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Microsoft backtracks File Explorer options removal after poor Windows 11 community feedback

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The Windows Insider channels are where Microsoft experiments with new features and changes before they are made generally available to the public. However, while at most times, the company tests new additions, sometimes Microsoft also does away with some old features as they may be running on legacy code in an effort to modernize the OS.

Recently, Microsoft announced it was removing several File Explorer folder options on the Windows 11 Dev channel as it outlined nine such folder options. In its Build 23481 blog post, the tech giant stated:

We are removing a handful of old settings under Folder Options in File Explorer as part of an effort to clean up the number of settings for File Explorer. Many of these are legacy settings that have been around for ages and are not being regularly used by people on Windows 11.

The following settings will no longer appear under Folder Options in File Explorer:

  • Hide Folder Merge conflict.
  • Always show icons, never thumbnails.
  • Display file icon on thumbnails.
  • Display file type information on Folder tips.
  • Hide protected OS files.
  • Show drive letters.
  • Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items.
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color.
  • Use sharing wizard.

However, this appeared to have not gone down too well with the community as with the latest Dev build, the company notes that it is rolling back the changes due to the feedback it has received. In the Build 23486 blog post that was released earlier today, Microsoft said:

Thank you to all the Windows Insiders who gave us feedback on the Folder Options changes in File Explorer that removed a handful of old settings in Build 23481. We’ve rolled back this change. As is normal for the Dev Channel, we will often try things out and get feedback and adjust based on the feedback we receive.

For those who do not wish to update to the latest Dev build yet but want to have those Folder options, you can check out this article here.

And in case you missed it, Windows 11 Beta channel users also received a new build today. The new build brings new Network settings options and also fixes a compatibility issue related to the registry.

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