Microsoft is reportedly working on a big update to the File Explorer in Windows 11 that will improve its UI and features. Windows Central reports that the overhaul will include modern designs to match the rest of Windows 11 and features to more deeply integrate Microsoft 365 and OneDrive.
Internal mock-ups show a redesigned header in the File Explorer alongside an updated search box and new home button. The home page of File Explorer also includes deeper Microsoft 365 integration, listing large thumbnails of documents that include items related to meetings, downloads, and comments from colleagues.
The UI changes are subtle but more closely match the overall design direction of Windows 11, with rounded buttons and more touch-friendly elements. Microsoft hasn’t radically changed File Explorer since Windows 8, with the most recent tweak coming in October to bring tabs support in the latest big Windows 11 update.
Microsoft is also reportedly working on a new gallery area of the File Explorer, which will include larger previews of photos. Microsoft is also said to be working on a tagging feature for File Explorer, much like you can tag and organize files in the macOS Finder app.
Microsoft hasn’t officially acknowledged these new File Explorer changes, but parts of the code related to these changes were spotted in recent Windows 11 test builds. Microsoft has shifted toward testing more experimental features inside Windows 11 that might not always ship, but these File Explorer changes are rumored to launch by the end of 2023.