Windows 11 File Explorer controls are potentially unclear to older users

Steel Contributor

I work with many older clients over the age of 70 and several tell me they do not "read" icons very well, and prefer to look for text on screen to help them remember what the "different buttons do."


The optional large ribbon of toolbar buttons in Windows 10 File Explorer made things extremely clear, with large buttons and icons with clear text explaining the common functions of copying, pasting, moving, renaming, sharing or deleting items.


I personally like the minimal design of Windows 11, and it is great that the design follows through all apps, so that the icons are the same, but I would really like to see a few more text labels.


I attach a suggested improvement for File Explorer:




5 Replies
Thank you for sharing this feedback.
I advise you to open start and search for feedback and open the Feedback Hub app and create a new suggestion and share your idea there.
I have submitted this via the Feeback hub twice. I wrote this post here because I have been showing some of my clients Windows 11 over the past fortnight and many of them have said how much they like the overall design and features of Windows 11, but a few have commented to me directly that they are concerned that they will find the new File Explorer confusing to use when they upgrade their computers over the next few months.
You only need to share the feedback once and Windows team will review it.
Regarding icons without text: I've noticed that hovering the cursor over the icon's brings up a brief text description whether hovering over a file, folder, to taskbar item.
Thanks @Taco_Monster, this is what I advise my elderly clients using Windows 11 to do, but it makes life complicated for them - after the age of 80 certain things are not remembered easily and a text reminder on screen without having to click something first would be beneficial. (My eldest client is now 96 and happily using Windows 11 after recently upgrading. She loves it but finds the new Start system and icons confusing.)