How to Enable Tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

The long-awaited and most requested feature is here. Here is how to turn on or enable tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11.

If there is one feature many Windows users are asking, begging, and cursing Microsoft to add is Tabs in the File Explorer. As you can guess, Tabs in an application is a very basic yet useful feature. For instance, most modern software like your browser comes with tabs.

If you are wondering, tabs in an application allow you to open multiple instances in the same window. For example, you can open all your favorite folders in tabs in a single window. It enables you to do so much from a single window, get a glance of all opened folders and make navigating between them a breeze.

After a long time, Microsoft finally relented and added tabs to Windows 11 File Explorer. In fact, there have been rumors of “Tabs in File Explorer” for a long time now. Though Microsoft didn’t make a public announcement yet, the tabs feature is available in File Explorer in Windows 11’s latest insider build 22572.

So, without further ado, this Windows 11 how-to guide will take you through the steps to turn on or enable tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer.

Important points before proceeding

  • As of writing this, this is an Insiders only feature. You should be running Windows 11 Insider build 22572 or higher.
  • Since Microsoft didn’t announce the feature publicly yet, there is no guarantee that it will be available in future builds.
  • There is no ETA on when the “tabs in File Explorer” feature is available to all users in general.
  • This is an experimental feature. That means you will see a lot of bugs, inconsistencies, and outright crashes. So, I recommend you don’t enable this feature in production machines.
  • You have to use a free and open-source tool to enable tabs in File Explorer in Windows 11.

Enable tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer

We use the ViveTool to enable tabs in File Explorer. It is free and open-source software available on GitHub. Here is how to use the tool and get the job done.

  1. Get the ViveTool software.
  2. Extract the downloaded zip in the same folder.
  3. Copy the extracted folder path.
  4. Right-click on the Start menu.
  5. Choose “Windows Terminal (Admin).”
  6. Click the dropdown menu on the top bar and choose “Command Prompt.”
  7. Type “cd <copied folder path>” and press Enter.
  8. Paste “vivetool addconfig 34370472 2” in the cmd window.
  9. Press Enter to execute the command.
  10. Close the terminal window.
  11. Restart the computer.
  12. With that, tabs are now enabled in File Explorer.

Same steps with extra detail and screenshots:

To begin with, head over to the GitHub page and download the ViveTool. After downloading, right-click on the zip file and choose the “Extract all” option.

select extract all

In the next window, click the “Extract” window. This action will extract the zip file contents to a folder with the same name.

extract vivetool zip file

After that, open the newly extracted folder, click on the “address bar,” and press Ctrl + C to copy the full folder path. We need this path to execute the relevant command.

copy vivetool folder path

Now, right-click on the Start button icon on the taskbar and choose the “Windows Terminal (Admin)” option.

open Windows terminal as admin

It will open the Terminal with admin rights. Click on the dropdown on the top bar and choose the “Command Prompt” option in the terminal.

Next, use the below command to go to the ViveTool folder in Command Prompt. Don’t forget to replace the “folder path” with the actual path you copied earlier.

cd <folder path>

Once you are in the ViveTool folder, execute the below command. After successful execution, you will see the “Successfully set feature configuration” message.

vivetool addconfig 34370472 2

enable tabs in File Explorer via vivetool

After that, close the terminal window and reboot the computer.

Once the system is rebooted, open the File Explorer, and you should see tabs at the top. You can start using them right away.

To remove tabs in File Explorer, execute the below command.

vivetool delconfig 34370472 2

That is all. It is that simple to enable tabs in Windows 11 File Explorer.

I hope this easy and straightforward Windows 11 how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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