Microsoft has plenty of changes on the horizon for the Windows 11 File Explorer, the platform's default app for managing and browsing files and folders. One feature is Gallery View, which will provide a new way for finding photos on a PC.
File Explorer has already received a new tabs feature that lets you open multiple locations in one window, and a new design based on the Windows App SDK that gives it a modern look and feel. The Windows 11 File Explorer Gallery feature was first spotted in February, and we are now learning that it will allow users to upload photos directly from their phone.
Microsoft watcher @XenoPanther found the ability hidden in the Gallery feature and posted an image to show an “Add phone photos” option. This seems to mean that users will be able to send photos from their mobile devices directly to Windows 11. Perhaps this will involve Microsoft's Phone Link app, but that is unclear at the moment.
The button on the Gallery is currently not functioning, so that suggests Microsoft has only recently started developing the feature.
Dev build adds a "Add Phone Photos" button to the Gallery if there are no images to be viewed. The button currently doesn't do anything pic.twitter.com/cejWdhrQ7Z
— Xeno (@XenoPanther) May 4, 2023
Changing the Way You See Photos in File Explorer
File Explorer can already display images in the “Pictures” folder mainly, but also in any other folder. Currently, these are displayed as icons or thumbnails. It seems the new feature will be much more like a proper gallery, showing larger images instead of just small thumbnails.
It will also offer more functionality, such as being able to sort through images in a timeline. It will also allow users to customize which photos they see. It also has a search function, but it does not seem to be an image search.
The Gallery view is currently hidden in Windows 11 Insider builds 25300 and above, but you can enable it manually using third-party tools. Or, simply wait for Microsoft to make it public for Insiders before a wider launch of the feature later this year.
Another upcoming Windows 11 File Explorer feature is the recommendations addition that I reported on last month is also included. It is unclear what this feature will be. It could either be a folder recommendation component or a way for Microsoft to advertise other services within File Explorer.
Tip of the day: To prevent attackers from capturing your password, Secure Sign-in asks the user to perform a physical action that activates the sign-in screen. In some cases, this is a dedicated “Windows Security” button, but the most common case in Windows is the Ctrl+Alt Del hotkey. In our tutorial, we show you how to activate this feature.