Microsoft Windows 11 File Explorer

Microsoft today released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23475 to the Dev Channel. This new build comes with several new features including modernized File Explorer Home and Address Bar, Dynamic Lighting, and support for Emoji 15. Find the details below.

Modernized File Explorer Home and Address Bar:

Microsoft recently introduced File Explorer built using Windows App SDK. Today, Microsoft announced modernized File Explorer Home powered by WinUI. The new Recommended files section will be available for users signed into Windows with an Azure Active Directory account. The files will be displayed as a carousel and support file thumbnails are coming soon. Quick Access folders (available by default for users signed into Windows with a Microsoft account), Favorites, and Recent also bring in an updated experience with WinUI.

Microsoft also announced a modernized address bar and search box in File Explorer. The new address bar intelligently recognizes local vs. cloud folders with built-in status. For OneDrive users, the address bar now contains your OneDrive sync status and quota flyout.

Dynamic Lighting:

Dynamic Lighting brings native control of Lighting Devices implementing the open HID LampArray standard. With this feature, Microsoft is trying to improve the RGB device and software ecosystem. There are APIs for Windows apps to control devices from the background and foreground, as well as a page in Windows Settings for users to customize how their devices behave. Acer, ASUS, HP, HyperX, Logitech, Razer, and Twinkly have partnered with Microsoft on Dynamic Lighting. You can access the new Dynamic Lighting page in Settings > Personalization > Dynamic Lighting.

Emoji 15 support:

The Unicode Emoji 15 is now available for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  • [NEW] File Type icons are displayed in place of file thumbnails for Recommended section (applicable to Enterprise users).
  • [NEW] Insiders signed in with an AAD account and try to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home with the tab key on the keyboard may experience an explorer.exe crash.
  • [NEW] When navigating from another group to the Recommended section using a keyboard, focus does not appear on the group header or files appropriately.
  • [NEW] Files display file extensions with the Show file extensions setting disabled.
  • [NEW] Sync status icons for files backing up to a storage provider are not reliably displayed.
  • [NEW] In case of an authentication error on File Explorer Home, the ‘Please Sign-in’ button appears but clicking on it does not pop-up the authentication dialog.

Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer address bar that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  • [NEW] Windows Insiders may notice missing craftmanship polish with the modernized address bar and search box. The team greatly appreciates the use of Feedback Hub to help call out important details to address.
  • [NEW] Users might experience lost keyboard focus and missing keyboard shortcuts. The team implemented improved tabbing with keyboard shortcuts that will be available soon.

Insiders will have issues with the following commands on recommended files in File Explorer that began rolling out with Build 23403:

  • Clicking on the Share command will currently bring up the Windows share sheet (non-OneDrive).