Windows 11 Build 25136 Brings File Explorer Tabs, Notepad & Media Player Enhancements

Microsoft has released Windows 11 Preview Build 25136 for the Insiders on the Dev channel. This release brings…

Windows 11 Insider Update

Microsoft has released Windows 11 Preview Build 25136 for the Insiders on the Dev channel. This release brings the much-awaited File Explorer tabs feature to the Windows 11 operating system amongst other new features and improvements.

Here are the highlights for Windows 11 Build 25136:

  • You can now open multiple folders in new File Explorer tabs, as opposed to opening them in a new window.
  • Dynamic widgets in the taskbar that displays the latest breaking news around your area amongst other useful information.
  • Significant improvements to the Notepad and Windows Media Player.

With these, Microsoft highlights a new known issue with this flight as well. Let us see what those are in detail and then continue to see how to install this build.

New in Windows 11 Build 25136

File Explorer Tabs

After upgrading to build 25136, you can open multiple locations/directories across the Windows operating system in a single File Explorer window using different tabs, just like in modern web browsers.

Moreover, it has an improved layout of the left navigation pane, making it easier to access the folders that matter to you more than the others. The layout is now much neater and provides easy access to your pinned folders as well as recently accessed content.

FE Tabs
Updated File Explorer. Source: Microsoft

Another change Microsoft has made is that the known Windows folders that are available by default under “This PC” are no longer there and is now only limited to the computer’s drives/ volumes.

Another change that has been made to File Explorer is when you navigate to folders that have been synced to OneDrive (such as Documents, Pictures, etc.), the address bar displays the correct path so you are not confused about whether the content you are seeing is on the cloud or stored locally on your computer.

Note that this feature is rolling out gradually therefore you may not experience it right away. If you cannot wait any longer you can try this hack to activate File Explorer tabs right now!

Dynamic Widgets on Taskbar

You can already see the widgets on the taskbar in Windows 11. However, Microsoft has now made them dynamic, which means that rather than showing static information, you will now see the recent updates around your area, including the breaking news.

Dynamic widget in taskbar
Dynamic widgets in the taskbar. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft says that the content which will be displayed is designed to be “glanceable,” which you can then explore by clicking on it and expanding the widgets board. However, if you do not interact with the content update, it will continue to show the weather in your area after a while.

This feature may not yet be available to all Insiders right away but will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

Improvements to Notepad

Significant improvements have been made to the Notepad application with this flight. The new improvements mentioned below are applicable to Notepad version 11.2205 and above unless stated otherwise.

  • Support for ARM64 devices – The Notepad experience has been improved in terms of speed and performance for ARM64 devices for Notepad version 11.2204 and above, which is available in all channels for Insiders.
  • Improved performance – Users will now notice significant speed and performance gains, especially while scrolling very large files or replacing large amounts of text altogether.
  • Accessibility enhancement – Microsoft has added improvements for screen readers, scaling of text, access keys, and other assistive technologies in the Notepad for people who experience difficulties whilst reading from a screen with standard display settings.
Notepad with Keyboard Access keys
Notepad with Keyboard Access keys. Source: Microsoft

Improvements to Windows Media Player

Upon user requests, Microsoft has added the feature to play your music collection using the Media Player by the date it was added to the playlist. Of course, this means that it can be sorted using the “Date added” option.

Sort media by Date Added
Sort media by Date Added. Source: Microsoft

Moreover, the support for CD playback has also been added, but this feature was silently incorporated back in March 2022 and is now announced by Microsoft.

Microsoft has also made improvements to the UI for better adaptation to Windows theme changes. Also, the media content drag-and-drop experience has been improved.

Other Improvements and Fixes

Other changes and fixes have also been made with this flight:

  • [General]
    • An issue that was leading to some PCs being erroneously detected as tablets has been fixed.
    • An issue causing some Insiders to experience an SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION bugcheck in recent Dev Channel builds has been addressed.
  • [Input]
    • Microsoft is rolling out the ability for Insiders to report animated gifs they feel are inappropriate from the emoji panel (Windows Key + .).
  • [Taskbar]
    • An issue that was sometimes causing taskbar apps to overflow with the system tray icons has been addressed.
    • When hovering on an app in the system tray, its notification will no longer flash.
  • [Start]
    • An issue that could cause the Start menu to only show one column of recommended items has been taken care of.
    • If you’re pinning a large number of apps to the Start menu, it should now refresh to show them more reliably.
  • [Settings]
    • An issue from the previous flight where the “Disks & Volumes” section of Settings app >> System >> Storage wasn’t displaying any disks or volumes has been fixed.
  • [Windowing]
    • A fix to help with a rare issue has been made that was causing the title bars to sometimes go transparent or missing in certain apps.
  • [Windows Update]
    • An issue where Windows Update might unexpectedly show the error 0x00000000 when there wasn’t anything wrong has been fixed.
    • An issue that was leading to some devices bug checking with HYPERVISOR_ERROR when trying to upgrade to a new build has been addressed.
  • [Task Manager]
    • An issue that was causing the Task Manager to crash on launch sometimes after switching between light and dark mode or changing accent color has been fixed.
  • [Other]
    • An issue that could lead to increased latency or stutter in games when v-sync was used has been fixed.
    • An issue that could cause some PCs to freeze after running the wsl –shutdown command has been addressed.

