3 Tools To Add Tabbed Browsing To Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer Tabs   3 Tools To Add Tabbed Browsing To Windows ExplorerTabbed browsing is a feature that I first encountered 10 years ago in Firefox’s previous incarnation, Firebird. Since then, tabs have popped up in almost every realm related to user interfaces. They make it easy to view lots of data in specific, organized chunks and once you’ve grown used to them, there’s no going back. So why doesn’t Windows Explorer have tabs?

Who knows. Fortunately for us all, a number of hobby programmers felt that Windows would be much improved if it did have tabbed browsing. Imagine how much time and space you could save if you only needed one window with multiple tabs instead of a bunch of windows clogging up your screen.

Here are 3 programs that will add tab functionality to your Windows.

Clover 2

tab windows clover 2   3 Tools To Add Tabbed Browsing To Windows Explorer

Out of all the tabbed explorer programs I’ve seen, Clover 2 simply looks the best out of them if we’re strictly talking about aesthetics. The tabs appear along the top, as expected, and they look exactly like the tabs you’d find in Chrome. The tabs can be rearranged smoothly and they open/close without any hitches.

The one drawback that I experienced was the cumbersome nature of opening new tabs. If you drag a folder to the tab bar, it will open itself in a new tab. Right-clicking does not present an option, nor does middle-clicking open it in a new tab. Without the ease of tab creation, I feel less inclined to use this. However, if that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, then you’ll love Clover 2.

Clover 2 is developed by Chinese programmers, so the website may confuse you and it won’t offer much in terms of information (unless you can read Chinese). However, the download link is prominent, so it shouldn’t prove troublesome.


tab windows qttabbar   3 Tools To Add Tabbed Browsing To Windows Explorer

Admittedly, QTTabBar is my preferred tab explorer program on this list. It may not look as aesthetically pleasing as Clover 2, but it integrates flawlessly into Windows and doesn’t intrude as much. The tabs are neat and unobtrusive, which means you gain the benefits without having to be distracted.

But most of all, I like QTTabBar because opening folders in new tabs is simple: middle-click. Plus, there are a ton of features that you can tweak to personalize the whole tabbing environment. For example, you can save all open tabs and reopen them automatically the next time you open Windows Explorer.


tab windows tabexplorer   3 Tools To Add Tabbed Browsing To Windows Explorer

TabExplorer is good, but I like it the least out of the three on this list. It does what it sets out to do, which is to provide a means for the user to manage multiple windows with tabs. There are a few settings you can adjust, such as toggling TabExplorer on/off (for those times when you don’t want it). It’s not bad at all.

But compared to Clover 2 and QTTabBars, it does lack a bit in the area of performance. Opening and closing tabs does not feel very responsive (a small hiccup of lag). And personally, I don’t like that the tabs are situated outside of Windows Explorer itself.

By all means, give it a try and see if you like it. My criticisms of TabExplorer are mainly based on preference, so you may find that you like it the best. If so, all the more power to you.


Tabbed browsing. Who doesn’t love it? Having it available on Windows is nothing but convenient. Have I missed any other programs that add tab functionality to Windows? If so, please share them in the comments. I, for one, would love to see what else is available out there.

Image Credit: Folder Via Shutterstock

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josemon maliakal

Nautilus is better in the tabbed browser( For Ubuntu ) ,…Just a ctrl+T require..that makes it so easy to handle :)

Efi Dreyshner

Unfortunately, not everybody using Ubuntu :(

josemon maliakal

Ya..that’s true..But as a programmer and web developer, it is the best choice ..I don’t prefer gamers to use Ubuntu ..But other unfortunate guys who’s still using Windows ..please have a look at it (my expericence) ..http://www.texplod.com/ubuntu-the-best-choice-for-humans/

Efi Dreyshner

I will try it when I will use Windows.
Thanks :)

Garey Boone

+1 to QTTabBar simply the best imo

Joel Lee

Thanks for the reinforcement! :)

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I use XYPlorer when I need tabbed interface (it’s portable). If you’re sharing your computer with someone else installing these programs to modify the native interface might not play well with your brother/friend etc.

