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How to Enable UWP File Explorer in Windows 10

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It seems we’ve been trashing the Windows File Explorer a lot lately. Honestly, it does deserve all the trashing it can get. Fortunately, Microsoft does realize that they need to do something about it. Mac or Linux users have much better default file explorers, and some even better options available. Microsoft has been busy updating the entire Windows interface to its Modern design, slowly, and it is only a matter of time until Windows Explorer gets the same treatment. And we can be really hopeful about it considering there is already a UWP File Explorer in Windows 10. In case you weren’t aware, UWP stands for Universal Windows Platform.

This is by no means a finished product and you’re probably not going to like it. It is even less functional than the original Windows Explorer, but that’s expected. It is after all not something that the company wants to be revealed yet. Furthermore, the UWP File Explorer is prone to crashing randomly. Once again, that’s not something anyone can complain about at this point. The point is, we get it if you feel excited, but don’t expect a lot. We’ll talk about some of the things it can do in a bit.

This is a bare-bones file explorer and very far from an official release, we hope. Also, while this gives us hope that the Windows File Explorer will someday be worked on, it does not necessarily mean so. It is possible that Microsoft is simply trying to create a file explorer for touch-based tablet devices rather than a full-fledged PC file explorer.

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How to enable UWP File Explorer in Windows 10

  1. Right-click on the desktop on an empty space and select New > ShortcutHow To Enable the UWP File Explorer in Windows 10
  2. In the location filed, type the following command or rather copy and paste it, instead of a location.
    explorer shell:AppsFolder\c5e2524a-ea46-4f67-841f-6a9465d9d515_cw5n1h2txyewy!App

    How To Enable the UWP File Explorer in Windows 10

  3. Click Next and give it any name you want, then click FinishHow To Enable the UWP File Explorer in Windows 10
  4. You should now have a shortcut with the Windows Explorer icon. Double-click on it and it will launch the UWP File Explorer. 

As you can see, it is quite different from the file explorer you’re used to. There is no quick access or one drive, or anything else. No separate Libraries either. It simply opens up to a This PC view with even the drives listed as folders. You can only switch between the default icon view or a tile view. Right-clicking on empty areas doesn’t work, and even on the files and folders the context-menu isn’t much help. As we said, this is clearly not meant to be used at this point. But if you’re someone who is always excited to try out new things, this is definitely worth a try given how simple it is to enable the UWP File Explorer.

At most, you can definitely view your files and copy them around. Not much else. You can still open zip or other archive files from this explorer, provided you have the right tools installed.

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