With these new features, improvements, and fixes, there are also a few known issues we think you should know about before upgrading to this build.

Known Issues

  • [General]
    • Windows Insiders on Surface Pro X devices will hit a black screen when attempting to resume from hibernate on this build. To mitigate this problem, you must power cycle (long power button shutdown) to get back into the device. If this becomes a nuisance, you can roll back to the previous OS build or disable hibernation mode.
    • There are reports that the Mica material and Acrylic blur effect is not rendering correctly in OS surfaces like the Start menu, Notification Center and other areas.
    • There are reports that shutting down via the Start menu isn’t working for some Insiders and is unexpectedly rebooting instead.
    • Some games that use Easy Anti-Cheat may crash or cause your PC to bugcheck.
  • [File Explorer]
    • The up arrow is misaligned in the File Explorer tabs. This will be fixed in a future update.
  • [Live captions]
    • Certain apps in full screen (e.g., video players) prevent live captions from being visible.
    • Certain apps positioned near the top of the screen and closed before live captions is run will re-launch behind the live captions window positioned at the top. Use the system menu (ALT + Spacebar) while the app has focus to move the app’s window further down.

Download and Install Windows 11 Build 25136

To install this update, you need to be running Windows 11 and subscribed to the Dev channel. If you have enabled Windows updates, you will automatically get a “New features are ready to install” prompt.

If not, follow these steps to install Preview Build 25136:

  1. Navigate to the Settings app and then click Windows Update on the left.

  2. Here, click Check for updates on the right side of the window.

    check for updates Windows 11
    Check for pending updates
  3. You will then see the following update available under Updates available to download:

    Windows 11 Insider Preview 25136.1000 (rs_prerelease)

    Click Download & install in front of it.

    Download install 1
    Download and install the Insider build
  4. The update will now begin to download and then install. Once complete, click Restart Now.

    Restart PC 2
    Restart PC

Once the computer restarts, you can verify that the OS has been updated by typing in winver in the Run Command box.

Updated 2
Windows 11 Dev updated

Rollback/Remove Windows 11 Insider Preview Update

If you do not wish to keep the installed preview update for some reason, you can always roll back to the previous build of the OS. However, this can only be performed within the next 10 days after installing the new update.

To roll back after 10 days, you will need to apply this trick.

Cleanup After Installing Windows Updates

If you want to save space after installing Windows updates, you can run the following commands one after the other in Command Prompt with administrative privileges:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
dism cleanup
DISM cleanup

Windows 11 Insider Preview updates history

BuildFeatures added
Windows 11 Build 25206SMB authentication rate limiter and dynamic refresh rate
Windows 11 Build 25201Expandable widgets board and sign-in option in Game Pass widget
Windows 11 Build 25197Tablet-optimized taskbar restored, animated icons introduced in the Settings app, system tray icons updated
Windows 11 Build 25193New Braille support for Narrator and Xbox subscription management from the Settings app
Windows 11 Build 25188Intelligent touch keyboard when physical keyboard detached
Windows 11 Build 25169Added App lockdown feature
Windows 11 Build 25126Improved account settings page
Windows 11 Build 25120Added search widget on Desktop/
Windows 11 Build 25115Added suggested actions feature
Windows 11 Build 22616Improved Xbox controller bar
Windows 11 Build 22598Improved Windows Media Player, Windows Spotlight default background
Windows 11 Build 22593Homepage to Windows Explorer
Windows 11 Build 22579Allows naming start menu folders
Windows 11 Build 22572Introducing Microsoft Family and Clipchamp
Windows 11 Build 22567Smart App Control, Focuses On Renewable Energy
Windows 11 Build 22557Folders of pinned apps, DnD, Focus, Live captions, quick access to Android apps, pin files to Quick Access, and more.
Windows 11 Insider Preview dev channel updates history

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