Install Files App on Windows 11 and Replace File Explorer with Files

Install Files App on Windows 11

Do you want to Install the modern file manager on your Windows 11? And, want to replace it with the default File Explorer App? Then, this article will help you to do so.

Undoubtedly, the File Explorer App in Windows 11 now keeps getting better with every new update. But still, the File Explorer App lacks so many features, that users are waiting for years. Features like multiple tabs, dual-panes, file size, columns, and shell extensions in the context menu are still much-awaited features.

Microsoft recently introduced tabbed UI in File Explorer as a hidden feature. This means you have to install ViveTool and run some commands to get the multiple tabs feature. But, this feature is also currently in the development stage and available only for Windows 11 dev users. You can now also Password Protect Folder on Windows 11. Well, now you don’t need to wait longer to get file explorer features. Yes, you can get all these features with the new modern Files App.

What is Files App?.

Files App is a modern file manager for Windows 11/10. It is a free and open-source File Manager App. App source code is available on GitHub. This means that this app is completely safe to use. File App is basically a much-improved version of File Explorer. It offers an intuitive design with so many customization options. Files App is a custom file manager, that let you customize the look of it using custom themes.

In Files App, you can assign color tags to files and folders. And, later, you can access files frequently using color tags from the sidebar. Sidebar customization options are also available. This means you can easily add Recycle Bin to the file explorer sidebar. No need to go through complicated registry settings.

The best part is Files App offers all those features within the app, which we used to enable through the control panel. Like, you can show confirmation dialogue when deleting files and folders, manage hidden files and folder settings, and change the default terminal app, switch between dark/light mode.

Files App disables “Show more options” in the context menu. And, simply shows all required options with a simple right-click. Even, there is an icon to show file/folder properties with the cut, copy, paste icon in right-click menu. Here are some of the Files App features, that the file explorer app still doesn’t offer.

Files App Features

  • Multiple Tabs (Ctrl + T to open a new tab)
  • Multitasking using dual-pane view.
  • Offers 22 Different custom themes.
  • You can Pin Recycle Bin, Library, Favourites, Cloud Drive to Sidebar.
  • Choose Default Terminal App from Files App Settings.
  • Change Date format for Files and Folders.
  • Show Folder and File Size next to File/Folder Name.
  • Change Startup Settings of Files App.
  • Custom Hidden files and folder settings.
  • Color File Tags.
  • Show/Hide Thumbnails.
  • Compact style in details layout.
  • Shell extensions in the context menu.

There are so many other Files App features, which make Files App the best Alternative to File Explorer.

Install Files App on Windows 11

It’s quite easy to install Files App on Windows 11. You can either download the latest MSIX Package from GitHub. And can sideload Files App on Windows 11. Or, you can install it directly from Microsoft Store.

  1. Open the following link in your Chrome Browser. Or, you can directly search for “Files App” in Microsoft Store App.
  1. After that, click on “Get in Store App”.
  1. A popup will appear, click on “Open Microsoft Store”.
  1. Files App installation page will open in Microsoft Store.
  1. Click on Get to Install Files App on your Windows 11 Computer.
Install Files App from Microsoft Store
  1. Once, Files App gets installed, click on Open to launch Files App.
Open Files App from Microsoft Store Windows 11
  1. That’s it, Files App will now get open. You can now experience so many useful file manager features.
Files App on Windows 11
  1. If you want to set custom themes on Files App. Moreover, if want to enable tags, dual-pane, folder size, and all, then you can open App Settings. Do click on the gear icon, which is available in the upper-right corner of the App.

Appearance – From the Appearance section, you can show/hide sidebar options. And, also can apply a custom theme on File Explorer.

Set Custom Themes in Files App

Preferences – In the Preference tab, you can change the date format and a terminal application. Also can manage hidden files and folders. You can also Enable Delete File Confirmation Dialog from this setting.

Multi-tasking – From this tab, you can manage dual-pane settings. Dual-pane means two windows get open side by side.

Experimental – In this section, you will see features that are currently in beta state. You can enable file tags and folder size from here.

Set Files as the default File Manager (Not Recommended)

The default file manager of Windows is File Explorer. And, if you want to replace it with the Files App, then you can do so through Registry Settings. No worries, you don’t need to go through complicated registry settings. Files App has an experimental feature to do so.

  1. Open Files App. And, click on the settings icon to access Files App settings.
  1. Click on Experimental Tab.
  1. Now, you will see the “Set Files as the default file manager” toggle button. Click on it to enable it.
Replace File Explorer with Files
  1. Registry Editor UAC will appear, click on Yes.

That’s it, Registry Settings will get applied. And, Files App is now your new default Windows 11 File Manager App. That’s how you can replace File Explorer with Files App.

Set File Explorer as your default File Manager again

Suppose you want to get back the old File Explorer App anytime in the future. Then, there are specific steps that you should follow.

  1. First, Close the Files App completely.
  1. Now, Open the Files App by using Windows Search.
  1. After that, do open the Experimental Settings of the Files App Again.
  1. Now, disable the “Set Files as the default file manager” option. Registry UAC window will appear, click on Yes.

Note: Sometimes, disable button doesn’t work. In that case, restart the files app again and do try again. File Explorer will only be available after you approve the Registry UAC window.

Set File Explorer as Default File Manager
  1. Open Windows 11 Settings by pressing Windows + I key.
  1. Click on Apps > Apps & Features.
  1. Scroll down and find Files App from the list. Click on the three-dot icon next to the App name. And, click on Uninstall.
Uninstall Files App from Windows 11
  1. A confirmation dialog might appear, click on Uninstall.

That’s it, Files App is now removed from your system. You can now restart Windows and start using File Explorer App again.