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How to get the Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon on Windows 11

Windows 11 has a distinctively different UI from Windows 10. You will notice the rounded corners and the icons right away but there are other UI changes as well. The File Explorer ribbon in Windows 11 has been redesigned. The important buttons are still easily available but many of the less used settings have been tucked away under menus.

 Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon on Windows 11

Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon on Windows 11

The new ribbon in File Explorer on Windows 11 doesn’t look bad but it is far less functional that the ribbon users have gotten used to with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The ribbon was excellent in terms of UI and functionality. The good news is, you can still get it back in Windows 11.

Get Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon on Windows 11

In order to get the Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon on Windows 11, you need to edit the registry which means you need admin rights on the Windows 11 system.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter regedit and tap the Enter key.
  3. Go to this value: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions
  4. Right-click Shell Extensions and select New>Key.
  5. Name the new key Blocked.

  1. Select the Blocked key and right-click it.
  2. Select New>String Value.
  3. Name the new value {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}.
  4. Click Ok and close the registry editor.
  5. Restart the system.
  6. Open File Explorer and you will see the Windows 10 ribbon.

Change folder view

While the above method works, if you do not see the Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon, you may need to perform one more step.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the more options button on the ribbon.
  3. Select Options from the menu.
  4. In the window that opens, enable ‘Launch folder windows in a separate process’.
  5. Click Ok.
  6. Restart the system.

Note: if you’re having trouble accessing folder options from File Explorer in Windows 11, you can access it from Control Panel. Control Panel has not been removed in Windows 11.

Conclusion

Windows 11 is in its pre-release stage at the moment so it’s possible that the ribbon will look different when it is finally released to the public. That said, it is highly unlikely that the Windows 10 File Explorer ribbon will be added back to Windows 11. This trick will allow you to get the old ribbon back and we hope Microsoft does not block it. It beats having to install a third-party app to modify the UI. To this day, many Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users use ClassicShell and its forks to get the Start Menu they like instead of what the OS offers. It is a waste of system resources to have to run an app simply to change the look of a system.

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