Windows 11’s File Explorer Is Getting a New Details Pane

Windows 11 logo

Microsoft is updating the File Explorer on Windows 11 piece by piece, starting with the new toolbar in the first release, and more recently with tabbed navigation. There’s now another change on the way.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23451 is now rolling out to Windows Insider testers on the Dev Channel, and it includes a brand-new details pane in the File Explorer. It’s still accessible with the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+P, but now displays information about recent activity, related files and emails, and a Share button. Some of those features might only appear for files in OneDrive or other cloud storage services — the blog post wasn’t clear about that.

Microsoft said in the blog post, “When a user selects a file in File Explorer and enables the pane, a modern pane will display contextual information about the file including file thumbnail, share status and button, file activity, related files and e-mails, and other information. To enable the pane, choose ‘Details pane’ in View menu and then toggle the pane with an easy-access button located on right side of the command bar. The View menu/toggle button in the command bar can similarly be used for accessing the preview pane. This modernized pane will replace the legacy details pane in File Explorer.”

image of details pane

The details pane hasn’t changed much since the days of Windows Vista and Windows 7. Improved integration with cloud services is handy, but it would also be great to see more improvements to the file preview — Quick Look on macOS is still a significant improvement over anything available in File Explorer.

Microsoft is also testing a new gallery view in the File Explorer, which displays images from your PC and cloud storage in a convenient timeline.

Source: Windows Insider Blog


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