back to article File Explorer gets facelift in latest Windows 11 build

Microsoft is redesigning File Explorer with the help of relatively new developer tools that are being applied to the decades-old Windows operating system. In the latest Windows 11 build released this week to the Dev Channel, Redmond is including an updated File Explorer Home, address bar and search box, and a new feature first …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe get the current one working first ?

    Thank god for WSL2 which lets me use find and grep to avoid the godawful Window File Mangler.

    1. gv

      Re: Maybe get the current one working first ?

      Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

      Henry Spencer, in Introducing Regular Expressions (2012) by Michael Fitzgerald

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Maybe get the current one working first ?

      Indeed. I rarely use Exploder, but for some things that insist on using the abomination that is spacey paths, and broken applications like Teams that won't let you tell them where to put downloaded files, it's occasionally quicker than command-line completion. But the last thing it needs is stupid new misfeatures and even more bugs. It crashes often enough as it is.

  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    The Recommended File feature

    NO!!!! Just NO!!!!!

    I get that shit already whenever I open an email attachment on Outlook for Android (No choice, a work phone and account). EVERY time I close the attachment, no it DOES NOT go back to Outlook. The trip back to Outlook, which should be a single click of the back button, is hijacked by MS to show that stupid "recommend" or "you recently opened..." page. I have NEVER found an actual use for that page. Al it does it make have to click the back button an extra time just to get back to where I started. It's fucking annoying and seemingly has no way to turn it off. The last thing I need are "adverts" for other files I don't need right now appearing in file explorer.

    1. Little Mouse

      Re: The Recommended File feature

      And it begs the question "Why?"

      If you're cooking a meal and your kitchen kept on stopping you mid-cook with helpful suggestions: "You haven't used the toaster since this morning","Why not check out the spoons. They're in the spoon drawer", "Your dishwasher has been improved. Care to try it out now?", I think it would be universally recognised as a Bad Thing (even by kitchen designers) which in no way improves either the "cooking experience" or the quality of the finished food.

      It's just blatant, self-serving, attention seeking by a company that feels the need to keep telling us about the "quality" of its product, rather than just letting that quality speak for itself.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        "Why not check out the spoons. They're in the spoon drawer"

        I don't know why I find this line so laugh out loud funny, but rest assured that if I'd been drinking anything at the time I read it, it'd be new keyboard time...

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: The Recommended File feature

          Yeah, Little Mouse really nailed it with that one. I swear this is the motto of some group at Microsoft.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Would anyone like any toast?

        > your kitchen kept on stopping you mid-cook with helpful suggestions: "You haven't used the toaster since this morning"

        I'm sure that the toaster would remind you itself if someone thought to put some AI in it. What could possibly go wrong?

        1. Fred Daggy Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Would anyone like any toast?

          I bet if your toaster could advertise an air-fryer that you don't have, it would. Or a newer model of itself.

          (Oh shit, i have just given them ideas). Personally, I'm a waffle man.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Would anyone like any toast?

            We're deep into the Rise of the Machines, man. This is no time for waffling.

        2. Zack Mollusc

          Re: Would anyone like any toast?

          The modern twist would be the toaster's ability to send sms,email and TwatsApp messages as well as open a Zoom call to you.

        3. Spamfast
          Happy

          Re: Would anyone like any toast?

          I'm sure that the toaster would remind you itself if someone thought to put some AI in it. What could possibly go wrong?

          "Talky's the name, and toasting's the game! Anybody want some toast?"

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: Would anyone like any toast?

            We don't want muffins, no toast, buns, baps, bagets or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no teacakes, no potato cakes and no hot cross buns! And definitely no smegging flapjacks!

            Ah, so you're a waffle man!

      3. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        "rather than just letting that quality speak for itself

        You've hit the nail squarely on the head -- the quality does speak for itself increasingly in the negative. Too damned much "design" and not enough thought for letting the user just get on with using the tools to do work with. It reminds me of kids prancing around shouting "look at me mum!".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Recommended File feature

          The more a company talks about the great quality of their product, the more likely it's poor quality. Same with integrity, pay rates, and a lot of other things. So more a general statement - the more a company talks about something, the less likely it is to be true.

