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How to use tabbed browsing in Windows Explorer

Tabs have shaken up Web browsing in a good way, but they haven't quite migrated into file management yet, though it seems like a no-brainer.

  1. Download and install QTTabBar here. 
  2. You should now see a new toolbar in Windows Explorer. Right-click an empty space on the bar to bring up QTTabBar's extensive Options menu. There's a lot of customization possible, but for most users, the defaults are fine. 
    Step 2: QTTabBar Options.
    Step 2: QTTabBar Options.
  3. There are two ways to open a new tab. The simplest is to hit Ctrl-N; this clones the current tab, but you can easily browse to whichever new folder you like. The second is to click the scroll wheel on your mouse when highlighting a folder; this opens that folder in a new tab. 
    Step 3: QTTabBar with multiple tabs open.
    Step 3: QTTabBar with multiple tabs open.
  4. Things get more familiar from here. Ctrl-Tab lets you navigate between tabs, and you can see folder contents easily by clicking a tab's icon. 

There's quite a bit more you can do with QTTabBar, including dragging and dropping, improving readability, and more. It extends the functionality of Windows Explorer quite dramatically, I think, though I occasionally see somewhat slower response time. It's a trade-off I'm  willing to make.

Thanks to MakeUseOf for the link!