How to Restore Windows 10’s File Explorer on Windows 11

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Windows 11 has many new features, and some of them, and some of them not so much. One let-down that many people agree on is the File Explorer. If you are thinking of installing the insider preview version of Windows 11 or waiting for the release later this year, you don’t have to go back on your plans just because of the explorer. This tutorial will show you how to restore Windows 10’s File Explorer on Windows 11.

Restore Windows 10’s File Explorer on Windows 11

So, what is it that bothers people about the new layout? The layout is similar to Windows 10’s; however, there is no ribbon menu, and many items that we access regularly are buried in submenus. Functions like cut, paste, rename, etc., appear only as icons. There is no text to tell you which icon performs what function. When you go through the new explorer, you may find further things that annoy you. If you like the Windows 10 explorer and want to continue using it in Windows 11, you can get it back using the Registry Editor.

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Registry Editor

Step-1: Open the Run box using the shortcut keys Win + R.

Restore Windows 10's File Explorer on Windows 11

Step-2: Type regedit and press Enter.

Restore Windows 10's File Explorer on Windows 11

Step-3: You will be asked, do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device? Select Yes.

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[Many users with the Windows 11 insider preview have complained that the UAC prompt gives a Remember me option and another option labeled C. This is probably a bug and hopefully will be fixed when Windows 11 is released later this year. If you see this error, then click on Remember me, and you will be able to open the Registry Editor]

Step-4: Type the following path in the Registry Editor and press Enter:

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

Registry Editor

You can navigate manually, too, using the left pane if you want.

Step-5: Under Shell Extensions in the left pane, see if you can see Blocked.

Shell Extensions

If you don’t, then create this key. Right-click on Shell Extensions, hover the cursor over New, and select Key.

Create Key

Step-6: Label this new key as Blocked.

Step-7: Now, right-click in the right pane and hover the cursor over New. Select String Value.

Restore Windows 10's File Explorer on Windows 11

Step-8: Name this value as:

{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}

Restore Windows 10's File Explorer on Windows 11

Step-9: Close the Registry and restart your PC.

This will give you the Windows 10 explorer back, but some features may be slightly different. If you want to get the Windows 11 Explorer, right-click on the newly created Blocked Key and the String Value and select Delete. After that, restart your system again.

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