          (Ex. My former employer used to do "salary reviews", where they assured us our salaries were in line with the rest of the industry. (They weren't.) My new employer only mentioned my salary review to me when they gave me an extra raise to bring my salary more in line with the rest of the industry.)

      4. MJI Silver badge

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        Our toaster is nice and quiet.

        Keep AI off toasters.

      5. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        It's just blatant, self-serving, attention seeking by a company that feels the need to keep telling us about the "quality" of its product, rather than just letting that quality speak for itself.

        These are the Sounds of Silence...

      6. hammarbtyp

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        Its a feature request from Anoia, Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers,

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: The Recommended File feature

      "You opened a PDF file yesterday, maybe you'd like to take a look at this one"?

    3. Dave K

      Re: The Recommended File feature

      Typical Microsoft these days unfortunately. Ignore the piles of feedback on areas of the OS that most need improvement and instead waste it on idiotic and annoying gimmicks that nobody is asking for.

      I mean seriously, how many people are leaving feedback of "I really wish file explorer would recommend random cloud files for me to open"? Saying that, how many people honestly open File Explorer and think "I don't know what to open, I wish my OS would recommend some files for me to click on"...

      1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        Your mistake lies in assuming that this is for your benefit and that MS care about what *you* want. They don't.

        This is purely for MS's benefit because- as with many apparently illogical UI decisions- they want to railroad you into doing something or using a particular service that benefits *them*.

        Unless you're a huge, influential corporate customer, MS really doesn't give a toss what you want.

        1. itzumee

          Re: The Recommended File feature

          >>>

          Your mistake lies in assuming that this is for your benefit and that MS care about what *you* want. They don't.

          This is purely for MS's benefit because- as with many apparently illogical UI decisions- they want to railroad you into doing something or using a particular service that benefits *them*.

          Unless you're a huge, influential corporate customer, MS really doesn't give a toss what you want.

          <<<

          Apple do much the same

        2. Dave K

          Re: The Recommended File feature

          I don't assume changes like these are for my benefit. Microsoft have made that blatantly obvious with their choices over the past 11 years.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: The Recommended File feature

            The last time Microsoft made changes for the users' benefit was WinXP.

            From then it slowly but steadily went downhill.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: The Recommended File feature

        In other words...

        Still putting lipstick on a pig.

        Nowt has changed in the fantasy world that MS seems to live in.

  3. sictransit
    Happy

    It looks like you're finding a file. Can I help?

    Share and Enjoy™

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: It looks like you're finding a file. Can I help?

      To which the only possible response is,

      “Go Stick Your Head In A Pig”

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Pint

        @David 132-- Re: It looks like you're finding a file. Can I help?

        Thanks, I needed a good laugh today! - - - - ->

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: @David 132-- It looks like you're finding a file. Can I help?

          "If you have enjoyed this experience with your (Pron) files, why not share them with your friends".

          "Because I want to keep them!"

  4. sarusa Silver badge
    Facepalm

    xyplorer

    Remember, you can avoid all* this terrible shit by using a much better third party file explorer. I like XYplorer, but there are plenty of them.

    * can't avoid it for save/load dialogues

    1. itzumee

      Re: xyplorer

      I've used a free version of XYPlorer that came with PC Pro mag, it's good but then I came across Directory Opus and on sale with a 40% discount, so I've no need for XYPlorer now.

      1. Paul Westerman

        Re: xyplorer

        Yep long term DOpus user here. Even managed to get it whitelisted at work so I can use it there. Wouldn't be without it!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: xyplorer

          I didn't even know it was available for the PC. I use it on Amiga and WinUAE. But only up to version 4. Version 5 lost the plot with floating windows and docks and stuff :-)

          On the other hand, both of the Windows laptop I'm forced to use for work are locked down via InTune and the odds of convincing "security" that some program they've never heard of should be whitelisted are about the same as Bill Gates phoning me up to ask if I could assist him in spending some of his $billions.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: xyplorer

      Used to be a Directory Opus fan, then FreeCommander, nowadays I'm a Double Commander enthusiast - the fact that it works the same on Mac*, Windows and Linux is an absolute blessing, too

      * or hopefully it will when Lazarus gets its act back together on the Mac, anyway

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    FAIL

    * If ain't broke, piss about with it until you break it.

