This is precisely what also happens at companies that I have worked at where you promote the suck ups without any real talent, skill or backbone to come up with an original thought that has any real depth.

        It’s shame really. Maybe I am just getting too old and set in my ways but its abundantly clear that most of society agrees with us on some level.

      3. John G. said on June 25, 2023 at 8:23 am

        @Mystique > “Maybe I am just getting too old and set in my ways but its abundantly clear that most of society agrees with us on some level.”

        Not too old I guess, my father thinks the same as you in so many ways, so it’s not properly the age but the knowledge, self-learning and the evolution of coping strategies. Thanks for the answer, it has made me think also a lot.

  8. Mystique said on June 23, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Windows 11 is such an embarrassment!
    At this point Microsoft would be far better to make Windows Open Source and allow vastly more capable people with a semblance of sense to create a more cohesive operating system. It’s really a joke at this point.
    It’s as if windows 10 or 11 is developed by completely separate teams whilst having absolutely no direction, communication or oversight at all and just being mashed together by bringing two or more operating system projects together and calling it a day. Truly dreadful!!

    Imagine not having access to these basic settings and options. It really is absurd.
    Don’t worry people it was all planned and done under the guise of removing the bloat and streamlining windows. bahaha. Terrible!!

    Who is even directing this project? Steven Seagal?

    1. John G. said on June 23, 2023 at 11:33 am

      @Mystique, > “Who is even directing this project? Steven Seagal?”
      Seagal would make a better Windows, don’t doubt it. LOL.

      1. Mystique said on June 23, 2023 at 2:19 pm

        @John G.

        Bahahaha at this point I would believe anyone would do a better job so they might as well.

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