Windows 10 Build 20211 Brings WSL File System Access

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A new Windows 10 build has landed in the Dev channel, with this one bringing in a couple of neat additions to the OS. One of these new features is something that developers will enjoy.

As noted, build 20211 is the newest preview from the development branch that has been released to Insiders to take for a test drive. And though most of the announcement post is about what Microsoft fixed, improved, or is yet to, there are two note additions of note.

One is that search is now available on the Default Apps page in Setting, and the other is Linux file system access in WSL.

In fact, both these have been the most request of features in Windows 10.

Build 20211 Default Apps Search

The former lets you go and search for a file extension to find it, instead of scrolling through endless lists in order to manage what file type to open with which program by default. You can search for file types and protocols here.

Also added in, is the ability to attach and mount a physical disk inside of a WSL 2 distro. This enables the option of accessing file systems that are not natively supported by Windows — like ext4 for example.

A very welcome addition for those who dual boot Windows and Linux, and are using different disks on their systems. They can now access your Linux files right from the Windows operating system, just like having native access.

This was one of the biggest features missing from the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and good to see that it will be here soon.

Of course, since this build is for the Dev channel, it is not tied to a specific feature update. These features listed above could debut in 21H1, or they may arrive in a later update. Or, you know, canceled completely, as has happened in the past.

As always, you can grab build 20211 from Windows Update.

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