QT TabBar

QT TabBar creates tabbed windows within Windows Explorer (similar to tabs in Firefox and IE7). It comes with a number of nifty features including a favorites function for launching folders

and applications, groupings of folders that can be opened together, tooltip preview functions for a number of file types, and others. It is also highly customizable and hotkey-enabled.

There are categories of users who will like this program: (a) those who think that the tabbed windows in Firefox and now in IE7 are the best thing ever, and wonder why tabs aren’t featured in every

single program that’s ever created, (b) users who work with a lot of windows/folders and can use tabs in windows explorer to better organize their desktop and reduce clutter, and finally (c) everybody else; which is to say that I think this program will appeal to most everyone.

In fact, there are quite a number of cool features which will make navigating/browsing your folders much easier and more interesting. Here are my notes on some of these:

  • Customizable Tabs: the program options give you a significant degree of control over how the tabs are presented and what they look like.
  • Folder Favorites: called ’groupings’. You can create a single ’favorites’ entry for a a group of folders that you can use to open these together. You can access your ’favorites’ through the “QT TabBar standard buttons” which can be displayed within the explorer toolbar.
  • Preview tips: hovering over a number of file types creates a little preview window, including text files and images.
  • Subfolder tips: a little arrow becomes visible under folders that can be clicked on in order to navigate/preview the directory tree structure within it (you can optionally also view files within the tree structure not just folders – see screenshot). This is one of my favorite features, although I might also mention that, in my experience, navigating through a lengthy tree of folders containing many files caused the program to become rather slow and unresponsive.
  • Launcher for applications: from within windows explorer folder. Drag an app icon to the QT TabBar toolbar and it will give you the option to save it a ’favorite’ that you can easily access from within the the toolbar.
  • Folder memo: i.e. the ability to create a note that is attached to any of your folders. This is similar to HOBComment except it does not support files and the memo cannot be displayed as a column within the ’details’ view. Noted are stored in a centralized location and the folder has to be deleted manually if you uninstall the program (see the enclosed manual).
  • Installation: see the enclosed html manual for instructions (very simple process).
  • Hotkeys: every single function that this program offers can be controlled using hotkeys. Run the “QTShortcutKeyEditor.exe” executable (included in the download) in order to customize these.
  • Recently visited: maintains history of visited folders that can be used to quickly go back to any folder you were recently working with.
  • Password protect folder: works well but does not survive terminating the program and/or uninstalling it.
  • Other functions: quite a number of these including windows transparency settings, a search box within explorer toolbar, keep folder topmost, locking a folder, copy path to clipboard, and others.

I ran this program for a fairly short period before realizing that QTTabBar’s many functions together provide a significant overhaul of the explorer navigational experience. Most operations can be performed by right-clicking a tab, but you can also embed a number of standard buttons within the explorer toolbar that make using this program very simple and straightforward. All in all this is an extremely well-designed and powerful program and an invaluable upgrade to windows explorer. I highly recommend it.

Version tested:

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista (.NET Framework 2.0 required for XP).

Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 419K).

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  • Laura M

    I finally decided to download the .Net Framework, because I wanted to use QT TabBar and some other software. I’m glad you highly recommended QT TabBar. It is going to help me navigate through my many folders, much quicker. I love its neat features…subfolder tips, application launcher, multiple tabs, etc. It’s very simple once you figure it out.

  • archer

    this thing is amazing. blows away any of the many explorer addons or replacements that i’ve tried, and i’ve tried a lot.

    huge thanks for this one!

  • hayduk

    Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 419K).
    can you make font more smaller yet?
    I lost my eye 🙂

  • WeSORO

    How much RAM does it use in winXP?


  • 600WPMPO

    very useful….

    cant we get cut,copy, paste & delete buttons (for files , not tabs)on this toolbar, as in XP…?

  • Todd

    Does anyone know how to make the QT TabBar toolbars show up by default when I open a folder? For some reason they only appear when I access explorer by typing explorer.exe or by windows+E.

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  • maravilloso.

  • Paul

    Hi, great app, notice though that under XP, I can’t use the search in XP anymore? I know I can use Google Desktop, but thought I’d mention it.

  • fastrun

    Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista (.NET Framework 2.0 required for XP).
    What a pity!
    I think many people like me don’t like .NET Framework at all!
    Though I love this small soft so much , I have to give it up!
    Thanks anyway!

  • Mojo

    I also hate .NET Framework so I found MyExplorerBar, it adds tabs, too. App is old but very useful

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  • Marios

    This may sound stupid… BUT how to create a new tab?

  • Marios

    Nevermind, I found it…

  • Never imagine use explorer like firefox. With this tools i can work more efficently

  • The DataRat

    Magnificent way to improve -rather than replace- Windows Explorer !

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  • The DataRat


    Still using QT Tab Bar ! And the more I use it, the more I like it. As stated previously:
    Improves Windows Explorer rather than replaces it.

    QT Tab Bar is the FOREMOST Windows Explorer enhancement. Take a little time to set it up.
    The more you use Windows Explorer, the more QT Tab Bar will benefit your file management

    I’ve found that the tabs, and the Groups, are the most useful functions added by QT Tab Bar.


    The PC Rat


  • Jim

    I’d like to point out that there is now a sourceforge project porting/rewriting QTTabBar for Windows 7.

    It’s still in Alpha, but it seems to be a fairly stable alpha.


  • hookdnet

    Tabumanko or HookdNet
    The description of the software again, keep it resides into start-up
    I’ll be the expression of the Explorer tab, it’s that simple.

    Tested the 64bit version of Vista Home, windows 7 and XP at the office.
    Say that both work is that the middle of a 32bit version of Vista would work, but
    Work with the UAC do not necessarily fit all.

    Things needed to run the run-time type dark.
    Partial DLL VC + +, EXE part. NET made it,. NET contains all would be well if the run-time.
    Vista has from the start. NET that includes, XP you need to install it.

    The bad words are included in the application name does not appear normally okay.

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