Substantial redesign for File Explorer on Windows 11 it’s reportedly in the works to make it more user-friendly and further integrate with Microsoft 365.
The IS The report comes from Windows Central (opens in a new tab), who managed to get exclusive information and even some internal mock images of what the new File Explorer looks like. Take everything mentioned in the description with a grain of salt, though. The final product may look very different as things are still in the conceptual stage. Nothing has been officially announced yet.
If the models are to be believed, features of the toolbar are being changed to more closely follow the style of Windows 11. The address bar and search bar will look more accurate as File Explorer tabs sit on top.
Common actions such as “New”, “Copy”, and “Paste” will now be located under the header in the File/Folder view. Even the navigation menu on the left will look horizontal. At first glance, the redesigned File Explorer may look more like modern web browsers than a traditional file manager.
Other new features
The other key aspect of the redesign is the Microsoft 365 integration (opens in a new tab) within the Home tab, which is now divided into three different sections. The top section will be “recommended files” from 365 other users on the cloud, all with large thumbnails so you know what’s being recommended. Below that in the details pane, the new File Explorer will show email threads and recent comments made in shared files “across multiple colleagues or attached via email.” And like the thumbnails, tidbits of information are “visible at a glance”.
Microsoft is reportedly “toying” with the idea of bringing tags to File Explorer, allowing users to organize files by keywords and colors in a similar way to the Finder app on macOS. In addition, work is underway to “provide a richer photo viewing experience through a new Gallery area”. Not much is known about this latest photo feature other than it would allow users to see large previews of images by hovering over files.
Pending release date
A release date for this overhaul is unknown – assuming nothing is changed or deleted. According to the report, Microsoft aims to launch the new File Explorer by the end of 2023 with two likely timeframes for the rollout.
The redesign could be this summer as part of a Moment update or with the release of version 23H2 for Windows 11. It’s too early to tell with absolute certainty. However, as Windows Central points out, if the redesign comes out in full, it will be the “most significant update to File Explorer since Windows 8.”
It would be great if the redesign came to fruition. File Explorer has barely changed over the years – just a few tweaks here and there, for example new tabs but nothing major.
If you’re interested in getting more out of your file manager, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best file managers for 2023.