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.
With Windows 11, however, File Explorer has changed its interface from its ribbon to a simpler command bar. Now it has a look neater and more modern which, 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 which we can access from File Explorer in Windows 11 it has been reduced relative 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.
Use 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 for the Command Prompt to appear 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 option “All the files”. Now we give the file a name, for example “explorer” followed by the .reg extension to create a log 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 Windows Registry values. 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 inside Shell Extensions for which we right-click on the folder and select 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 string we put:
Now, we double click on this newly created key to open the editor window. Here, in the Value data section, we write
In the event that at some point we want to revert the changes, we simply have to write