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How to get Chrome like Tabs in File Explorer on Windows 10/8/7?

by on October 26, 2015
 

You’re probably used to using tabs in Google Chrome, why not use them in Windows Explorer as well? Imagine how much time and space you could save if you only needed one window with multiple tabs instead of a bunch of windows clogging up your screen.

Well, for now Microsoft hasn’t officially added this feature yet, but you could use some free (free as in “free beer”) 3rd party software(s) to get this functionality.

Here, I’m introducing 2 software which can boost your productivity by allowing you to use only one file explorer window for all your folders. Isn’t that awesome?

Let’s get some Tabs!

#1. Clover 3:

Clover is a small software (~3MB) and very simple to install and use.

  • Download Clover from here: Clover 3
  • Just double-click to install and follow the “Next” buttons. (You know this stuff!)

After installing, open Windows Explorer, you will notice a difference at the top of the window.

Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - tabs

Yes, These are tabs!

Windows Explorer tabs work almost exactly like the ones in Chrome work. Ctrl+T opens a new tab, Ctrl+W closes it, even wheel-clicking to close a tab works. There’s even a new tab box to click for a fresh explorer tab—just like in Chrome.

You can even add folders and bookmarks to Windows Explorer just like you do in chrome.

If you right-click on a tab, you even get the same contextual menu options, including the option to re-open a closed tab, duplicate an existing tab, or pin a tab to the back of the list.

Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - Just like chrome

Just like the chrome

Other noticeable changes:

  • On Windows 10 and 8, it moves the Quick Access Toolbar below to give File Explorer a sleek view of tabs.

You can enable Quick Access Toolbar by following below image:

 

  • One other notable change is that when you open File Explorer, you will see a Clover icon in the taskbar instead of the usual File Explorer icon.
Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - New icon for Explorer!

New icon for Explorer!


#2. QT TabBar:

QT TabBar is a free software for Windows Explorer that brings tabbed browsing to Microsoft’s file browser, along with a ton of features that you can tweak to personalize the whole tabbing environment.

  • Download QT TabBar from here: QT TabBar (~6MB)
  • Extract zip folder and install “QT TabBar”
  • To enable it, follow below steps:

For Windows 7:

  • Go to View -> Toolbars, and click QT TabBar to activate the tabs.
Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - Windows 7

Windows 7

For Windows 8 and 10:

  • Go to View -> Options and click QTTabBar to activate the tabs
Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - Windows 8 and 10

Windows 8 and 10

As soon as you do the steps above, you will be greeted with a nice window tab:

Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - That's a Tab!

That’s a Tab!

You can also activate QT Command Bar to get an extra row of toolbar:

Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - Qt Command Bar

Qt Command Bar

Shortcuts are again same as in chrome. To open a folder in a new tab just hold the Ctrl key while clicking on it. The way you open links in a new tab in chrome. You can also navigate between tabs easily by familiar Ctrl+tab shortcut.

Bonus Feature:

You’ll also notice a new blue down-arrow when you hover over a folder or library. Click it to browse the files in the folder quickly from a pop-up menu. This is a handy time-saving feature.

Get Chrome like tabs inside File Explorer on Windows 10, 8 and 7 - Jorah's sister :D

Jorah’s sister huh 😀

If you wish, you can disable this option and also tweak other things from QTTabBar option window. It’s as customizable as it gets.

Downside:

  • Well, the interface of QTTabBar isn’t pretty (aerodynamic 😛 ) as Clover and the tabs are shown inside the file explorer.
  • You won’t see QTTabBar inside Programs and Features so to uninstall it, you have to run the installer again and select uninstall option.

Which one to choose?

If you’re looking for just a light weight software which gives tabs and nothing fancy then I suggest you go for Clover 3 ( Although on Window10 I’ve noticed some occasional crashes of Clover but most of the time it works fine.)

QT TabBar is built for power users who wanna tweak more things as per their need.So, choose which one suits you and let us know your favorite one. Make sure to leave a comment below if you think the post above helped you in increasing your productivity like a boss! 😎

Happy Tabbing!
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