Get Back Windows 10 Ribbon UI in Windows 11 File Explorer

The File Explorer in Windows 11 comes with a new/modern ribbon interface with small icons (having no caption text underneath). The new ribbon interface may look bland and uncomfortable for new users who have upgraded to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or earlier.

get back old classic ribbon windows 11

Luckily, there are a couple of ways to get back the classic ribbon (Windows 10-style) interface in Windows 11 File Explorer.

**Update – September 2022: Methods in this article do not work in Windows 11 22H2.

Get Back Classic Ribbon in Windows 11 File Explorer

To restore the old/classic ribbon back in Windows 11 File Explorer, follow these steps:

Method 1

  1. Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following branch:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions
  3. Create a subkey called “Blocked” if it doesn’t exist and select it.
  4. In the right-pane, create a new string value (REG_SZ) named “{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}
    get back old classic ribbon windows 11
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
  6. Log off and log back into your user account, or restart the Explorer shell using Task Manager.

Alternately, to accomplish the above using command-line, open an elevated or admin Command Prompt and run this command:

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked" /v {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}

Here you go! The classic ribbon with colorful icons is back.

get back old classic ribbon windows 11

To reverse the changes and go back to the new/modern ribbon in Windows 11’s File Explorer, just delete the {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7} string you added using the Registry Editor.

Method 2

In this method, we can disable a different GUID [{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}  — File Explorer CommandBar View Adapter] which will disable the modern ribbon UI and bring back the classic ribbon.

  • From a Command Prompt window, execute this command:
    reg add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}\InprocServer32" /d "" /f
  • Log off and log back in for the change to take effect. Or restart the Explorer shell.

This restores the classic ribbon in File Explorer.

Note that this method works on a per-user basis.

If you want to reverse the above setting, run this command:

reg delete "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}" /f

After a logoff-login cycle, the above command restores the default ribbon UI in File Explorer.

(Last tested on Windows 11 Version 21H2 OS Build 10.0.22000.434)

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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