Microsoft announced the arrival of Windows 11 boasting a new interface with a cleaner and more modern design. Within the changes introduced with respect to Windows 10 we find the new File Explorer, which has changed its interface to a simpler command bar that many users have not finished liking. If that is our case, we must know that we can restore Windows 10 Classic File Explorer.
File Explorer is an application that allows us to browse and access all our files and folders stored on our computer. In Windows 10, the explorer has a ribbon made up of buttons and commands to carry out most of the common tasks like copying and moving files and folders, renaming files, creating folders, among others.
This command bar was first introduced in Windows Vista Explorer. The same command bar was then carried over to the Windows 7 operating system. Later, with the release of the Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft replaced the command bar with a new user interface that would also be included in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
However, with Windows 11, File Explorer has changed its interface from its ribbon to a simpler command bar. Now it has a more organized and modern appearance that, however, has not finished liking everyone. If we want to access a greater number of options, we must click on the icon with three ellipses. Although the number of functions and tools that we can access from the File Explorer in Windows 11 has been reduced compared to its predecessor.
For all these reasons, if we want to use the Windows 10 File Explorer again, we can do it by means of a hidden modification in the Registry that allows us to disable the current explorer and restore the old one. Once this tweak is applied, it forces Windows 11 to display the old browser instead of the new one. We can do this process using the Command Prompt or by creating an automatic .reg file or manually modifying some values from the Registry Editor itself.
Using direct execution from Command Prompt
To return to using the classic File Explorer in Windows 11 we can choose to apply a change in the Registry through the command line. This is something that we can do using the Command Prompt tool that is included by default within the operating system.
To do this, the first thing will be to use the Start menu search engine where we will write CMD so that the Command Prompt appears among the results, which we must execute with administrator rights. Now we write the following command as shown in the image and press Enter to confirm.
Once this is done, a message will appear indicating that the operation has been completed successfully, so all that remains is to restart the PC for the changes to take effect.
If at any time we want to re-enable Windows 11 File Explorer we can do so by typing the command that appears in the image and pressing Enter to confirm.
Run a REG file
Another option that we have to enable the classic Windows 10 File Explorer is to create a registry file with specific commands that we must execute so that it automatically takes care of editing the Windows Registry. To do this we are going to open Notepad and write the following code as shown in the image.
Next, we need to save the file as a format so that it can be read by the Registry, so it must have a .reg extension. To achieve this we will click on File and then on “Save As”. In the “Type” section, we display and select the ” All files” option. Now we give the file a name, for example “explorer” followed by the extension .reg to create a registry file.
Once this is done, we simply have to double click on the file created so that it is executed in the registry file. Finally, we restart the PC for the changes to take effect and we will see the classic File Explorer again.
Modify values from the Registry
This method is focused on expert and advanced users since it requires manually modifying the values of the Windows Registry. Any incorrect modification can cause instability in the operating system, so it should only be carried out at the own risk of each user.
The first thing will be to access the Registry for which we press the key combination “Windows + R” to start the Run command. Here, we type Regedit and hit Enter or the OK button.
Once we have entered the Windows Registry Editor and before modifying anything in any section, we will make a backup, as a preventive measure. To do this, click on “File” and “Export”. Then we specify All in the export range, give it a name, select the .reg format and click “Save”.
Later, we navigate to the following address:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Shell Extensions
Next, we need to create a new registry key within Shell Extensions by right-clicking on the folder and selecting New and Key. As a name we assign Blocked . Now we’ll need to create a new string value, so we move to the right side of the log window, right-click on any blank space, and choose New and String Value. As the name of this chain we put:
Now, we double click on this newly created key to open the editor window. Here, in the Value data section, we write <added> to restore the classic File Explorer. All that remains is to restart the PC for the changes to take effect.
In the event that at some point we want to revert the changes, we simply have to write <delete> in the Value data section of the created registry key.