Hide Windows Explorer Ribbon Bar in Windows 8

The latest version of Microsoft Windows – Windows 8 has brought many new features like the ribbon bar in Windows Explorer. This ribbon bar is similar to what you are used to in the Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010 user interface. The ribbon bar makes it easy for you to access various commonly used functions like copy, move, delete etc. If you do not like this ribbon bar, then you can minimize it using the tiny arrow button on the top-right corner of the Windows Explorer. But this minimizes the ribbon bar temporarily – next time you start Windows Explorer, the ribbon bar would be there staring in your face. Do not worry, there is way you can permanently minimize the ribbon bar. Here is how :

Note : The following steps require your user account to have Administrator privileges.

  1. Click on the Desktop tile in the Metro UI interface to switch to the Desktop mode. Alternatively, just hit the Windows logo key on your keyboard.

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

  2. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter to start the Group Policy Editor.

    Always Minimize Ribbon Bar in Windows 8

  3. In the Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Explorer on the right side treeview. You would find a setting named Start Windows Explorer with Ribbon Minimized as shown.

    Always Minimize Ribbon Bar in Windows 8

  4. Double-click on this setting to open its properties. In the properties window, select Enabled option and click on the OK button to save the setting.

    Always Minimize Ribbon Bar in Windows 8

  5. Now you can open Windows Explorer and you would find that it always opens with the Ribbon bar minimized.

If at a later time you decide to switch back and remove this setting, then follow the same steps but this time select Disabled in the step 4 above. You may have to log off and then log on again for the changes to take effect.