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Microsoft teases all-new modern File Explorer for Windows 11

We issued a report in April of 2023 titled “The most significant change since Windows 8 is the new File Explorer in Windows 11.” according to numerous confidential sources and reports. Microsoft has today officially teased the next-generation File Explorer that will be included in Windows 11 and later.

The tech giant is not, as was predicted, developing a novel file manager for the UWP. Instead, it’s modernizing the old File Explorer with WinUI and other improvements. There’s more to the “all-new” File Explorer update than meets the eye. The new Details Pane, Microsoft 365 support, and Gallery View are just a few of the useful features added.

Both of these images show that Microsoft is updating File Explorer from the ground up. Everything from the file browser to the menu bar to the search field and beyond is getting a facelift. Leaks and a new teaser from Microsoft’s 2023 developer conference confirm this, where Windows Copilot was officially unveiled.

Windows 11 new File Explorer teased
Updates to Windows Explorer and the Virtual Assistant

Microsoft has also simplified the interface by placing the action buttons under the address bar. Better previews and enhanced speed are on the way to the search bar.

New File Explorer design

Remember how Windows 10’s update to File Explorer slowed the search bar? Microsoft is addressing this issue at long last in Windows 11.

Gallery View, Details Pane and Microsoft 365 in the new File Explorer

Gallery View, included in the newest version of File Explorer, will change the way images are displayed in the program. Gallery View displays images from the image and other folders in an appealing manner, much like Microsoft Photos or OneDrive.

Pictures can be viewed in a chronological gallery, or you can use the search bar to locate a specific image using a keyword.

It’s important to note that XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) is the foundation for this brand-new adventure. Since XAML will be used for other features as well, the new File Explorer will incorporate all WinUI components. However, some worry that the changes will affect performance negatively.

As expected, the new File Explorer is visually indistinguishable from the previous version.

File Explorer Details pane
An early build of File Explorer’s revamped Details pane (the rest of the interface has not yet been updated).

File Explorer’s details pane (ALT Shift P) has also been updated.

You may already be aware that the details pane provides additional information about the currently selected file or folder, but that it is disabled by default. Microsoft is revamping the details pane as part of the update to emphasize more data and make it more visually appealing by emphasizing thumbnails of files, Microsoft 365 collaboration, share status, and more.

You can also expect recommendations for Microsoft 365 content to appear on the new home page of the file manager, as the platform will be fully integrated with the file manager.

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