Fix: Windows File Explorer Tabs Are Not Showing

Tabs in the File Explorer were a much-anticipated feature recently added with the Windows 11 22H2 update. However, some users have reported that tabs are not working on the File Explorer window, preventing them from utilizing this new feature. This post will share how you can fix Windows File Explorer Tabs Not Showing issue.

Fix: Windows File Explorer Tabs Are Not Showing

Fix: Windows File Explorer Tabs Are Not Showing

Following the steps outlined in this guide, users can turn the tabs feature ON in File Explorer and enjoy a seamless experience when managing their files and folders.

  1. Restart Your Computer
  2. Ensure Windows Update is Installed
  3. Restart File Explorer Services
  4. Clear File Explorer Cache
  5. Enable Tabs with ViveTool

This update included many new features and enhancements to the operating system, such as opening multiple tabs in File Explorer, making it easier to explore and manage folders. Users may now switch between folders without running countless instances of File Explorer, thus enhancing productivity and making their experience much more efficient.

1] Restart Your Computer

Restarting your PC is a fundamental troubleshooting procedure that may frequently address various problems, including those relating to the Windows 11 File Explorer.

When you restart your computer, it shuts all open apps and processes and restarts them when you switch it on again. This can help you resolve any software clashes or temporary troubles that may be blocking the File Explorer tabs from appearing.

2] Ensure Windows Update is Installed

Before you start hitting your head that the feature isn’t enabled on your computer, we recommend you ensure that you’re running the Windows 11 22H2 update or a later version. To find out what version of Windows you have, go to Settings > System > About, scroll down, and search for Version under Windows Specifications.

Check Windows version

You can also check for updates on your Windows computer manually by:

  • Press the Win + I keys on your keyboard to launch Settings.
  • Next, navigate to Settings > Windows Update and click Check for Updates.
  • Click the Download and Install button if Windows informs you that version 22H2 is available.

Once the update has been installed, restart your computer to see if you now have the Tabs functionality.

3] Restart File Explorer Services

Restarting the File Explorer closes the application and starts it fresh, which can help resolve any temporary issues causing the tabs not to show. Restarting the File Explorer can also help clear its cache, which can sometimes become corrupt and cause application performance issues.

Restart File Explorer

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  • Now, also make sure to have a Windows File Explorer window open.
  • Next, locate the Windows Explorer under the Processes section of the Task Manager, right-click, and choose Restart.
  • Don’t worry if your computer is unavailable for a few seconds.

Once this is done, open Windows Explorer and check if you’ve got your requested feature.

4] Clear File Explorer Cache

When tackling the problem of tabs not appearing in Windows File Explorer, it is a good idea to clear the File Explorer cache. The cache is a temporary storage location for frequently used data that might occasionally become corrupt, causing problems with the File Explorer’s performance.

Clearing the cache can help resolve these issues by removing any corrupt data and freeing up any resources that may be being used by the application.

Clear Cache File Explorer

  • Open a new instance of the Windows File Explorer and look for the three-dotted icon on the top navigation pane.
  • Click on the three-dotted icon and choose Options from the drop-down.
  • In the new Options Window that pops up, choose the Clear option next to Clear File Explorer History and tap OK.

5] Enable Tabs with ViveTool in Windows 11

Finally, if you’ve upgraded to the newest Windows version, but the feature is still unavailable, you may force enable it on Windows 11 by running a third-party script. Click on this link to discover how to utilize ViveTool on Windows 11 to force Tabs in File Explorer to appear.


Ultimately, tabs not appearing in Windows File Explorer may be an unpleasant experience for users that rely on this function to organize and access their files and folders. However, following the steps outlined in this guide, users can resolve this issue and restore the tabs in File Explorer. These steps include restarting the computer, checking for updates, restarting the File Explorer, clearing the File Explorer cache, and using a third-party tool such as ViveTool to enable tabs in the File Explorer.

Yash Jain
A long-standing Windows fan, Photographer, and Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Smartphones and Technology.


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