Windows 11 gets tabs in File Explorer with latest Dev Channel update

Microsoft has finally rolled out tabs in File Explorer for Windows 11 Dev Channel users. The feature was first announced earlier this year when the company started beta testing it internally. The update is available as part of build 25179 to Insiders.

Windows 11 Tabs

Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

Although tabs took a long time for Microsoft to implement, their functionality is relatively simple and straightforward for anyone who has used a web browser. The File Explorer shows a “+” in the title bar, which opens a new tab in the same window. Right-clicking on any of the open tabs shows the options to close the tab, close other tabs, or close tabs to the right.

Strangely, unlike web browsers, you can not drag out a tab to open it in a new File Explorer window. There is also no ability to merge all tabs into a single window, like how macOS does with Finder tabs.

The tabs do not show up as switchable windows in the app switcher when using Alt + Tab, or as individual windows in windows previews when hovering over an app icon in the taskbar.

This update also adds a new “Add to Favorites” feature which allows users to pin files to their Home page in File Explorer. This feature can be used with just about any file, and makes them easy to access, no matter where they are on the drive.

In the new Windows 11 Dev Channel update, Microsoft has also added support for a language-neutral word list in the spelling dictionary, Tamil Anjal language keyboard, and a tweak to improve the key repeated rate for touch keyboards to make them feel more responsive.

Here is the complete change log for Windows 11 build 25179 for Dev Channel, as per the official blog:

  • The spelling dictionary will now use a language-neutral word list and we are trying out syncing this across all devices that use the same Windows account. Users can toggle this feature via Settings > Accounts > Windows backup > Remember my preferences > Language preferences. This currently only works with Microsoft accounts today with AAD support coming later.
  • File Explorer tabs and navigation updates (which began rolling out to the Dev Channel with Build 25136) are now rolling out to everyone in the Dev Channel. If you don’t see these features right away, please try rebooting. If that doesn’t work, please file feedback in Feedback Hub.
  • We’re trying out different experiences in File Explorer to show search results.
  • We’re adding the Tamil Anjal keyboard for the Tamil language. It’s a popular keyboard for inputting Tamil characters, so if you speak this language, please try it out! This keyboard is currently rolling out to a subset of Insiders while we evaluate the quality. To add it (once it’s available to you), make sure Tamil (India) is listed under Settings > Time & Language > Language & Region, and then click the “…” next to the language, select Language Options, and add it to the list of keyboards.
  • We are rolling out a small tweak to improve the key repeat rate for the traditional touch keyboard layout, as well as the default touch keyboard layout, so it feels more responsive. Now it has the rate of 20 keys per second (for example, when holding down the delete key).
  • Updated the default duration captured by powercfg -sleepstudy from 3 to 7 days.
  • Fixed an issue causing hangs and crashes in apps (like Excel) when attempting to print in the last couple flights.
  • Fixed a few issues impacting explorer.exe reliability.
  • The Mount option when right clicking things like ISO files should now show an icon in the context menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the min / max / close button might not be visible in File Explorer when using a contrast theme.
  • We have fixed the issue causing Widgets preferences (temperature units and pinned widgets) to unexpectedly get reset to default.
  • Fixed a sporadic crash impacting reliability of the input switcher.
  • Fixed an issue where when Suggested Actions was enabled, if you copied multiple items in a row to your clipboard history, some of the items might not display after you pressed WIN + V.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing Settings to crash on launch sometimes.
  • Improved alignment of the “Scan for phone” button displayed on Accounts > Sign-In Options under Dynamic Lock when your phone failed to connect.
  • Your preferred state for the Suggested Actions setting under System > Clipboard should persist upgrade going forward from this build.
  • Fixed an issue where when resizing certain app windows near the edge of the screen when using mixed DPI monitors might unexpectedly cause the window to jump and shrink.
  • We made a change so that the media controls in Quick Settings will more reliably not load old media you’re no longer using.
  • Fixed an issue causing one of the characters in the bugcheck text to not display correctly (as a box) when the display language was set to Chinese.
  • Fixed an issue causing app install failures with error 0x80080204 in the last few flights.
  • Improved date / time recognition for existing supported locales when using Suggested Actions.
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