File Explorer with tabs
Image Courtesy:

Microsoft has recently launched an open-source version of File Manager that shipped with Windows 3.0. While the Windows 10’s File Explorer is much better with Tabs support and performance improvements, the old File Manager is not bad either if you are looking for a change.

Microsoft has published the open-source version of File Manager that shipped with Windows 3.0, and it could be installed on newest Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft says that it is actually possible to run one of the outdated File Manager with a little compiling work in Visual Studio 2015/2017.

It is worth mentioning that Microsoft had released the Windows 3.0’s File Manager in early 1990s, so the company tweaked the application to bring it in line with Windows 10 and the security. Microsoft’s engineer Craig Wittenberg even managed to add support for 64-bit Windows 10 operating system and enabled subdirectory support for search.

Last but not the least the engineer also added new features including support for drag and drop. He also made several changes, for example, Microsoft added forward and back navigation, as well as context menus improvements.

File Explorer for Windows 3.0
Image Courtesy:

If you are looking for the original File Manager without any aforementioned tweaks, Microsoft has released the original source for WinFile with minimal tweaks. Microsoft says that the minimal change refers to support for Visual Studio that allows users to run it on Windows 10. For instance, it was a 16-bit app, so the company had to optimize File Explorer to be able to run on 64-bit Windows 10.

Microsoft has already begun the work on the new modern File Explorer for the company’s latest Windows 10 operating system that supports Sets feature to enable tabs support.

Microsoft is reportedly testing a UWP version of File Explorer and it could be released with the Windows Core OS this fall. You can download the Windows 3.0’s File Explorer from here.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.