This Is the New File Explorer in Windows 10X

Because of the way it’s built, Windows 10X will ship not with one, but with two different file managers, an approach that some users might find rather confusing at first.

Technically, Windows 10x will be able to run two different types of apps, as it follows:

  • UWP apps (modern apps from the Microsoft Store) “natively”
  • Win32 programs (traditional Windows software) in containers

Because of these two different types of apps, Microsoft decided to offer two separate versions of File Explorers whenever file management is needed, so depending on what app you work with, you could end up using a different file manager, as it follows:

  • New touch-optimized File Explorer for UWP apps
  • Classic File Explorer for Win32 programs

Of course, everyone is already familiar with the existing File Explorer given it’s been around for so long, so the new thing in Windows 10X is the modern version of the file manager.

Built from the very beginning to be optimized for touch input, this new File Explorer looks and feels just like a modern app. Those who’ve been keeping an eye on Microsoft’s work lately might have seen the new File Explorer in action already, as early versions of the app have previously been bundled with preview builds of Windows 10 shipped to insiders.

The experience with this file manager is rather basic, and you don’t get anything else than the basic options to work with your files. The interface is as simple as it could be, but the good thing is that it adapts to the theme that is used on Windows 10X – if the light mode is enabled, then File Explorer uses the light mode too, and the same thing for dark.

File Explorer in Windows 10X

The large file icons and fonts used in File Explorer show this app has been designed with one clear goal in mind: to be used on devices where touch input exists, so users should be able to work with their files with minimum effort.

Right-clicking (or a long press on) a file provides you with a simple context menu that includes basic options like delete, cut, copy, share, rename, and properties. You can also move files around with drag and drop.

To be honest, this new File Explorer version seems like a work-in-progress, and there is a good chance this is exactly what it is. Given Windows 10X itself is yet to be finalized, this File Explorer is probably projected to receive a bunch of improvements before launch too. In the existing version of Windows 10X, the app feels a bit slow, but this isn’t necessarily something surprising since it’s not a final version anyway.

File Explorer is currently one of the most-used apps in Windows, despite Microsoft ignoring several top requests. For example, users have been dreaming about tabs in File Explorer for a long time, with Microsoft at one point promising to make this happen with Sets – a feature bringing tabs across the entire OS but which in the meantime has already been abandoned.

Since then, File Explorer has received only subtle tweaks, including a dark mode to align with the updated look of Windows 10, also featuring a dark mode, as well as smaller refinements here there. The core app, however, has remained pretty much unchanged throughout the years, and the upcoming Windows 10 version 2004 won’t bring any substantial updates either. This new version of Windows 10 has already been finalized, and it is projected to go live for production devices in April or May, according to Microsoft’s typical release calendar.

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