Every browser has tabs with which you can open multiple website pages. However, Windows doesn’t include tabs to open software and folders with. Microsoft could integrate tabs into Windows in a various ways.
There are, however, a few third-party software packages that add tabs to File Explorer, software windows and the desktop. This is how you can add tabs to Windows 10 with TidyTabs, Stick and Clover.
How to enable Tabs in File Explorer using third-party tools
TidyTabs is a freeware package (with a Pro version) that adds tabs to software windows. The freeware version of TidyTabs adds up to three tabs to windows with which you can switch between running software packages.
They’re like software taskbar buttons included at the top of windows. Instead of opening program windows with the taskbar buttons, you can switch between them with the tabs.
- First, click Download on this page to save the TidyTabs installer to your hard disk.
- Run through the setup to install TidyTabs. Then you should find a TidyTabs icon in the system tray as below.
- Open, and maximize, a software window; and then move the cursor to the top center of the window. You’ll see a new tab for the program as in the snapshot below.
- Click the Restore Down button, and then move the cursor the top-left corner of the program window. You’ll find the tabs at the top left corner of non-full-size windows as below.
- Now open three program windows, and click their Restore Down buttons so they aren’t maximized.
- Left-click a tab on one of the program windows, hold the mouse button and then drag the window tab. A small, transparent window should appear as below.
- Now drag and drop that window onto the tab in another open program. That will add a second tab to both the windows as shown in the snapshot directly below.
- As such, now you can click on the two tabs at the top of the windows to switch between both programs much the same as their taskbar buttons.
- Repeat the previous three steps to add a third program tab to the top of the windows as shown in the snapshot below.
- You can right-click a software tab to open its context menu shown directly below. That includes additional close tab options.
- Double-click the TidyTabs system tray icon to open the software’s customization window.
- You can adjust the tab transparency by clicking the Appearance tab. Drag the Tabs transparency bars left and right to adjust the transparency levels.
- Click Apply > OK to confirm any selected settings.
File Explorer doesn’t have any tabs to open multiple folders in a single window with. It really should do, but Microsoft hasn’t addressed this obvious shortcoming yet. However, EJIE Soft Studio’s Clover software adds tabs to File Explorer comparable to those in Google Chrome.
- Click Download on this Softpedia page to save Clover’s installer.
- Run the Clover setup wizard to install the software.
- Then open File Explorer and hey presto! Now Explorer has a tab bar as shown in the shot directly below.
- Press the New tab button to open new folder tabs. Or you can press Ctrl + T instead.
- You can press Ctrl + Tab to cycle through the tabs. Or move the cursor over a tab and then roll the mouse wheel to cycle through them.
- Clover has a Pin tab option you can select to pin tabs with. You can right-click a tab to open its context menu and then select Pin tab.
- The tab context menu includes a Reopen closed tab option. So you can select that to reopen the most recently closed folder tab.
- Some might also note the Bookmark this page context menu option. Select that option to save folders to bookmarks for quicker access.
- Click the spanner icon at the left of the tab bar and then select Bookmarks to open bookmarked folders from the menu below.
- You can also add a bookmarks bar to Clover by clicking the spanner button and then selecting Settings.
- Select the Always Show the bookmarks bar option on the Settings window. Now you can open folders from the bookmarks bar.
Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2016 and was revamped and updated in December 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.