The first feature drop for Windows 11 2022 Update Version 22H2 is available now with Cumulative Update (KB5019509). This optional non-security update brings new features which include a Taskbar Overflow menu, Tabbed File Explorer, Suggested Actions, and more. And, in this post, we will talk about how to use Tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11.
Among all these new features, Tabbed File Explorer was a long-awaited feature that users were expecting to get with Windows 11 2022 Update Version 22H2. Now, this feature has finally come with this first feature drop. You can open multiple tabs, scroll the tab list, close tabs, and do more with the new Tabbed File Explorer.
How to use Tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11
In order to use Tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11, first check for updates to get this Cumulative Update (OS Build 22621.675) to enable and get new features, including Tabbed File Explorer. After this, when you will open the File Explorer, it will open with the default Home tab. Now you can add new tabs, switch between the opened tabs, close tabs, and more. Let’s have a look at all the options.
- Add new tabs to File Explorer
- Switch between File Explorer tabs
- Re-arrange opened tabs in File Explorer
- Scroll the tab list in File Explorer
- Copy files and folders between tabs in File Explorer
- Close tabs in File Explorer.
1] Add new tabs to File Explorer
Just like we can open tabs in a web browser, File Explorer also lets you open or add new tabs. So, instead of opening multiple File Explorer windows, you can use tabs to open different folders, drives, etc., to ease your work. For this, you can:
- Click on the Add icon (or plus icon) available just next to a tab in File Explorer
- Use Ctrl+T hotkey
- Right-click on a folder or drive and use the Open in new tab option. A new tab will open immediately with that particular folder or drive. This option won’t be available when you have selected multiple tabs.
Related: Add or Remove Libraries from File Explorer Navigation Pane in Windows 11/10
2] Switch between File Explorer tabs
You can always use your mouse cursor to switch between File Explorer tabs. Along with that, you can:
- Use Ctrl+TabNumber to switch from one tab to another tab. For example, if you want to switch to tab number 5, use the Ctrl+5 keyboard shortcut. Tabs don’t have numbers on them, so you need to check the tab position yourself
- Use the Ctrl+Tab hotkey to switch between tabs in a sequential order
- Press the Ctrl+Shift+Tab hotkey to switch between tabs from right to left (backward).
Along with that, you can also use the left and right arrow keys and then press the Enter key to access a tab.
3] Re-arrange opened tabs in File Explorer
You may need to move or re-arrange opened tabs in File Explorer when you have opened too many tabs in File Explorer. To do this, press and hold a tab using the left mouse button, drag it to the required place, and drop it there to re-arrange or change its position.
Read: How to Share Files and Folders using File Explorer on Windows 11
4] Scroll the tab list in File Explorer
If you can’t see a tab in the tab list when dozens of tabs are opened, then use the Scroll tab list forward icon and Scroll tab list backward icon to scroll tabs. These icons will appear automatically when there are too many tabs in the tab list. You can also use the mouse wheel to scroll tabs and then you can access a tab, re-arrange a tab, etc.
5] Copy files and folders between tabs in File Explorer
This is a handy option using which you can copy multiple files and/or folders from one tab to another tab in File Explorer. For this, first, select a file or folder or multiple files present in the first tab. After that, press and hold the left mouse button to drag the selected files. Move the mouse cursor (don’t release the mouse button yet) to the other tab and that tab will become the active tab, continue moving the mouse cursor to a folder and release the mouse button. This will copy the files from the first tab to the second tab.
6] Close tabs in File Explorer
There are multiple ways to close a single tab or multiple tabs in File Explorer. These are:
- Click on the Close tab button available for a tab to close it
- Press the Ctrl+W hotkey to close the active tab or current tab
- Use the mouse wheel or middle mouse button. You need to double-tab the mouse wheel/button to close a tab
- Right-click on a tab to access and use the available options:
- Close other tabs, except the active tab
- Close tab option. If you will use this option on a background tab, then it will close that particular tab. Otherwise, it will close the current tab
- Close tabs to the right. File Explorer tabs that are present on the right part of the active tab will be closed.
Also read: Best Windows 11 File Explorer Tips and Tricks
Indeed, this Tabbed File Explorer feature is pretty useful. But there are some actions that can’t be performed yet (maybe we can have them in the future).
For example, the tabs feature in File Explorer doesn’t support selecting multiple tabs. We can do that in a browser. All we need to do is press and hold the Ctrl key and then we can select tabs using the left mouse button, but the same is not the case with File Explorer tabs. Also, we can’t move a tab or multiple tabs from one File Explorer window to another using drag-n-drop or another way. However, the feature has come with some really good options and it is surely beneficial to users.
I hope this helps.
Does Windows 11 File Explorer have tabs?
Yes, Windows 11 now support the tabs feature. This feature has come with Cumulative Update (KB5019509), the first feature drop for Windows 11 2022 Update 22H2. Once you get this feature, you can open multiple tabs in a single window of File Explorer, switch between tabs, scroll tab list, and more.
How do I arrange tabs in Windows 11?
If you want to arrange tabs opened in a File Explorer window of Windows 11, then simply drag a tab and drop it in the place of another tab and repeat this process. It doesn’t let you arrange multiple tabs at once. But, you can close multiple tabs, switch from one tab to another, scroll tabs in File Explorer, etc. Read this post that contains detailed information for using tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11.