Joel Lee

That’s a little more complex than just tabs as XYPlorer replaces the whole explorer window, but it’s a good program. Thanks for sharing!

Sonny Bass

The right click menu has always worked fine for me in Clover. Love having my bookmark bar. If you are using Chrome it offers to translate the site for you

Ahmed Khalil

i see Clover 2 shape is looks nice for me

Bewar’of Codingdevil

Awesome post!

Umair Adil

I dont know why but i feel that these addons are making things more and more complicated.

Dhruv Sangvikar

how??? the add a required missing functionality.. moreover they integrate flawlessly..

Joel Lee

Depends on your perspective. For some people, having tabs makes life easier. If you don’t need it, then you shouldn’t feel compelled to get it. Whatever is best for you. :)

Tarek Ramadan

looks nice

Dhruv Sangvikar

Clover is the one for me. u can open a folder in new tab by just pressing ctrl+left double clicking it.. ;)

Joel Lee

Oh, wasn’t aware of that. Awesome!

Daniel Hartle

I use Clover and think it is fantastic and one of the best options out there.


I uploaded clover 2 exe file to virustotal.com for checking for any malicious intent (as i do for any file that i don’t download from popular download sites). 5 out of 36 scanners detected it as riskware. My kaspersky AV flagged it and showed it as ‘not-a-virus:Monitor’. It described the program type as ‘programs that are legitimate in themselves but have the potential to be misused by cyber criminals and to harm the user’s confidential data’. Its possible it is being flagged only because of its function still 5 scanners flagging it is concern for me. Also TabExplorer exe file was shown OK in virustotal.com.


The thumbnail in windows 7 and 8 itself serves as a super awesome tabs.

Joel Lee

In a way, that’s true. But some people–like myself–don’t like to use the thumbnails and have them disabled. :P

Nikhil Chandak

seems to be amazing
never knew about these things
gonna try out

Nikhil Chandak

it was amazing , like my chrome

Joel Lee

Good to hear! Thanks for sharing.

druv vb

This will surely help when viewing multiple folders, and not using the taskbar to switch between them. And it keeps the taskbar clean also.

Gary Mundy

I’m off to add yet another thing that I found out about from Make use of.

Raghav Gupta

Got a new way to open windows from now

Boni Oloff

Clover 2 has the most beautiful looks. I see the tabs like chrome :)


What about the tab I have at the local pub? Does it count :) Actually I’ve been using QTTabBar for some time and find it useful. Clover looks nice but I’m always careful when using Chinese software.

Anwaar Ansari

Clover works flawlessly with Windows Explorer but the one problem I have is whenever I open a window.. the clover icon is opened… thats confusing sometimes

Francisco de GusmĂŁo

Clover is great! I’m already using it!

Jon Smith

never had a need to add tabs in the explorer haha

Debarshi Bhattacharjee

thanks…now i am a clover 2 user!

Douglas Mutay

Clover 2 seems to be the most beautiful


Been looking for some tools like these that is equivalent to Total Finder on OS X. Will try them to see which is the best.

Douglas Mutay

I have tested Clover 2. It’s quite nice. BUT! I have seen that sometime even when I unplug a usb device it was still showing it in the explorer. And when you plug the device again, you now can’t see it. I have uninstalled it and Windows Explorer automaticaly saw it. So I thing it’s a nice app but still need a few fix!

Rubis Song

Agree with you. Had the same experience and finally uninstalled it.

Easton Wiki

I tried them all and Clover 2 wins for me. It is just so much better looking for the layout


Wow this is incredible! I installed QTTabBar, It has everything I ever needed, especially the recently closed, I always wanted that ;)
Once you get used to it, you will never get back to the original explorer..
Thank you ??


I meant to draw hearts but they appeared as ??

Joel Lee

Haha, no problem. Glad you could benefit from one of these programs. :)