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How to enable classic File Explorer ribbon menu on Windows 11

Yes, you can bring back the classic ribbon menu to File Explorer, and here's how on Windows 11.

File Explorer with classic ribbon menu

On Windows 11, Microsoft has introduced an updated version of File Explorer that ditches the classic ribbon menu for a simpler menu with fewer commands.

Although the new experience matches the new design style of Windows 11, it’s not something for everyone. If you prefer the classic File Explorer ribbon menu, it is still possible to bring it back by modifying the Registry (via Tom’s Hardware). However, this only works in the early previews of Windows 11. It is not clear if, after the final product ships, the workaround will work.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to bring back the classic ribbon for File Explorer on Windows 11. (See also the video tutorial with the steps to complete this task.)

Warning: Modifying system files can further damage your Windows installation if it’s not done correctly. It’s assumed that you know what you’re doing and that you have previously created a full backup of your computer.

Enable classic File Explorer ribbon menu on Windows 11

To enable the classic ribbon menu back in File Explorer, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.

  3. Browse to the following path:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked

    Blocked regedit
    Blocked regedit
  4. Right-click the Blocked key and select the New submenu, and choose the String Value option.

  5. Use this name for the key: {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7} to enable the ribbon menu in File Explorer and press Enter.

    Enable ribbon menu in File Explorer
    Enable ribbon menu in File Explorer
  6. Restart your computer.

Once you complete the steps, the next time your computer restarts, File Explorer should now have the classic ribbon menu enabled once again.

If you want the new menu again, you can revert the changes with the steps outlined above, but on step No. 3, make sure to right-click and delete the “String Value” {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}.