Microsoft is testing File Explorer UI changes. The interface comes complete with integrated RGB lighting controls, a modern home interface that showcases large file thumbnails, and a carousel layout highlighting recent and favored files. The refined File Explorer UI aligns harmoniously with Windows 11’s overall design language, featuring a revamped address bar and search box.
Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s senior program manager, explains, “The new address bar intelligently recognizes local vs. cloud folders with built-in status. For OneDrive users, you’ll notice the address bar now contains your OneDrive sync status and quota flyout.”
In addition to the File Explorer changes, Microsoft is also conducting tests on its built-in RGB lighting support, known as “Dynamic Lighting.” This Windows 11 feature employs the open HID LampArray standard to control RGB lights.
Bringing RBG to life
Microsoft has collaborated with renowned brands such as Acer, Asus, HP, HyperX, Logitech, Razer, and Twinkly to achieve Dynamic Lighting, which enables Windows apps and the Settings section of Windows 11 to control compatible devices.
LeBlanc adds, “Microsoft seeks to improve the RGB device and software ecosystem for users by increasing interoperability of devices and apps.”
While Windows 11 testers can experience an early implementation of Dynamic Lighting, Microsoft advises that wireless devices may encounter several issues, suggesting wired connections for optimal functionality. A wide range of Razer keyboards and mice are supported, with support for Asus keyboards and mice arriving soon.
Though notable PC gaming brands such as Corsair, SteelSeries, MSI, and NZXT are not currently listed, Microsoft states that additional LampArray devices from various manufacturers will be available in 2024, potentially expanding future support.
By collaborating closely with partners, Microsoft aims to address the fragmented state of RGB lighting on PCs, where multiple apps vie for control over different lights. OpenRGB has served as a viable alternative, but with Microsoft’s concerted efforts, enhanced support is expected.
To explore the new File Explorer UI and Dynamic Lighting features, Windows Insiders running the latest Dev Channel release of Windows 11 can partake in the testing. Microsoft will likely roll out these exciting features to all Windows 11 users later this year, promising an enriched user experience.