Windows 11 File Explorer gets a new feature with PowerToys

Don Sharpe
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  • The preview panel can be used to to quickly view files in the File Explorer without necessarily opening the linked applications.
  • Microsoft PowerToys receives a new feature that allows users to mute and unmute the microphone.
  • They are also testing add-ons for the File Explorer, to extend the current capabilities of the preview panel.

The files you use most often can now be viewed quickly and easily in File Explorer. On both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the program’s preview panel allows you to view your photos, videos, documents, spreadsheets, and more without opening the linked applications.

Alternatively, you can also use the Preview pane in the Windows File Explorer by clicking on the “View” tab. When you’re in the View tab, select the Preview pane and then click on the file you wish to preview. 

Therefore, if the file format is supported one can be able to preview the file while on File Explorer itself with PowerToys. Microsoft has for a while now been testing add-ons for Explorer to ensure that they are able to extend the default capabilities of the preview panel.

File Explorer gets a new extension

The existing PowerToys extension adds previewing capabilities for SVG and Markdown files, which is particularly helpful for programmers and web developers. As such, Microsoft is in the process of elevating the File Explorer preview experience with a new extension. 

At the moment, File Explorer has limited support for the text file formats used by developers. There are many files of this type that cannot be previewed in the Preview pane.

Microsoft is working with independent developer Aaron Junker to make a new feature of Windows, which allows you to preview nearly all popular text-based file formats in the File Explorer of Windows 11 or Windows 10. 

Furthermore, Microsoft is planning to add a right-click menu item, “Use text preview for files of this type,” to Windows. According to the company, it will use VS Code for the service.

The new PowerToys Preview module could lead to more powerful integration between Explorer and other Windows apps. For instance, you will be able to preview any file, even if the app you launch doesn’t support it.

Microsoft’s PowerToys new mute and unmute feature

In addition to new functionality for the File Explorer extension, Microsoft PowerToys received a new tool that allows you to quickly mute and unmute your mic and camera via a keyboard shortcut.

Microsoft is also experimenting with a new design for other PowerToys products such as Power Rename and the PowerToys settings tool. The new user interface design will be incorporated into the next major release of PowerToys.

Are you excited to see the new feature on File Explorer? Let us know in the comment section below.