Windows 11 has a new hidden File Explorer, of which the new XAML Photo Gallery is a part. If you continue reading we will tell you more in depth.
Everything seems to indicate that in a future version of Windows 11 we will see how there will be a gallery function that will be integrated into a File Explorer that will be new.
Hidden in the latest development build of Windows 11 (build 25300), the new gallery looks much nicer than what we have right now, allowing you to browse photos by date and search for them using a built-in search box.
This gallery is said to be based on XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) if File Explorer which is based on WASDK ( Windows App SDK) is enabled.
Both of these features are disabled by default in Windows 11 Build 25300 , but if we slightly tweak the registry and reshape the optional hidden features we can enjoy them.
How to enable the XAML gallery
If what you want is to try the Windows 11 XAML gallery and the WASDK file explorer that we are talking about, you should keep in mind that the steps must be exact to those that we show you below.
We should also make it clear that when using a development build of Windows 11 , it could be unstable or incompatible with some hardware on your computer, and that you would need to be a member of the Windows Insider program to get it.
The steps you must perform are the following:
- We install Windows Insider Build 25300. We can download it in an ISO directly from Microsoft.
- Change the registry value from 0 to 1: HKLM \ SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion\ Shell\ Update\ Packages\ MicrosoftWindows.Client.40729001_cw5n1h2txyewy \Compatible
- Download ViVeTool from github (opens in a new tab) and unzip them in a folder that we will call C:\vivetool .
- We start the Command Prompt . To do this we write in the search menu of the start menu Command Prompt and, when it exits, all that remains is to click on Run as Administrator .
- Once inside we must navigate to the folder that we have previously created by typing cd C:\vivetool
- Now we enter these commands and then press Enter ,
- Each of these IDs is an optional feature or dependency that is not available from the control panel or anywhere else. What we achieve with ViVetool is to enable these features by their IDs . Similarly, you can disable them by replacing /enable with /disable.
- The only thing left is to restart the computer.
- After that, when we start File Explorer, you should see the pizza slice icon, indicating that you are using WASDK File Explorer . The gallery icon should also be on the left panel.
Features of the new functions
When we open File Explorer we will see how it is the same as the default with the exact same icons, colors and design.
The only way to tell them apart is that there’s a pizza slice icon in the toolbar, which says “You ‘re previewing the Windows app SDK version of File Explorer ” when you hover over it.
The gallery icon appears below the Home icon in the left panel. If we press it, a series of thumbnails of images that belong to the Images library appear, ordered by file date.
If we scroll on the right side of the window, a list by years will appear , something that is also interesting for organization. There is also a gallery search box in the upper right corner of the window, which means that we will be able to search by name.
Although it is configured (at least in this testing phase) to only take images from the OneDrive library , the fact is that other folders can be added , by clicking on the Locations button that appears in the toolbar when the gallery is open.
After that we must click on Add , in the following dialog box, and the Documents library will be added to the gallery.