Windows 11’s File Explorer to get modern design, new home button and more

Microsoft is reportedly working on a major upgrade of File Explorer on Windows 11 that will improve its UI and introduce new features. The overhaul will include a modern design to match the rest of Windows 11 and features to more deeply integrate Microsoft 365 and OneDrive.

Windows 11 Fluent Design

Windows 11’s File Explorer will get redesigned header, an updated search box, and a new home button

According to Windows Central, Microsoft is working to present a major overhaul of the interface “UI” for File Explorer in Windows 11. The overhaul will include a modern design to match Windows 11 and additional features to deeply integrate Microsoft 365 and OneDrive.

Internal mock-ups reveal a new header redesigned alongside a modern file directory box, search box, and home button. The existing header buttons like “new,” “copy,” and “paste,” will move into the file/folder view just below the header. 

The home page of File Explorer also includes deeper Microsoft 365 integration, showing a list of large thumbnails of documents that include items related to meetings, downloads, and comments from colleagues.

Windows 11 Modern File Explorer

The left-side navigation will be updated with more modern code, rounded highlight buttons, and more. The detail pane also will get a major update to align with the rest of File Explorer, including integration with Microsoft 365 and a richer experience for seeing file details.

Additionally, Microsoft is working to bring more rich photo viewing experience to File Explorer with a new “Gallery” area which will let users view larger previews of photos, and a tagging feature, which will allow users to organize and categorize specific files using keywords and colors like the Finder app on macOS.

Microsoft aims to get most of this rejuvenated File Explorer experience out to users before the end of 2023, which means it is likely to be introduced in an upcoming update over the summer or will release later this year.

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