Microsoft Windows 11 File Explorer app takes ‘Minimalism’ to the extreme with basic functions and limited options forcing Shift-F10 use?

Windows 11 File Explorer
Minimalism to the extreme? Pic credit: Niklas Bildhauer/Flickr

The File Explorer application in Windows operating system has always been a reliable and capable platform to execute multiple tasks. However, Microsoft seems to have taken minimalism to the extreme with the File Explorer for Windows 11.

If a single word could describe Windows 11 design philosophy, it would be “Minimalistic”. Microsoft exhibited the design philosophy recently by taking away several functions of the Taskbar, and it seems to have done the same with the File Explorer app as well.

Microsoft obliterates the Ribbon Toolbar and its associated Tab and Functions in File Explorer for Windows 11:

Windows 11 is nearly final. The operating system’s stable version will start rolling out to PC users starting from October 5. This simply means all the core tools, utilities, and apps within Windows 11 too should be final and ready for general public usage.

The File Explorer utility within all previous versions of the Windows Operating System was quite powerful. It offered a lot of control and functions, which users could rely on to address multiple issues.

The File Explorer inside Windows 11, however, takes Minimalism to a new height. The most obvious and rather glaring change is the complete disappearance of the iconic Ribbon Toolbar.

The Ribbon Toolbar, a staple within Windows 10, is quite consistent within multiple aspects of the operating system. But for some reason, Microsoft has chosen to eliminate the same in Windows 11.

Instead of the Ribbon Toolbar and its familiar tab and functions, Windows 11 users will have to work with a single toolbar that displays or offers just a few core options.

Minimalist File Explorer restricts easy, quick, and obvious access to several key functions:

In addition to obliterating the Ribbon Toolbar, Microsoft has manipulated multiple visual aspects of the File Explorer utility. Some of the useful functions appear in certain locations only, while a few others are always visible.

The most obvious and core functions that Microsoft has left in File Explorer for Windows 11 include cut, copy, paste, rename, share and delete items, as well as create new files, folders, and other items.

Microsoft has essentially tucked the ‘show file extensions all the time’ menu in the Show menu. There are quite a few other important functions residing in this rather obscure corner.

The New Folder and New Item menus have been merged into the New menu. However, Move to and Copy to are not available anymore.

Microsoft has also reportedly thrown away Pin to Quick access, Grouping options, Add Columns, make all columns Fit the Window, or the link to Remove Access or Advanced Security.

It seems Microsoft deeply analyzed the functions that most users generally use, and chose to keep those in the foreground. The company does offer quite a few of the seldom-used but required items, but only when users activate the “show more options” link or press Shift-F10.

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