Windows 11 update introduces a long-awaited File Explorer feature – plus a Start menu change that may not go down so well

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By Kristina Terech published 31 May 2024

File Explorer addition is definitely welcome, but took its time arriving to say the least

Microsoft has rolled out an optional update for Windows 11, KB5037853, that will let you try an array of new features which includes support for drag-and-drop functionality in File Explorer’s address bar. The arrival of the latter ability has been long-awaited by some folks, so there’ll be some pleased Windows 11 users out there today.

If you’re one of those keen to try this – or any of the other features packed into KB5037853 – you can now download and install this preview update. As it’s an optional update, it won’t be downloaded automatically, and you’ll have to click ‘Download & Install’ in Windows Update (in the Settings app) to kick off the installation process. 

Apparently this optional patch is a pretty sizeable update, and along with the revamped File Explorer, it also introduces an ‘Account Manager’ for the Start menu. When you’re in Windows 11 signed into your Microsoft account, the latter will appear to highlight account benefits and make it easier to manage settings, Microsoft explains – though some may regard this as unnecessary clutter.

It sounds suspiciously like treading that thin line between ‘help’ and ‘advertising’ that Microsoft has been prone to err on the wrong side of lately.

Person using a laptop in a coffeeshop
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

File this one under ‘finally’…

The drag-and-drop feature for File Explorer has been introduced before and pulled back due to buggy performance, and then introduced for gradual rollout and testing again, so it’s great to see it finally about to arrive (barring any last-minute disaster).

The feature lets users drag a file into File Explorer’s address bar (at the top) to move it to a new location. It’s a simple feature and convenient shortcut that a fair few people are looking forward to seeing, and indeed they are likely wondering why this basic functionality wasn’t present in Windows 11 in the first place.

In this update, Microsoft has also addressed a problem with File Explorer where it could take as long as two minutes to open if you pinned a specific folder to Quick Access that happened to be shared on a network. 

At any rate, we can hope the drag-and-drop feature is here to stay in File Explorer, and Microsoft is considering making more changes like this that make users happy. Adding more AI features that don’t necessarily improve the core functionality of Windows 11, and pushing ads in as many parts of the operating system as possible, are moves that are turning some people off Windows 11 – so it’s good to see Microsoft focus on improving the core Windows user experience here (that more dubious Start menu addition aside).

If you don’t want to download an optional update – as it may have problems, because it’s still in testing, after all – then you can simply wait for the  June 2024 Patch Tuesday update, which should contain all these changes, but with any wrinkles ironed out (in theory anyway).

Story from TechRadar.com

Kristina Terech

Computing Writer

Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.

She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.

As well as being interested in STEM, she enjoys a variety of other activities – everything from art to cooking to languages. If there is an ongoing exhibition of any nature, there’s a good chance she has already seen it or at least heard of it. She likes making things with her hands – origami animals, needlecraft, papercraft, new recipes, shadow puppets – whatever catches her fancy that week. 

She has dedicated a good chunk of her life to The Sims and enjoys Minecraft, and the fastest way to win her approval is a 10/10 picture of a raccoon (that she hasn’t seen before).

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