Solved How to change File Explorer behavior on the Taskbar


kiwiaz

Member
Local time
2:57 PM
Posts
66
OS
Win11
In a previous installation, whenever I clicked the File Explorer icon on the task bar, a new instance of file explorer would open. Now, if a file explorer window is already open, clicking the task bar icon just changes focus to the running instance. This is a royal pain in the tuckus for simple operations like dragging files from one folder to another. Although I can right click on the icon and select File Explorer, old habits die hard and this is an inconvenience.

How can I revert that behavior?
 
Windows Build/Version
22H2

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 7700X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B-650 Aorus Elite AX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 G.Skill
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 4060
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U2518 Dell U3223
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    1TB M.2 AData, Samsung 860 EVO, WD 5000AADS, WD10EZEX
    PSU
    EVGA 850
    Cooling
    AK400
    Keyboard
    Logi MXKeys
    Mouse
    Logi MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    Sad. Just sad.
    Browser
    Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave
In a previous installation, whenever I clicked the File Explorer icon on the task bar, a new instance of file explorer would open. Now, if a file explorer window is already open, clicking the task bar icon just changes focus to the running instance. This is a royal pain in the tuckus for simple operations like dragging files from one folder to another. Although I can right click on the icon and select File Explorer, old habits die hard and this is an inconvenience.

How can I revert that behavior?
I don't have a direct answer on how to revert the behavior, but a 3rd party replacement for file explorer "Files App" has dual pane functionality. If you would like more details about the app, visit the link below.

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microcenter B677
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-9400
    Motherboard
    ASRock H310CM-HDV/M.2
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Intel Kaby Lake - High Definition Audio / cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech) [A0]
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG Model: GSM59F1
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Case
    Lian Li 205M
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky AV
I don't have a direct answer on how to revert the behavior, but a 3rd party replacement for file explorer "Files App" has dual pane functionality. If you would like more details about the app, visit the link below.

Thanks @Sir_George
Besides dual pane mode, what benefits does "Files" confer to distinguish itself from the default explorer? For example, I looked at Replace File Explorer, but I didn't really find an explanation of extra functions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 7700X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B-650 Aorus Elite AX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 G.Skill
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 4060
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U2518 Dell U3223
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    1TB M.2 AData, Samsung 860 EVO, WD 5000AADS, WD10EZEX
    PSU
    EVGA 850
    Cooling
    AK400
    Keyboard
    Logi MXKeys
    Mouse
    Logi MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    Sad. Just sad.
    Browser
    Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave
Thanks @Sir_George
Besides dual pane mode, what benefits does "Files" confer to distinguish itself from the default explorer? For example, I looked at Replace File Explorer, but I didn't really find an explanation of extra functions.
Rather than me trying to explain the benefits, visit the link below for a more in depth review.

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Professional
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Microcenter B677
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-9400
    Motherboard
    ASRock H310CM-HDV/M.2
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Intel Kaby Lake - High Definition Audio / cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech) [A0]
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG Model: GSM59F1
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Case
    Lian Li 205M
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky AV
If you have the new File Explorer open and want another file explorer window open, you can click the + sign above the address bar to the right to open a New Tab.
Or you can Right click the File Explorer Icon in the task bar and select File Explorer to have 2 separate File Explorer Windows open.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Gigabyte Z390 UD
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 77000 3.60
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z390 UD
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GEForce RTX 2060 Super
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Two 27" Dell 4K monitors
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    M.2 NVME SSD, 500 GB; Two 2TB Mechanical HDD's
    PSU
    850w PSU
    Case
    Cyberpower PC
    Cooling
    Water cooled
    Keyboard
    Backlit Cyberpower gamiong keyboard
    Mouse
    Backlit Cyberpower gaming mouse
    Internet Speed
    1 GB mbps
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
@Spunk (y)

The +tab was one I hadn't considered. Thanks for that. Why didn't I do that years ago? :fpalm
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 7700X
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte B-650 Aorus Elite AX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 G.Skill
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 4060
    Sound Card
    On-board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U2518 Dell U3223
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160
    Hard Drives
    1TB M.2 AData, Samsung 860 EVO, WD 5000AADS, WD10EZEX
    PSU
    EVGA 850
    Cooling
    AK400
    Keyboard
    Logi MXKeys
    Mouse
    Logi MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    Sad. Just sad.
    Browser
    Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave
You didn't do that years ago because explorer didn't have tabs then. Over the years I've gotten so accustomed to working in 2 instances of explorer I still do it because I forget about tabs. I open a second instance of explorer with Win+E keys. Then I use snap to have the windows side by side. It's hard to break old habits, I guess.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
The reason why you haven't done this for years, is because Tabs in File Explorer is a recent addon from Microsoft.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Gigabyte Z390 UD
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 77000 3.60
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z390 UD
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GEForce RTX 2060 Super
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Two 27" Dell 4K monitors
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    M.2 NVME SSD, 500 GB; Two 2TB Mechanical HDD's
    PSU
    850w PSU
    Case
    Cyberpower PC
    Cooling
    Water cooled
    Keyboard
    Backlit Cyberpower gamiong keyboard
    Mouse
    Backlit Cyberpower gaming mouse
    Internet Speed
    1 GB mbps
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

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