Windows 10 Redstone will get an updated File Explorer

File Explorer, formerly known as Windows Explorer in earlier Windows versions, is the default file management application in Windows for a long time. It has evolved a lot over time to acquire many different features for file management. Windows 10 ships with mostly the same version of Explorer as Windows 8 except for a few changes like Quick Access replacing Favorites. Now, new information has been revealed on Twitter from a Microsoft employee's account which indicates that with the upcoming Redstone update, Microsoft is going to revamp this app to make it a Universal Windows Platform (UWP)/Metro app.

File Explorer Windows 10 quick access with libraries 2With Windows 8, Microsoft started making radical changes to the operating system's user interface. Many apps got revamped and the Start menu was replaced with the Start screen. The File Explorer got the Ribbon UI (Tip: see how to disable Ribbon in Windows 10 Explorer).

But this does not really make the File Explorer touch-friendly. Some Ribbon buttons are tiny, the Quick Access Toolbar icons are terribly small and the file pane and the navigation pane are also not completely touch-friendly in certain Explorer views like List view or Details view. If your device has a high resolution, high DPI screen, using your fingers to manage files using Explorer is not very easy.

So Microsoft has decided to revise the user interface again for Windows 10's next release and give it a modern, touch-friendly UI. Windows 10 already has many more touch-friendly apps and UI elements, so now it's Explorer's turn.


Peter Skillman, GM of Core UX for Windows Desktop revealed that they are working on a major update to File Explorer that can be used on touch devices. He has not shared exact dates when we will see these changes in Insider builds, but they will come eventually, sooner or later.

While this is definitely good news for touch screen device users, it is likely that most of Explorer's functionality will be eliminated like what happened to almost all modern apps based on the Universal Windows Platform.

Were you expecting this change? Have you faced any issues using File Explorer on a touch screen device? Share your experience in the comments.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

18 thoughts on “Windows 10 Redstone will get an updated File Explorer”

  1. Looks like that’s officially it. No more ribbon disablers, themes and customization. Foobar. To those of us who still requires Windows for business purposes, let’s wrap it up with Win8 and jump from the stinking ship.

    At least I can finally congratulate Microsoft on the first useful modern app – new Explorer to be. Bet they’ll post this July an exact number of hours their good customers logged in it. Nicely done.

  2. Well, darn it. I was really hoping they improve the File manager but with tabs, and ability to open and preview natively video and image formats like gif and psd. Unfortunately knowing Microsoft they will probably turn it into some god awful monstrosity with icons that take up half a screen, but will remove much of the functionality on what is already pretty bare bone file manager. I still have hope they will listen to reason or at least make it a separate app, but Microsoft rarely fails to disappoint in disappointing. Shame.

  3. Things will be so much better If only they could just introduce tabs and paned browsing just like Nemo on linux

    1. They will not do this for sure.
      All I expect to see is big flat controls and dumbed down features. Really.

    1. I’m pretty sure we can make an educated guess though. We’ve got more than enough historical data to make one.

  4. Nooooooooo!
    – Slower
    – Less informations per area
    – Dumbed down
    – Half of the keyboard shortcuts will be omitted
    – It will send information to Microsoft as the new Startmenu does (everything else can be disabled)

    That would be the worst case. But it’s certainly gonna be slower than the Win32 explorer.

  5. Isn’t the current File Explorer still tied to Internet Explorer? So when the new File Explorer arrive, that means IE is gone for good?

  6. This is very bad. Metro Apps do not work if you have UAC disabled. Unless MS changes the dependency for Metro Apps to have UAC turned on this will make lives very difficult. I wouldn’t be able to function without File Explorer nor could I accomplish my work with UAC turned on.

  7. I’m using TotalCommander for decades (?) now, because I always hated windows explorer. But all that dumbing down touch shit makes me angry all the time. I don’t want windows to look and feel like a mobile phone OS. And I fear already the termination of my beloved control panel (win 7 style) when they will force us to use the horrible new settings system optimized for touch and mobile phone users. Once they had us using Win10 (which I like generally because of the speed over Win7!) they can now do whatever they want. And then things like metro-design happen. I hate the start menue of Win10 so much, I get aggressive when I see that horrible piece of crap. Thank god there is classic shell (and other alternatives) where I like the classic skin the most. So we have to wait when they will force us to use linux for good. Right now I like Win10 very much (their spying not included of course). But that could be change with any update now. Everytime I read about UWP/metro I get VERY angry! Apps are not windows, they belong to android or apple phones, but not on my windows desktop computer that is operated with keyboard and mouse and will never see a touch interface nor audio spying like with cortana.

  8. I can tell MS is hoping x86 platform to slowly transform and become ARM type of system. Could be happening in this decade or next.

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