With a strong emphasis on streamlining work, Microsoft is presently releasing new File Explorer features via Insider Preview Build 23403 for Windows 11.
File Recommendations is one of this package’s more intriguing functions (opens in a new tab). The File Explorer will start recommending which files you should view on the home tab, as the name implies. At least originally, it seems as though Microsoft designed this tool with business users in mind. The tool will only suggest cloud files that are “either held by the user or shared with the user” and linked to a specific account. Additionally, for it to function, you must be logged into your Azure Active Directory account. Additionally, the business is currently capping the number of users who can test out File Recommendations. Before making feedback available to everyone, Microsoft says it wishes to closely monitor it.
The redesigned File Explorer Access Keys are less constrained. They are basic shortcuts that only require one keystroke to “quickly [execute] an instruction.” The “O” key, for instance, opens a file, whereas the “B” key makes it the desktop backdrop. You must first select a file in File Explorer before pressing the Menu key on your keyboard to bring up Access Keys in order to use this feature. In the absence of a Menu key, simultaneously pressing Option and F10 achieves the same result.
After File Explorer, the remaining features have an impact on other native Windows 11 applications, specifically the language aspect of things. To begin with, Live Captions will be offered in a wider range of languages, such as Japanese, French, and other English varieties like Australian English. Speaking of which, those various languages will now be supported by the Voice Access app. You will be asked to obtain a speech model for a particular dialect after starting the app. Voice Access was also updated by Microsoft to be more efficient and user-friendly. Now, next to an explanation of what each command does, there will be an illustration of how it might be used.
The remaining changes to the version are all minor adjustments; nothing particularly significant. The System Tray now displays a VPN icon if one is running, and other changes include a new copy button for “quickly copying [2FA] codes in notifications” and some bug patches. If this interests you, you can test out Preview Build 23403 by enrolling in the Windows 11 Insider Program’s Debug Channel (opens in a new tab).
It’s important to note that Microsoft has been reworking File Explorer for a while. It’s unclear precisely what it will include, but there are some hints, such as the fact that File Explorer has been updated to make it more user-friendly. But it’ll presumably be some time before we see the finished item. Check out our selection of the top file managers for Windows if you don’t feel like waiting until then.