Windows 11 Beta Build Features New ‘Gallery’ Photo View in File Explorer

Windows 11

Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 developer preview that makes it faster and easier to view photos in the Windows File Explorer. In the preview release, users can directly view their Photos app image library while browsing files and folders within File Explorer.

As spotted by Engadget, Microsoft is calling the new File Explorer feature “Gallery.” The new Gallery view is a display option from within File Explorer, and by default, it shows users the same collection of images they’d see when using the “All Photos” view in the Photos app.

Windows 11
Last September, Microsoft redesigned its Photos app. Among many new features, the app includes a “Gallery” view, which is now being brought directly into Windows File Explorer.

Microsoft completely redesigned its Photos app for Windows 11 last September, giving the app an improved user interface, new Gallery view, a better “Memories” feature, and more. However, in exchange for its fresh coat of paint, the app ditched the legacy app’s video editor.

The new Gallery feature in File Explorer is a direct extension of the feature within the latest release of the Photos app.

“Gallery is optimized for accessing your most recently taken photos. If you have OneDrive Camera Roll Backup set up on your phone, photos you take will show up automatically at the top of the view. You can choose which folders are shown in Gallery through the Collection dropdown. You can also add subfolders of existing sources to filter to a subset of your content, such as desktop backgrounds and SD card/camera imports,” Microsoft explains.

Windows 11

Microsoft’s description means that while a default view will show all photos within the Photos app, users maintain control over how their images are displayed within the new File Explorer Gallery view. Some organization features are available within Gallery — the app won’t force users to scroll through their entire image library if they don’t want to.

The Gallery feature is also available from the “file picking” dialog, making it easier for users to find and select images for use in a PowerPoint presentation, email attachment, or when creating social media posts.

How-To Geek reports that Microsoft is also developing an updated codebase for File Explorer that uses WinUI 3 instead of the current WinUI 2.

Windows 11

Windows Insider Build 23435 is rolling out to select Dev Channel Insiders now. However, Microsoft says it will be rolled out to additional users pending initial feedback.

Alongside Gallery, the new Windows 11 build includes other changes and improvements, including new sign-in options, improved Narrator functionality, additional privacy and security settings, bug fixes, better accessibility control, and more. There are a few known issues with Gallery, including occasional user experience problems, incorrect rendering for specific file types, such as HEIC, issues with live updating, and more.

For full details on the Windows 11 Insider Build 23435 and all its changes and known issues, visit the Windows Blog.

Image credits: Microsoft