    * If it's broken do nothing about it unless you can make it worse.

    Seems to be Microsoft's philosophy these days. It's a lot like they just don't have a clue what they are trying to achieve.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Yep Paint is a train wreck in Windows 11 thanks to the fecking about with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I mean, that implies there was anything worth ruining. Hasn't Paint *always* been crude, simplistic and a borderline joke?

        Does anyone use it for anything more than the most trivial things anyway?

        I remember using it in the early 90s when it was called Paintbrush (and I still keep calling it that) and even then it was "child's drawing tool" crude compared to the few-years-old Deluxe Paint III on the Amiga.

        1. Fred Daggy Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Paint was perfectly fine for a very quick and dirty tool for dumping screen dumps, cropping, perhaps highlighting the problem and saving. And universally installed on Windows systems. This was and is its use-case and it has, until now, succeeded.

          There is no change that it could implement that would be an improvement.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Yes, the paste-crop-save cycle was definitely the primary MS Paint use case. It was quick, easy, and convenient since it was available on all Windows systems. Things like GIMP are fine for real work, but why install additional software when you don't need it?

            Paint is also fun for the occasional deliberately crude drawing, in the style of Allie Brosh, or image mashup when you want it to look half-assed.

          2. Korev Silver badge
            Pirate

            In case you haven't already Jim'll Paint It can do with MS Paint

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      And if none of the above..

      .. and it is a Quiet News Week or the Holiday Season sucker your developers into telling you what is wrong with Feature X and how to improve it.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Flame

      Just look at the absolute state of it. The world's productivity level just sank a little bit lower.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        They've certainly wasted a lot of screen real estate on pointless crap.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Devil

          Isn't that what Microsoft is all about?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        OMG, it's worse than I thought! I was expecting something like a toolbar along the top. Not the whole fucking workspace to be smothered. If I open a file manager, odds are I want to, you know, "manage" files. And mostly I want it to open in the directory I was last in when I closed it since, oddly, that's likely the directory I use the most anyway. I really don't care if someone commented on some file I once looked at last week, or shared during a meeting. If it was important or useful, I grabbed a copy, if not, well it can go bitrot for all I care. Ans as per my previous post, I really don't want to be reminded about a file I recently opened. I did want that file, that would be the reason I open Explorer in the first place and I'd already know where it is. I'm getting a sense that MS Explorer is heading down the route of Android "you really don't need a file manager", the apps will show all relevant files they can open" type of system. In my use case, the ONLY app I use to find files is Galleray for photos. For everything else, I use a proper file manager to find the file I want, properly curated by me into an understandable directory structures, then click/tap on the file and the relevant app then opens it. Simples.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: If it's broken do nothing about it unless you can make it worse.

      Then they can start charging you for the new crap.

  6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    Angel

    Thank God!

    More reasons to never sign into Microsoft and only use local accounts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thank God!

      Is that even an option any more?

      I tried to change the local user icon in Settings > Accounts and found the change was replicated across MS online services. So I tried to revert it back to initials and found the option doesn't exist. So I ended up changing the icon to the generic user silhouette icon. Absurd.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Thank God!

        > Is that even an option any more?

        When installing W10 or adding a new user select the “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” then select “add a user without a Microsoft account”.

        I presume the same applies to W11 as not had to do it, but such local accounts survive the update to W11.

        1. Mark #255

          Re: Thank God!

          In Powershell, the New-LocalUser and Add-LocalGroupMember commands get you a local account (also without having to think up bogus information to answer the recovery questions so they can't be hacked)

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Thank God!

          Doing it that way works, of course, but you forgot to mention the various incidents of arm-twisting and "Are you REALLY REALLY REALLY sure you want to do this" kinds of prompting along the way.

          I have only ever done this. I never set up a Micros~1 account, not even for the admin user. It's all test VMs (with 10, 11 still have not done in a VM) anyway but I *still* do not want a "track you everywhere" Micros~1 login.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Thank God!

