When Microsoft released Windows 11 22H2 in the Release Preview Channel, there was a lot to get excited about. The update brought back support for missing features like drag-and-drop to the taskbar and added some new options to Start.
The company has continued to make further improvements to the operating system, and the last cumulative update release saw not only bug fixes and general improvements, but also support for tabs in File Explorer. In addition to things like the ability to add stickers to the desktop, Windows 11 22H2 also includes a new tabbed file explorer.
So, what exactly can you do with tabs in File Explorer and how do you enable the feature on Windows 11 22H2? For those who don’t know, a tabbed file explorer is similar to a web browser. Tabs allow you to browse multiple folders without having to open a new copy of the app.
Tabs interface makes Windows 11’s file explorer even more useful. Since tabs serve as a new multitasking tool for Windows 11, you will find that it can save you time. Previously, this useful feature was only available to select users, as the support for File Explorer tabs was exclusive to insiders in the Dev channel.
Enable File Explorer Tabs on Windows 11 22H2
Windows 11 Build 22621.160 (22H2) or newer includes tabs in File Explorer, but the functionality is apparently hidden. This update is now available to everyone in Beta Channel and will be rolled out to the Release Preview Channel soon.
As long as your device is configured to receive builds from the beta channel (22H2) or you have Build 22621.160+, you can also try the new navigation pane next to tabs in File Explorer.
Follow these steps to enable tabs in File Explorer:
- Participate Windows Insider Program and sign up for beta channel†
- Restart your device to complete the installation of Windows 11 Build 22621.
- Open github and go to the download page from a tool called ‘ViveTool†
- Save ViVeTool-v0.2.1.zip to an easy-to-find folder.
- Right click on the .zip file and extract everything into the folder you just created.
- Navigate to the folder where you extracted the tool and copy the path.
- Open Windows Search†
- Type Command Prompt and run it as ‘administrator†
- type cd
† Example: cd C:\Users\mayank\Downloads\ViVeTool-v0.2.1
- If you followed the steps correctly, the command prompt folder will change to the path where you extracted ViVeTool-v0.2.1.zip.
- In the same Command Promptenter the following commands one by one and reboot the system†
vivetool addconfig 39145991 2 vivetool addconfig 37634385 2 vivetool addconfig 36354489 2
Open File Explorer and you’ll notice two major changes: Tabs are enabled by default, and there’s a new sidebar that promises a better navigation experience.
However, keep in mind that the File Explorer tab layout is still under development and Microsoft is aware of several issues. For example, a bug causes the up arrow to be misaligned in File Explorer tabs. The company plans to fix this in a future update to Windows 11 version 22H2 or newer.
There is another bug where the body of File Explore can be displayed in light mode even if the operating system itself is set to light mode.