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The new build of Windows Insider finally introduces tabs to the File Explorer

Published 3/9/2018 by Maoholguin

The Windows Insider Build 17618 of RedStone 5 has been recently announced, and is now available for download for the users enrolled in the Windows Insider program with the Skip Ahead option, and with this new Build one of the features most demanded by Windows users for years has finally arrived: Tabs in the Small File Explorer iconFile Explorer.

Although other companies such as Apple have had this feature by default since 2013 with OS X Mavericks, Windows users have had to continue using the independent windows system or settle for some third-party alternatives such as Small Clover iconClover or Small QTTabBar iconQTTabBar for adding this feature in some way to the Small File Explorer iconFile Explorer. However, this could change with the next official version of Windows 10 known as Spring Creators Update, and the arrival of a new feature which Microsoft has called "Sets", introduced back in December 19, 2017.

The truly special thing about Sets is that it not only add tabs to the Small File Explorer iconFile Explorer, but to practically any Windows application, in a very similar way to Small TidyTabs iconTidyTabs. So, not only can we group folders in a single window, but any type of app. For example, we can have a tab with one folder open, another with an open Word file, and another one with a web page open with the Edge browser, all in the same window. This feature was introduced in the Windows Insider Preview build 17063, but so far was limited to work only in some UWP (Small Microsoft Mail and Calendar iconMicrosoft Mail and Calendar, the Small Microsoft OneNote iconMicrosoft OneNote app, MSN News, and the Small Microsoft Edge iconMicrosoft Edge Browser). However, in the new Build 17618, Sets has been improved with support for Win32 programs, such as the Small File Explorer iconFile Explorer, the Small PowerShell iconPowerShell terminal, and the Small Notepad iconNotepad. We can also add an application to the group of tabs by looking for its name in a local search engine like the Small Microsoft Edge iconMicrosoft Edge browser.

Here is the list of the new changes introduced to Sets in this new build:

  • Support for desktop (Win32) apps. Sets now supports File Explorer, Notepad, Command Prompt, and PowerShell. One of the top feature requests by Insiders has been tabs for File Explorer and with Sets you can get a tabbed File Explorer experience! Try it out with these apps and let us know what you think!
  • You can now launch apps from the new tab page by typing the app name into the search box.
  • UWP apps are launched in the same window replacing the new tab page.
  • The tab UI in Sets now shows icons including website favicons and app icons.
  • Resume your project with more control – When restoring your projects you’ll be prompted to restore related apps and webpages. In Timeline you’ll see when a project has multiple activities associated with it.

The full changelog of the new update can be found on the official Windows page, and remember that if you don’t want to wait until the official release to try all the new features and changes that are being implemented, you can always sign up for the Windows Insider program following this tutorial (but be aware that these are not final versions and they may have bugs).

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