How to Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer – Guide 2023

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If you want to improve file management on your Windows 11 PC, you can use tabs in File Explorer. This feature, introduced by Microsoft, allows you to navigate multiple folders and drive locations using just one instance of File Explorer. It’s similar to the tab feature in web browsers, where you can have multiple open websites in a single window.

If you’re running Windows 11 version 22H2 or above, you can enable tabs in File Explorer by following the steps outlined below. This feature will help you reduce the number of File Explorer windows you need to manage.

How to Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

The File Explorer tabs feature is automatically available in Windows 11 version 22H2. However, if you don’t see them, you’ll need to ensure you’re running version 22H2 (and updating your PC if you’re not). You can check this by using the Run dialog box.

To check your version of Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. Type winver and hit Enter or click OK.Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer
  3. The About Windows screen will come up. From there, you can see the Windows version that’s currently installed. So, in our case, it’s version 22H2, which you need.Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

If you’re not running version 22H2, you need to check Windows Update and install the most recent updates. Remember that your PC will need to restart to complete the update process.

Using File Explorer Tabs in Windows 11

Once you have version 22H2 or higher, you can use tabs in File Explorer on Windows 11. Using the feature is straightforward and saves time, so you can get things done.

To use tabs in File Explorer on Windows 11:

  1. Launch File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on your taskbar.
  2. Click the Add new tab or “+” button to open a new tab. Alternately, if you like keyboard shortcuts, hit Ctrl + T on your keyboard.
  3. You can navigate to another folder or drive when the new tab opens. Keep opening tabs and navigate to the locations you want to access.
  4. Closing a tab is like closing them on a web browser. To do so, find the tab you want to close and click the X icon to close it out, or press Ctrl + W.
  5. You can also right-click a tab and select Close tab. In addition, when you right-click a tab, you can choose Close other tabs to close them all except for the one you right-clicked on. Or select Close tabs to the right to close those tabs on the right and leave the other ones open.

How to Open Folders in a New Tab in File Explorer on Windows 11

Another helpful feature is opening a folder in a new tab. That allows you to open the folder’s content in a new tab instead of a separate explorer instance.

To open a folder in a new tab in Windows 11 File Explorer:

  1. Right-click a folder and select Open in a new tab from the context menu.Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer
  2. The folder will open, showing its contents in a new tab for you to access quickly.
  3. It’s also worth noting that you can open folders in a new tab from the quick access panel on the left.Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

Navigating Tabs in File Explorer

If you have a bunch of open tabs in File Explorer, navigating them is straightforward, like managing tabs in your browser.

To navigate tabs in File Explorer:

  1. Click a tab and drag it to the position you want it in.
  2. Drop the tab in the new position. It’s also possible to hit Ctrl + Tab and cycle through the open tabs.Use Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer
  3. If you have several tabs open, use the Left and Right buttons to scroll forward or backward through the tabs to find the one you need.

Easier File Management with Tabs

Microsoft’s addition of a tabs feature to File Explorer on Windows 11 allows for a much-needed improvement in file management. The experience is similar to using tabs in a browser, making it easy to navigate multiple folders and drive locations in one instance of File Explorer. Dragging and dropping files between tabs is simple, and right-clicking and dragging provides options to copy or move files. However, it’s worth noting that you can’t drag tabs out of File Explorer to create a new instance, and there is no limit to the number of tabs you can have open. Cycling through tabs is simple using the Ctrl + Tab shortcut. Additionally, File Explorer offers other helpful features, such as opening to OneDrive and running as administrator for elevated access. However, if you encounter any problems with File Explorer, such as it not working, there are ways to fix it, as explained in Microsoft’s article. If you’re not yet on Windows 11, there are still ways to improve file management on Windows 10, such as using the Files App available in the Microsoft Store.

Mohamed SAKHRI

my name is Mohamed SAKHRI, and I am the creator and editor-in-chief of Easy Tech Tutorials. As a passionate technology enthusiast, I have been blogging for some time now, providing practical and helpful guides for various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS, as well as Android tips and tricks. Additionally, I also write about WordPress. I am currently 35 years old.

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