Microsoft teases a new look for File Explorer and Settings in Windows 11

Microsoft teases a new look for File Explorer and Settings in Windows 11

Microsoft held its big Windows 11 event today, and while it announced an array of changes coming to the new OS, it didn’t mention the new File Explorer. However, in a video published later, the company teased a new design for the File Explorer app in Windows 11. While talking about the design philosophy for the new operating system, the company showed a brief look at the new UI.

The new design features a simplified menu and new icons for some of the buttons. Specifically, the ribbon at the top of the app, introduced in Windows 8, is replaced by a single row of actions, all of which have new icons. However, there’s an ellipsis icon at the end of the row that likely houses more options. Perhaps most notably, the interface is cleaner and uses acrylic transparency in certain areas to fit with the rest of the Windows UI.


Windows 11 File Explorer

This isn’t new for Microsoft, though. We’ve seen UI teases like this in the past, and they haven’t really come to fruition. The File Explorer app has mostly looked the same since Windows 7, aside from the ribbon added in Windows 8. It’s important to note that this isn’t a video focused on the File Explorer and there’s no sort of official announcement on that front. Hopefully, this video is an indication that a change is actually on the way this time.

That’s not all Microsoft has teased, though. You may have missed it during the initial introduction video, but there seems to be a whole new look for the Settings app. This looks radically different from what we have today, with the main sections of the app being on a menu on the left. You also see colorful icons used next to each option and a transparency effect throughout most of the app window. This app was specifically highlighted during the video, so that’s a good sign that we might see this change soon.

Windows 11 Settings

Microsoft says the first Windows 11 build will be available to Insiders early next week. Some of these changes might start showing up by then, with more popping up before the official launch this holiday season.

You can watch the full video from the Windows Insider Program YouTube channel below (via Windows Central.)

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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