            I usually just deny it a network connection.

        3. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Thank God!

          Last time I installed Windows 11, there was no option at all to choose a local account. Setup refused to proceed further until I gave it an Internet connection. There is currently a “back door” hack that involves killing the setup task, killing a sub-task, then restarting the setup wizard etc. etc…but for how long? Whenever people find a way around their obnoxiousness, Microsoft seem to be very quick to “fix” the holes. For example, the various ways to remove the unwanted “reset your web settings to Microsoft’s recommended config / earn Microsoft points! / sign in now with a Microsoft account” banner in the Settings app - all now blocked by MS. If only they put such diligence into benefiting users. It is a pain in the ass!

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Thank God!

            > Setup refused to proceed further until I gave it an Internet connection

            That's what happened when I got my new laptop (Win11 Home) too: Setup requires an online connection, period. And yet, it did allow me to create a local account, with no fuss at all (just some half-hearted suggestion a Microsoft account would be the first class ticket to heaven, to which I retorted that heaven can wait).

        4. arctic_haze

          Re: Thank God!

          Also Install Windows 10 without going online. This forces it to offer you the local account option.

  7. Someone Else Silver badge

    Cheese is Christ!

    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."

    Here we fuckin' go again!

    Dear Micros~1, you Ignorant Slut: How may times do we have to tell you that we, the poor besodded users that have to use your effluvia, do not want an "updated experience". We just want your shit to work. Properly. The first and every time. That would be an "updated experience" that would win you praises. But it is becoming quite clear that you no longer have the capability in your organization to make anything work. Properly. At any time. All those "smart people" Bill Gates used to brag about have long ago unassed Redmond, and the SatNad acolytes (read: ass-lickers) that remain simply have no engineering chops.

    So please bugger off with your "experiences", and maybe spend some time (and money) finding at least a few competent software people. In the meantime, I will continue to test Wine, and when it supports that software I need (none of which, by the way, sports a Micros~1 moniker), it will be hasta la vista, baby!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheese is Christ!

      Yes, WINE does need a bit of serious effort putting into it, and then it will be bye-bye microsoft from me too.

      I do a lot of work with audio programmes, and they often struggle with WINE to talk to Linux sound hardware.

      Mind you, many native Linux software applications also struggle to talk to Linux sound hardware, even without wine or anything else in the way.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: Cheese is Christ!

        I have to admit I've caved on audio and use the other half's M1 Pro laptop instead of keeping a windows install around, in the absence of a linux native Reason release.

        Propellerhead are blatantly shifting towards a SAAS model (if they persuade enough users - I have no stats to gauge the uptake) which is a game ender for me, just as it was with Adobe.

        On the plus side, there are some DAWs that do support linux out there that will get the custom instead.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Cheese is Christ!

        "Mind you, many native Linux software applications also struggle to talk to Linux sound hardware, even without wine or anything else in the way."

        You could probably better direct your ire at PulseAudio. or the multiple different "sound things" that Linux has that often need to be installed at the same time because different programmes use different sound sub-systems and sometimes they conflict with each other.

    2. Inspector71
      Facepalm

      Re: Cheese is Christ!

      I think we were actually better off when it was "la Vista". Just think about that for a moment, this is where we are now......

  8. captain veg Silver badge

    simple requirement

    I've only ever needed File Explorer to show me the file system.

    It would be nice if it also had a usable search facility.

    -A.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: simple requirement

      It would also be nice if the tree in the left-hand pane and the files in the right-hand pane always agreed on which directory is selected.

      (No rush, though, since this broke in Vista and has gone unfixed for the last 17 years.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: simple requirement

        How I wish file manager/explorer from Win2000/XP could be exported into Win10/11. Even the explorer in 7 was pants compared to earlier versions.

        And yes, I have tried various ways to import it, but no luck (not that I am an expert at such things)

        And whilst we are at it, export calculator from XP into Win10 too, to replace the pile of cack one that Win10 has.

