Windows 11: New macOS-inspired feature makes your life easier — check it out

Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft is taking a page out of Apple's playbook and introducing a new experimental feature called Peek, which lets users preview files via the spacebar. macOS has a similar perk called Quick Display, allowing users to swiftly preview highlighted and selected files in Finder (h/t Windows Latest).

Quick Display, however, comes with additional goodies, including grid viewing, file sharing and editing tools. Peek will simply offer glimpses of files without fully opening them up.

Windows 11 introduces new macOS-inspired feature called Peek

The Surface Duo series, Microsoft's foldable phone line, also has a feature called Peek, which lets users open the book-like device ever-so-slightly to get a glimpse at who's calling before picking up.

Microsoft Surface Duo peek mode

Microsoft Surface Duo Peek Mode (Image credit: Future)

Windows 11's new Peek feature has a similar concept, allowing users to preview files before launching them. Reports say Peek is a macOS-inspired feature that mimics Quick Display, introduced by Apple in 2007 for the release of macOS X 10.5 Leopard. 

TechSpot says it's surprised that Microsoft hasn't introduced Peek earlier, but to be fair, PC users can technically "preview" contents by simply changing how they appear in File Explorer. By navigating to View > Extra Large Icons, you can see what's inside your files without having to do a thing. However, this nifty trick is best for photos; you can't get a glimpse inside documents such as PDFs and Microsoft Word files with this setting, for that you need to enable the preview pane. Quick Display, on the other hand, lets you preview photos and PDFs in a snap.

Like Quick Display, users will need to press Shift + spacebar to launch Peek.

If you're wondering how you can explore Windows 11's new Peek feature, TechSpot says it will be "exclusive to Windows 11 versions of PowerToys," but it's unclear when it will be released. Microsoft PowerToys is free software that comes with a set of useful tools for power users to streamline and fine-tune their PC experience.

We hope Peek makes its way over to Windows 11's public builds sooner than later.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!