It has been almost a year and a half since Microsoft released Windows 11 and almost six months since the first major feature update – version 22H2. We expect a new major update any time. Thanks to Build 25276 and code digging, we learned a lot about Windows 11’s upcoming major feature.
Microsoft is working on a new WinUI-based “home page” or “details pane” for Explorer. This new pane uses the familiar modern controls that might remind you of the new XAML interfaces in Windows 11. The home page offers many new features, but works best when the PC is connected to a Microsoft account.
The home page of the new file explorer has “Insights”, Activities, Properties, Related Files, and Conversation. This feature is used for documents and presentations shared between teams in an organization associated with a Microsoft account. For example, if there is an update to the document or a comment, you can view it in File Explorer.
Let’s take a closer look at the new File Explorer without further ado!
This is the home page of the new file explorer
This article shares the findings of a real-world example of an unpolished placeholder-based Explorer, and the actual design of the Explorer would be better than the screenshots in the report.
As you can see in the screenshot above, a new panel is located on the right side of the file explorer.
Keep in mind we don’t know if this is a panel or a menu that pops up when you right-click anywhere in the app. Or it can also appear right away when you open File Explorer and select a file or folder.
At the moment it is not working and there are some placeholders. This feature is internally called “XAMLFolderViewSupport” and is currently unstable, which means File Explorer could crash.
File Explorer is being prepared for a major redesign
File Explorer hasn’t seen any substantial interface changes since the release of Windows 11 as a standalone app, minus the addition of the tabs feature with version 22H2. However, more significant changes are headed our way, according to sources familiar with the development.
Proxa News understands that Microsoft plans to introduce a “new File Explorer” experience with deeper integration of “OneDrive and Microsoft services,” according to a source familiar with the company’s plan.
The new UI is being prepared internally and will be rolling out to users in the Dev Channel in the coming weeks, so there’s not much you can do to get access to the new UI right away.