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: simple requirement

          You can use the calculator from Windows 7 using this: https://winaero.com/get-calculator-from-windows-8-and-windows-7-in-windows-10/

          1. TangoDelta72

            Re: simple requirement

            Calc and more:

            https://win7games.com/#calc

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: simple requirement

          I remain stunned at how MS have made a single-window calculator application totally and utterly unusable on mixed-DPI systems.

          It would have continued working just fine if they had done nothing whatsoever.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: simple requirement

        You can actually configure this.

        View -> Options -> Change folder and search options -> View -> Navigation pane -> Expand to open folder.

        Well, that's how it is on my Windows 10 instance with Classic Shell. YMMV. I dare say that you can achieve the same in regedit.

        -A.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: simple requirement

          In case this is the reason for the downvote, try HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced DWORD NavPaneExpandToCurrentFolder value 1.

          -A.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: simple requirement

        "It would also be nice if the tree in the left-hand pane and the files in the right-hand pane always agreed on which directory is selected."

        Or even either two pane files window or just simply an easy option of opening two or more instances of Explorer. Yeah, we can do a "workaround" of clicking it open once and then running explorer.exe from a command line/chooser, but that still to this day feels like a dirty hack that might go away at any moment.

    2. DuncanL

      Re: simple requirement

      Use Everything for searching - fast, unbotrusive and actually works.

  9. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    They keep changing the sodding thing

    The 'quick access' section has gone, replaced by a nameless section in the middle somewhere. It's still called 'quick access' when you add stuff to it.

    Oddly enough, I just looked and on my system, at least, it's called 'quick access' again.

    Microsoft has a track record of producing largely crap software, with dubious decisions made that only seem to benefit themselves.

  10. h0bbes

    A Facelift?

    I'd describe it as being akin to putting lipstick on a pig. Microsoft is encumbering Windows with useless eye-candy and aids that supposedly improve usability. I am hopeful (and at the same time doubtful) that they will provide an option to view the File Explorer in "classic" mode.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: A Facelift?

      "I'd describe it as being akin to putting lipstick on a pig."

      I have not yet seen this "new, shiny" version myself. but from the descriptions I read (both in the article and in the comments) I can safely conclude that the lipstick was NOT applied to the end that goes "oink".

  11. UriGagarin

    Give me the split view from 3.11 where I can have 2 folders open and in view within the same window. No losing focus, no having to swap window, no accidently losing where you are.

    1. Vincent van Gopher

      This - absolutely this!

      Why the bleeding hell has this not been a standard thing in Windows - since the dawn of Windows. Not that I care any more as Nemo and other Linux file managers have done this seemingly forever.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Split View

      You may like Q-Dir, http://www.q-dir.com/

  12. Robin

    Explorer? You mean the internet?

    Is there a feature to go back in time to whenever someone at Microsoft had the bright idea of naming File Explorer almost the same as Internet Explorer, so when you're trying to guide users as to what to do, they keep opening IE instead of browsing files? I have a cricket bat with that person's name on it...

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Explorer? You mean the internet?

      I think you meant renaming File Manager.

      Also around that time the idea arose that local and web should be combined ie. File Explorer was going to become part of Internet Explorer. This idea lives on the Windows search which search’s both local machine and internet.

      One of the things that irritated me was the merging of local and internet help for Office, so selecting on a help result could either result in a local (and thus Office version specific) help article or a webpage which occasionally existed, but more commonly had been moved, updated to reflect the latest version of Office, or replaced by a this product is no longer supported page.

  13. Ball boy Silver badge

    This is the Microsoft way

    Rather than fix the underlying issues, they prefer to put more shiny on top. Way to go, Redmond!

  14. Binraider Silver badge

    Awaiting the inevitable comments about 28-year old muscle memory from the Win95 days being undermined by whatever changes are made.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Don't be too quick to dismiss old-timer opinions - whilst there is *sometimes* a need to change how things work for the better, all too often change is made purely for the sake of making change, or because someone else *thinks* they've come up with a better UI concept than anyone else in the entire history of WIMP-based computing and by god they're not going to rest until the entire world realises how right they are about it...

