We mentioned QTTabBar in a previous post about useful Windows Explorer plugins. That was three years ago and the plugin was for Windows XP. Windows 7 had not yet arrived at the scene and Vista was not compatible with the plugin. After a long hiatus, the developers have released the first beta of a new version they are working on. This time Windows 7 is supported.
So what is QTTabBar? It is an add-on for explorer that enables users to open new explorer windows in tabs rather than as separate windows.
QTTabBar adds a toolbar underneath the location bar. The toolbar contains a few buttons for tab control and some other features, and the tabs-bar. Once you get over the hideous look, you will find that QTTabBar is actually quite useful.
For starters, you get tabs instead of windows just like in browsers. The tabs lined next to each other allows you to easily switch between folders/drives. Then you get options such as ‘close all but this’, ‘close right’ and ‘close left’ for easy tab management. You can lock tabs, clone tabs, arrange tabs by name, path or active. You also get tab history and the ability to undo closed tabs.
There is but no ‘open in a new tab’ or ‘open blank tab’ option in QTTabBar. To open a new tab you either have clone the current tab and use the new tab to browse to the desired location, or open a new window and then use the context menu to ‘merge tabs of other windows’.
Customization options are abundant, from mouse click actions, tab behavior to tab appearance. There is also plenty of customizable shortcut keys for every possible action.
QTTabBar is free to use. In case you don’t like it, you can simply disable the QTTabBar toolbar in explorer. To re-enable QTTabBar, press the Alt key to reveal the menu bar. Then enable the toolbars from the View menu.
Related: Add tabs to Microsoft Office programs.