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Microsoft introduced significant changes to Windows 11 File Explorer in the last couple of months. While some of them have been received well by users, Microsoft’s recent decision to pull some of the File Explorer legacy features has made Windows Insiders furious. Critics may finally relax as Microsoft has added those legacy features back to File Explorer in its latest Windows 11 Dev Channel Insider build.
In its official changelog for Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23486 for Dev Channel, Microsoft wrote the following:
Thank you to all the Windows Insiders who gave us feedback on the Folder Options changes in File Explorer that removed a handful of old settings in Build 23481. We’ve rolled back this change. As is normal for the Dev Channel, we will often try things out and get feedback and adjust based on the feedback we receive.
In Build 23481, Microsoft removed close to 1o old settings under Folder options in File Explorer. According to the Redmond tech giant, removing those settings was part of a “clean-up” exercise. As stated by Microsoft, many of these legacy settings have remained unused by users for ages, hence the clean-up action. But it looks like the company made a wrong assessment and therefore had to bring back those features to Windows 11 File Explorer.
Some of the File Explorer settings Microsoft removed are Hide Folder Merge conflict, Always show icons, never thumbnails, Display file icon on thumbnails, Display file type information on Folder tips, Hide protected OS files, Show drive letters, Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items, Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color, and Use sharing wizard.
If you are running a stable Windows 11, none of this impacts your PC. In the coming months, you will likely get a more modern File Explorer with new features and design changes. The all-new File Explorer will include features such as a new Details Pane, Microsoft 365 integration, and Gallery View. After testing them with Windows Insiders, Microsoft will roll them out to Stable Windows 11 users via what the company internally calls “Moment” updates.
If you want to test new features before Stable users, you should join Windows Insider Program and enroll in the Dev Channel. Both Canary and Dev Insiders get to try new functionalities before everyone else, but the former is more stable than the latter. Those enrolling in the Dev Channel will see the new gallery view in File Explorer, and, of course, all the legacy settings in File Explorer are there too.