Are you among the unlucky Windows 11 users who are experiencing the issue of file explorer tabs not showing up? No need to worry, as I have put together a comprehensive guide that takes you through 6 effective tips to solve the problem of file explorer tabs not showing on your Windows 11 system.

How to Fix File Explorer Tabs Not Showing in Windows 11?

Windows 11 file explorer tabs not showing

Microsoft—the tech giant we all know and love—recently dropped some exciting updates for us Windows users, and let me tell you, I was definitely one of the many eagerly waiting to get my hands on them! One of the most anticipated updates included in the October 2022 release was the addition of file explorer tabs.

Now, with the updated file explorer in Windows 11, you can easily open multiple tabs within the same window and switch between them just like you would with a web browser. And the best part? You can keep your desktop clean and tidy by avoiding clutter from multiple file explorer windows.

But hey, if you’re having trouble with these awesome file explorer tabs, don’t worry, I’ve got your back! I’ve put together a helpful guide that includes some effective troubleshooting fixes for this particular issue. So sit back, relax, and let’s get your file explorer tabs up and running smoothly in no time!

1. Update Your Current Windows 11 Installation to The Latest Windows 11 22H2 Build

File explorer is a handy tool for managing files on your computer, but did you know that tabs are only available on the latest Windows build 22H2, or newer? That means if your computer is running an older version of Windows, you might be stuck juggling multiple windows and feeling frustrated with cluttered desktops. Don’t worry, though! If you’re not sure what version of Windows you’re running, I can help you figure that out. And if you do have an older version, I’ve got you covered with some simple steps to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

So, let’s get started and make file management a breeze again!

  1. You can use the super cool Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + R” to find out which OS version you have. As soon as you do, voila! A shiny new Run prompt will pop up on your screen, ready to be explored.
  2. The next thing you need do is type in “winver” into the Run prompt and then press Enter. This is where the magic happens! Suddenly, a small window appears, displaying all the details about your Windows 11 version.
  3. Now, if you happen to be using an older version, don’t worry! You can easily fix that. All you have to do is click on the Windows button on your taskbar. This will open up the Start menu, where you’ll find a gear-shaped icon – click on it to launch the Settings app.
  4. Once you’re in the Settings app, click on the Windows Update tab in the left sidebar. Then, simply click on the Check for updates button located in the top-right corner of your screen. This will prompt Windows to search for the latest updates.
  5. After a brief moment, Windows will have located the latest 22H2 update. All you have to do now is click on the Download and Install button, and let Windows work its magic! Once the update is installed, you’ll be ready to enjoy the new tabbed UI.

And there you have it, folks! With just a few simple steps, you can upgrade your Windows 11 and unlock a whole new world of possibilities. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and experience the best that Microsoft Windows has to offer!

2. Restart the Windows Explorer Process

Windows explorer – a.k.a – the default program that helps you manage your files and folders using a visual interface, is an essential component of your computer’s operating system. However, sometimes it may encounter some glitches that can prevent you from accessing your files effectively. If you’re ever faced with such a problem, worry not, my friend! Restarting Windows explorer is a quick and easy fix that you can do on your own without any technical know-how.

So, how can you restart Windows Explorer? Here’s a step-by-step guide that’ll help you get it done in no time!

  1. Let’s open up the Task Manager – the superhero of all computer tools. You can do this by pressing the magical combination of Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard.
  2. In the Task Manager window that pops up, you’ll see a list of all the processes running on your computer. Locate Windows Explorer in the Processes tab.
  3. Ah-ha! There it is! Now, all you have to do is right-click on the Windows Explorer process and select the option to Restart. Restart the Windows Explorer Process To Fix File Explorer Tabs Not Showing in Windows 11

Don’t be alarmed if your Taskbar disappears for a few seconds – this is completely normal. After a brief hiatus, it will reappear, refreshed, and ready to go.

And that’s it! You’re all set to open up file explorer and check if those pesky tabs are back in action. With this quick fix up your sleeve, you’ll be breezing through your files and folders in no time.

3. Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Every Windows OS comes equipped with a trusty System Maintenance Troubleshooter, which regularly rolls up its sleeves to give your computer some much-needed TLC. With a few clicks, you and I can effortlessly clean up cluttered desktop shortcuts and get rid of those pesky unused files that have been hogging up precious disk space.

But that’s not all! This nifty tool also does its magic behind the scenes, performing other essential maintenance tasks to keep your computer running smoothly. And if you’re facing problems with file explorer, such as unresponsiveness or the issue of file explorer tabs not showing up, don’t worry, my friend! The System Maintenance Troubleshooter can lend a hand and help us get everything back on track.

So, how do you and I make the most of this wonder tool? It’s simple! Just follow these easy steps to launch it and let it work its magic:

  1. First off, let’s open up Windows Search by pressing the magical Windows key and S at the same time.
  2. The next step for you is to tap into your keyboard magic and type in “Control Panel” in the search bar.
  3. Once you find yourself in the Control Panel window, here’s what you need to do: take a look at the top-right corner of your screen, and spot the drop-down menu waiting for you there. Just give it a click, and you’ll see it expand into a plethora of options. Among those, you’ll want to select “Large Icons” – this will make sure you can see everything you need to in a clear and organized way. Easy peasy, right?
  4. From the list of icons, let’s click on “Troubleshooting” to access the menu.
  5. Finally, let’s select the “Run maintenance tasks” option located under the System and Security section. Click on “Next,” and follow the instructions provided to run the troubleshooter.

