I recently received an email from a reader who was looking for a way to add tabs to Windows 7's Windows Explorer. The reader is a Windows XP user who wants to move to Windows 7. He has been using QTTabBar in Windows XP for quite some time now and refuses to switch until he can find a suitable replacement that works in Windows 7.
Since I at one time used QTTabBar and loved it, I have a pretty good idea of this fellow's dedication to QTTabBar and his refusal to give up a tabbed user interface in Windows Explorer. Furthermore, like him, I too am surprised by the fact that Microsoft has not yet created a native tabbed user interface for Windows Explorer.
Now, I am aware that the folks behind QTTabBar are currently working on a version for Windows 7. However, it appears that it has been slow going for them and the new version is still in Beta. While I am sure that it will be a great product when completed, I can't really encourage everyone to use a Beta version for mission critical file management tasks.
However, I have discovered another tool called WindowTabs that can add tabs to every running application's Window and allows you to group these tabbed windows together as a single entity. As such, you can open multiple instances of Windows Explorer and group them together to create your own multi-tabbed version of Windows Explorer. It is very simple and works great!
In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll introduce you to WindowTabs and show you how to configure and use it.
Once you download WindowTabs, installing it is a simple procedure with the WindowTabs Setup Wizard, as shown. You can download and use WindowTabs at no cost with the limitation that you can only have three tabs per group. A single-user license is $19 and the registered version removes the three tab limit and includes one year of upgrades. And, WindowTabs is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, as well as both the 32- and 64-bit version of Windows 7.