Guide: How to enable tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11 Dev Channel

Yesterday, we found out that the tabbed interface in File Explorer could be making a return in Windows 11. Microsoft initially previewed this with Windows 10 under the name "Sets" back in 2017 but then unceremoniously shelved it without any public reasoning.

The good news is that tabbed File Explorer could be coming back from the dead, and you can actually test it out on your latest Windows 11 Dev Channel build by following our brief guide based on some help from FireCubeStudios.

Before you begin, note that this involves making some configuration changes to Windows 11 through a third-party tool so proceed at your own risk. Considering that this requires a Dev Channel build anyway, we are assuming that you are not trying this out on your primary machine.

With that said, let's begin!

  1. Ensure that you are on Windows 11 Dev Channel build 22572. You can check this by opening the Run window (Win + R) and then type in winver. You should see "Version 22H2 (OS Build 22572.1)" written. If this is not the case, go to Windows Update and see if you have an update pending on the Dev Channel. A screenshot of the expected result can be seen below:
    A screenshot of Winver in Windows 11
  2. Download ViVeTool from GitHub here.
  3. Open Command Prompt as admin.
  4. Navigate to the directory where you installed ViVeTool and then run the ViVeTool command: vivetool addconfig 34370472 2
  5. You should see a success message as can be seen in the screenshot below:

    A screenshot of ViVeTool running in Windows 11 Command Prompt
  6. Restart your PC.

File Explorer in Windows 11 Dev Channel build 22572

Voila, you should now have a tabbed interface in File Explorer! A screenshot from my machine can be seen above. It is important to note that this is clearly a work in progress and Microsoft does not plan to make tabbed File Explorer available, even to Insiders, in its current state. Expect bugs and instability in your usage. It's not yet known when the company will roll out the feature publicly, let's just hope it doesn't get canceled ahead of release again.

Note: You can revert to the "default" File Explorer interface by using the following command: vivetool delconfig 34370472 2

Update: Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25136 released on June 9, 2022 has a different method to enable tabbed File Explorer. If you're on that version, check out our guide here.

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