With the System Maintenance Troubleshooter now hard at work, it’s time to sit back and relax. Once it’s done, don’t forget to check if the issue you were experiencing is still there. If not, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our computer is in tip-top shape, thanks to this trusty tool.

4. Clear the File Explorer Cache

Every version of Microsoft Windows file explorer keeps track of your past searches and activities, making it easier to navigate and find what you need. However, like any good thing, over time the cached files can start to cause problems for the app’s stability and performance. Luckily, there’s an easy solution – you can clear out your file explorer history and give it a fresh start!

So, how do you do that? Don’t worry, it’s a simple process that anyone can follow.

  1. Let’s open up file explorer by pressing the combination of “Windows + E” keys on your keyboard.
  2. Look up at the top menu and find the three little dots. Click on them and select “Options” from the dropdown menu.
  3. On the “General” tab, scroll down to the bottom and find “Clear File Explorer History.” Click on the “Clear” button next to it, then hit Apply, and then OK.

Voila! You’ve cleared out your file explorer cache and made it new again. This should help with any issues you were having, such as tabs not appearing. By doing this, you and I can enjoy a smoother, faster experience while using Windows 11.

5. Run an SFC & DISM Scan

If your Windows 11 powered PC is currently giving you a tough time with its file explorer tabs, don’t worry! It’s possible that the culprit is some corrupt system files or a broken Windows image. This can happen when you install lots of third-party programs and updates. But no need to fret, my friend! You and I can solve this problem with just a few clicks. All you need to do is run an SFC and DISM scan, which can help you fix all the pesky issues in one go.

Let me guide you through the steps below and we’ll have your PC running smoothly in no time!

  1. Let’s start by pressing the Windows + R keys to open the Run app. It’s like a secret passage that takes you to the command prompt.
  2. In the text box provided, type in “cmd,” but hold on before you hit enter. You need to open the command prompt with administrator privileges. No worries, it’s just one more step.
  3. To open the Command Prompt as an administrator, hold down the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys. Voila! The Command Prompt will now be launched with administrator privileges, giving us access to make important changes to your PC.
  4. Now that we’re in, let’s start by running an SFC scan. Simply type in “sfc /scannow” in the Command Prompt and hit enter. This will check for any issues in your system files and fix them if possible.
  5. Once the SFC scan is complete, it’s time to run a DISM scan. Type in “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /restorehealth” and hit enter. This scan will repair any damaged files in your Windows image, which could be causing the file explorer tabs to malfunction.
  6. You’re almost there! Close the Command Prompt by typing “exit” and hitting enter. Finally, restart your PC to ensure that the changes are applied.
  7. Congratulations! Your file explorer tabs should now be fully functional again. It’s a great feeling to have a PC that runs smoothly, isn’t it?

Congratulations, my friend! You and I have successfully fixed any issues caused by corrupt system files or a broken Windows image. Your Windows 11 file explorer tabs should now be fully functional. If you have any further issues, don’t hesitate to reach out and I’ll be happy to assist you.

6. Run a Malware Scan

Oftentimes, we all get a bit flustered when we can’t find what we’re looking for on our computer, and it can be frustrating when our trusty file explorer isn’t behaving as it should. But fear not, my friend! If you’ve tried the other fixes we discussed earlier and still can’t locate your tabs, then it’s time to consider running a malware scan on your computer. Sometimes, those pesky viruses and malware can sneak their way into our system and cause all sorts of havoc. But don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of this!

To get started, let’s take a look at Windows Defender. This built-in security software is always working hard behind the scenes to protect your computer from potential threats. However, it’s not foolproof, so we can check for any issues manually using the Windows Security app. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First things first, let’s click on the Windows icon located in your taskbar.
  2. Once the start menu pops up, type in “Windows Security” in the search bar.
  3. When you see “Windows Security” appear in the results, click on the “Open” button located in the right-hand pane.
  4. From here, you’ll want to select “Virus & Threat Protection”.
  5. Under the “Current threats” section, you’ll see an option to click on “Scan options”.
  6. Choose one of the scan options listed and click on “Scan now”.
  7. The scan will begin and may take a few minutes to complete, depending on the type of scan you selected.

Once the scan is complete, Windows Defender will take action and remove or quarantine any suspicious threats it finds. If malware or a virus was causing your missing file explorer tabs, then running the anti-malware software should have resolved the issue. So let’s breathe a sigh of relief and get back to browsing our files and folders with ease!

Final Words

File explorer tabs that come with the latest Windows 11 build have proven to be an absolute game-changer for multitasking. And let me tell you, you’re in for a treat! With these tabs, you can easily open multiple folders in a single window, effortlessly navigate between tabs using keyboard shortcuts, and even drag and drop files between them. It’s like having a whole new world of possibilities at your fingertips!

But, as with any new feature, there may be some hiccups along the way. It can be frustrating when tabs suddenly disappear from file explorer, especially if you rely on them to keep your files and folders organized. But if you have followed my step-by-step guide to restore tabs in file explorer, you’ll be back to multitasking in no time! I understand how important this feature is to you, which is why I’m here to help. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly at john[@] As your friendly tech guide, I’m always here to help you navigate through any challenges you might encounter.