The new build of Windows 11 (build 25300) contains several interesting innovations. Specifically, an experimental explorer based on the Windows App SDK (WASDK) and a new gallery built on Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML). Both applications are disabled by default, but a few simple manipulations allow you to enable them.
The WASDK explorer looks identical to the regular explorer, with the same icons, colors, and arrangement of elements. The only thing you can see is the pizza slice icon on the toolbar. If you hover your mouse over it, you’ll see “You’re previewing the Windows App SDK version of File Explorer”.
The new gallery icon appears in the left panel of the browser, under the Home icon. Clicking on it opens a Google Photos-style feed of photos, sorted by date. If you move the mouse to the right part of the window, the years appear, so you can quickly go to the desired period.
There is also a search box, but so far it has limited functionality. It returns results only if the file name contains the search word. Perhaps in the future they will add the functionality of object recognition in photos and the search will become more useful.
By default, the gallery only uses photos from the OneDrive Pictures library, but you can manually add local sources as well.
Overall, the gallery looks like a nice addition to the system, but not yet ready for release. Regarding the WASDK driver, it is also not stable yet and may crash.
If you still want to test the innovation, below is the algorithm for the necessary actions:
1. Install Windows Insider Build 25300 (link to ISO)
2. Change the registry value from 0 to 1: HKLM \ SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion\ Shell\ Update\ Packages\ MicrosoftWindows.Client.40729001_cw5n1h2txyewy \Compatible
3. Download ViVe Tool from GitHub and extract to folder
4. Run a command prompt as an administrator and navigate to the Vive Tool folder
5. Enter the following commands one by one:
ViveTool.exe /enable /id:40729001 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:40731912 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:41969252 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:42922424 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:41040327 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:42295138 ViveTool.exe /enable /id:42105254
Each of these identifiers is an additional feature or dependency that is not available from the control panel or from other sources. ViVe Tool allows you to enable these features by their IDs. You can also disable them by replacing /enable with /disable.
6. Restart your computer
After that, when you launch the explorer, you will see the icon of a slice of pizza. This will confirm that you are using WASDK File Explorer. The gallery icon will appear in the left panel.