Windows 11’s File Explorer is getting a major update

According to a new hint by Microsoft and sources familiar with the company’s internal plans, Microsoft is working on a major update for File Explorer on Windows 11 which is expected to release later this year.

This would be the company’s first significant effort to make the file explorer more “modern” as they bring it in line with Windows 11’s design, and integrate it further with Microsoft 365.

Windows 11 File Explorer

Moving File Explorer to WinAppSDK could lead to new possibilities

Microsoft quietly confirmed that the company is working on a major update for File Explorer by moving it to WinAppSDK. It was tested in an hour-long WinUI community call, which is a “virtual conference to discuss developer-related concerns”.

Shipping File Explorer to WinAppSDK could open up many new possibilities like better WinUI 3 integration, access to new APIs, and more.

File Explorer WinAppSDK

Windows App SDK is not a new framework or replacement for existing Windows apps like .NET, Windows Forms, WPF, and desktop Win32 with C++. It will allow the File Explorer to access WinUI 3 features more easily, and it could result in a significant design revamp at some point in the future.

However, it’s been observed that XAML and similar modern components are slower than the traditional Win32 UIs, and Windows App SDK could make File Explorer more buggy.

The new Windows App SDK-based File Explorer will begin rolling out to those in the Windows Insider Program in the coming weeks.

During the one-hour-long call with developers, Microsoft confirmed that big changes were coming to File Explorer. The company’s design team said they are working closely with key File Explorer developers to take full advantage of the update.

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