      And given how many times, since Microsoft first started to embrace their current UI concept, I've found myself staring at the screen for an extended period of time wondering exactly where TF the thing I need has gone, before giving up and hitting Google to get some guidance, when in the good old days it'd have either been bloody obvious where to find it (because back then UIs weren't in the habit of randomly hiding anything they think you don't need to know about at this moment in time), or would have been findable within a few seconds simply by perusing all the options shown in the menus. These days, when so much of your interaction with a piece of MS software is done via the "wonders" of their context-somewhat-sensitive toolbars/ribbons/whatever you want to call those utterly useless UI elements that now take up an ever increasing amount of screenspace whilst providing an ever decreasing level of useability and control, trying to just figure out what the software can actually do by random browsing through the UI is no longer an option - as with so many other aspects of modern Windows life, it feels like the only way to know that something exists is to already know that it exists.

      So yes, from time to time you WILL see my username popping up alongside one of those inevitable comments, and I'll never apologise for making them so long as whatever the current state of the art in UI design is at the time continues to make what I consider to be fundamental and user-hostile design errors. We deserve better from software providers, whether it's through them having more of a clue as to what a UI ought to be like so that the default/only option they give us actually is useable, or at least through them providing options for adjusting how the UI behaves so that those of us who prefer the old ways of doing things can opt into that way of working, whilst anyone happy to just stick with the out of the box install gets all the shiny shiny stuff the designers think people want.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        I didn't. I'm one of them myself, and ditched Windows some time ago in all environments that I can possibly ditch it.

        The comment getting the downvotes is me proverbially fetching the popcorn and waiting for the fireworks.

  15. John H Woods Silver badge

    Qdir.

    On Windows I'm a massive fan of Qdir, anybody else?

  16. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

    Teaching an old dog new bugs

    Is there any chance they've fixed the decades old "Windows Explorer is not responding" bug? Still have vaguely irritated memories from the '90s of half the PCs still being powered on come Monday morning with the usual dialogue box asking if you want to shutdown anyway. They finally kludged Windows' shutdown to do so regardless but it does make me wonder how much ancient code still lurks in "brand new" versions of it. It's also be nice if it would differentiate between jpeg, png etc files without having to turn file extension visibility for all files: dunno whose bright idea it was to group them all by preferred application with no further hint.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Teaching an old dog new bugs

      "It's also be nice if it would differentiate between jpeg, png etc files without having to turn file extension visibility for all files:"

      What? You don't switch on global file extension visibility as a matter of course as soon as the install has finished? I also like to know what format a document file is in before I open it so I don't "accidentally" save it out in MS's preferred Office format. if it was .odf or .rtf, I'd like it to stay that way. Not just see two apparently identically named files in the directory, one of which might be the original version :-)

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

        Re: Teaching an old dog new bugs

        I did, but it irritated me for some reason. Weird, considering I'm fine with them in Cygwin, my normal Windows environment; maybe it's just that standard Micros~1 thing where "working as intended" means broken. Fortunately I only use Windows for games and modding.

      2. AnotherBoringUsername

        Re: Teaching an old dog new bugs

        Yup, one of those things that all of us (who know about this insanity) fix immediately upon Windows installation, and everyone who doesn't gets shafted by at some point, with the chaos of files with multiple extensions, because its hiding stuff you need to know.

        And whilst we're on the subject, whoever invented "desktop.ini" files needs to get back in the sea, immediately.

        (yeah, I too like to disable the hiding of hidden/system/any files, which leads to the visibility of these stupid unnecessary items)

        Rant over. That feels better.

  17. 43300 Silver badge

    "Microsoft is redesigning File Explorer with the help of relatively new developer tools that are being applied to the decades-old Windows operating system."

    Does that translate as "Microsoft is fucking up File Explorer"?

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Actually, more like: "Microsoft is fucking up File Explorer, again."

  18. Grunchy Silver badge

    I’m not going down this path

    Besides, one of the best file explorers around still persists in “Midnight Commander,” kind of an homage to Norton’s own Commander, itself a rather shameless clone of similar softwares we developed and dabbled with on the Pet and other Commodores.

