Windows 11: Activate hidden explorer tabs – how it works

With the new Windows 11 preview, Explorer finally gets tabs. Here’s how to enable this hidden feature.

Windows Insiders are now allowed to test a new pre-release version of Windows 11 (we reported) in which, in addition to a new video editor, there is also an exciting innovation: the file explorer has tabs. Finally, you no longer have to open many Explorer windows to keep track of multiple folders! This function is not yet officially activated, but it can be activated with a simple trick.

It is noteworthy that Microsoft is now giving Explorer a tabs function after all. Originally, the plans already existed under Windows 10, but only in a preview version of Windows 10. The function was never delivered to all users (we reported). What could change soon with Windows 11, at the latest with the release of Windows 11 version 22H2 (code name: Sun Valley).

How to enable explorer tabs in Windows 11 Build 22572.1

To try out the explorer tabs now, you need to install Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22572.1 (Version 22H2) on a PC or virtual machine. To do this, you must be a participant in the Windows Insider Program.

You will also need the ViveTool software, which can be downloaded here. Unpack the zip file into a folder, for example on the desktop and then start the command line with admin rights. To do this, click on the magnifying glass icon and enter “command prompt”. Then right-click on the found entry and select “Run as administrator” from the context menu.

With the ViveTool you activate the explorer tabs


With the ViveTool you activate the explorer tabs

In the command prompt, now switch to the folder in which ViveTool is located and enter the following command in the command line:

vivetool addconfig 34370472 2

After restarting Windows 11 or restarting the explorer.exe task, the tabs are then available in Explorer.

This is what the tabs in Windows 11's File Explorer look like


This is what the tabs in Windows 11’s File Explorer look like

Tabs in Explorer – this is what they look like and it is possible

In Explorer, the tabs appear at the top. You can simply open a new tab with the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + T” familiar from browsers. Or you can click the “+” symbol in the tab bar. In addition, there is a new entry “Open in new tab” in the context menu of a folder.

It is not possible to drag and drop a file from one Explorer tab to another tab. At least not at the moment.

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