Microsoft unveils new features for Windows 11 including Tabs in File Explorer, Folders in Start Menu, Do Not Disturb and more

Microsoft announced some important features during its Windows 11 event. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect in the near future.

Microsoft unveils Tabs in File Explorer

Tabs in File Explorer are official

Tabs in File Explorer, which we reported about a month ago, have been confirmed by Microsoft. The Redmond company began toying with the idea for Windows 10, but later scrapped Sets. It is good to see the feature finally become a reality.

How to enable tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11

Users will be able to use Tabs in the built-in file manager to access multiple directories, from a single instance of the program. It works similar to tabs in a web browser. File Explorer is gaining other improvements, such as contextual suggestions powered by Context IQ, for finding files faster.

windows 11 file explorer optimized home page with tabs

File Explorer will display an optimized homepage with your favorite folders, files, and recently accessed content.

Start Menu Folders

windows 11 start menu folders

The Windows 11 Start Menu will allow users to create Folders for storing shortcuts to their favorite apps, to keep things clean. You can rename the folders for organizing them per your requirements.

start menu folder renamed

Touch Snap Layouts

Windows 11 has many Snap Layouts which assist users in multitasking, this feature has been extended for touch screen devices. Microsoft terms this improvement as Touch Snap Layouts.

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

Windows 11 will integrate Microsoft Defender SmartScreen as an additional layer of security, to protect users from potentially malicious apps, phishing attacks, etc. The recent Insider Preview Build, version 22581, has an issue related to SmartScreen, it slows down the process of loading video files.

Smart App Control

Microsoft is bringing Smart App Control to Windows 11. It is a more advanced version of Defender, which runs in evaluation mode, to learn how to protect your computer without interfering with your usage. It will automatically block harmful apps, untrusted programs, and potentially unwanted apps that are flagged by Microsoft. The catch? Smart App Control is only available for new Windows installs, or if you reset the operating system.

Windows 11 Smart App Control SAC

Focus Timer and Do Not Disturb

Users who wish to work without distractions can toggle Focus mode from the Notification Center. It will display a timer, and toggle Do Not Disturb to silence notifications, badges and flashing icons on the taskbar, to allow you to concentrate on the task at hand.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557 - Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb can be enabled separately too, and integrated with the Clock app for alarms. These features were first seen in Insider Preview Build 22557.

Live Captions

Windows 11 gains a new accessibility feature called Live Captions, to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The option, when enabled, will display captions, aka subtitles, across all apps including audio from streaming websites, videos, audio from web (calls, video calls,) etc.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557 - Live Captions

Microsoft has not confirmed when it will bring these features to Windows 11, we think they could roll out this summer with the Sun Valley 2 Update.

AI Powered meeting experiences for video calls

Windows 11 will offer new meeting experiences for video calls, to support voice clarity by suppressing background chatter, and voice focus to highlight the speaker. Users can toggle background blur to reduce distractions in the background.

windows 11 ai powered meeting experiences

The Eye contact feature will deliver a natural eye contact experience, to make it look like you are facing the camera during calls, in scenes where your computer’s camera is on the side or on the table at an odd angle.

Here is a video that highlights the upcoming features in Windows 11. You can refer to the official announcement for more details. Microsoft has also announced some improvements for Windows 365, you can read about it in our previous article.

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