    I find modern File Explorer quaint and endearing in its manner of trying to hide certain file types, certain system files, certain system directories, and how it respectfully disagrees with certain direct commands, “oh, but that could be an important system file,” or, “that might be a virus or malware or might even not be sanctioned by Microsoft.”

    It is comforting to know that, whenever Microsoft tries to impose these flimsy limitations, I can always fire up “mc” to cause affirmative action to take place! No backtalk, neither!

  19. Baudwalk

    I always mean to try...

    WinUI3.

    As well as every other new UI stack eagerly promoted at the future of Windowsy applications.

    But whenever I need a Windows GUI, I still reach for wxWidgets.

    Looks old^H^H^Habout as modern as I think desktop apps ought to, rather than looking like a web page.

    And I've paid for Total Commander some time ago. Only file manager I need on Windows.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I always mean to try...

      I occasionally write MFC applications that run on 7. They seem to work on 10 as well, no problems noted. wxWidgets is very MFC-like in a lot of ways. I have run the exercise a couple o' times to take an MFC application and turn it into a wxWidgets application [takes effort but not THAT much].

      I refuse to use the "new, shiny" [which has devolved into a polished turd] "[CR]App SDK" and UWP and TIFKAM in general.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " .... with the files recommended being cloud files associated with the account."

    ...and some ads, naturally. Because the only reason to involve cloud here is to make pushing ads trivial. Anyone who believes otherwise, is a bit naive.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yet another application fu**ed

    "... a more modern vibe"

    So it will be a piece of useless shit consuming all memory and cpu cycles. That's what "modern" literally means in this context.

    It also will be a white sheet with 99% of screen space wasted, and still without buttons or anything meaningful, just because "modern".

    You can always trust MS to screw things up. Always.

  22. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Microsoft innovation...

    Throw shit at wall.

    Gloriously announce a different pattern on wall.

    Force "upgrade".

  23. AnotherBoringUsername

    Here we go again

    It’s been downhill since Windows 2000.

    If they did nothing other than keep a basic layout like Win2k and improved the underlying performance/compatibility/reliability/security of the system I’d be happy.

    Instead, with every version, they seem to keep largely the same functionality, but spend huge amounts of time hiding/moving everything around into endless sub-menus. Or obsess over trying to make everything being touch based. Funnily enough, I know hardly anyone who enjoys jabbing their screen at work, and covering it in fingerprints. The keyboard and mouse system has never been bettered and until such time there’s clearly a better option everyone wants to use this attitude is bonkers.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again

      Worse, they keep taking away more and more of the options to customise the look and feel of the desktop such that these days about all you can change is the wallpaper now. And personally, that's the one bit of the UI I rarely want to change anyway. I prefer a nice non-distracting plain background, or maybe a nice soft gradient, top to bottom. I got bored with patterns, photos and "photo carousels" as a desktop about 5 minutes after discovered the option in Windows 95 :-)

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Here we go again

        > about all you can change is the wallpaper now

        Enjoy it as long as it lasts, because that's some premium real estate to show ads "exciting suggestions" on...

  24. Tron Silver badge

    As Confucius said...

    ...Every time Microsoft change something, they make it worse.

  25. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Principal product manager and something something manager.

    I guess the race to sentence long titles filled with words that dont mean anything is on.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So to sum up we had a nice consistent UI and set of APIs that we broke to sell you some new shiny stuff that marketing thought looked nice, then we changed our minds about it and broke a couple more times so we could sell you a load more stuff, and now you have spent a warehouse full of cash on 20 years worth of new licences* we are going to break everything again and give you a whole new platform with more incompatible APIs that use way more resources, so we can sell you more a load of new licence subscriptions for products that your users will have to learn how to use all over again...

    Reminds me why I got fed up with MS shortly after XP was released and switched to an environment that has basically not changed in 26+ years. It isn't new or shiny or very sexy and things do change a bit occasionally but I haven't had to relearn everything several times, and it just works the way I've come to expect it to.

    Using the web browser to host the UI looked good for a while until that became whole load of different incompatible stuff as well but that is a different story.

    * Does anyone outside Microsoft really think they are upgrades..?

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