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Windows File Explorer gets a multi-tab look like Apple's Finder

File Explorer's tabs could make dragging and dropping easier. It's part of Microsoft's more ambitious Sets interface due this fall.

Windows 10 will bring a tabbed interface to File Explorer this fall.

Windows 10 will bring a tabbed interface to File Explorer this fall.

Microsoft

Microsoft's Windows arguably stepped ahead of Apple's MacOS with the ability to "snap" windows to the sides of your PC's screen. Now Windows' File Explorer is taking a page from Apple's playbook with the addition of a tabbed interface for the file manager tool.

File Explorer lets you copy, paste, rename, and move files. When it's time to copy files, dragging and dropping them from one Explorer window to another is a common approach. But a tabbed interface can neatly accommodate several file system locations in one window, potentially simplifying drag-and-drop operations. That's what you've been able to do since 2016 when Apple added tabs to its Finder file manager for MacOS.

The tab bug has bitten Microsoft with its "Redstone 5" version of Windows this fall. A new test build released Thursday makes the tabbed File Explorer a part of the Windows' "Sets" redesign that should let you group related tasks from different programs into multi-tab bundles.

"Sets now supports File Explorer, Notepad, Command Prompt and PowerShell," Windows team members Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post. "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."

It isn't in a mainstream version of Windows yet. But you can see it in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17618, part of the "Skip Ahead" program to try Windows versions that are due in the future.