Restore Classic File Explorer with Ribbon in Windows 11


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File_Explorer_banner.png

File Explorer in Windows 10 has a ribbon, tabs, and a title bar with color. The ribbon includes common tasks, such as copying and moving, creating new folders, emailing and zipping items, and changing the view. The tabs change to show extra tasks that apply to the selected item.

In Windows 11, Microsoft made File Explorer modern with a clean look and brand-new command bar instead of the ribbon.

If you prefer, you can restore the classic File Explorer with ribbon in Windows 11.

This tutorial will show you how to restore the classic File Explorer with Ribbon for your account or all users in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Temporarily Open File Explorer with Ribbon
  • Option Two: Create Shortcut to Always Open File Explorer with Ribbon
  • Option Three: Restore Classic File Explorer with Ribbon for All Users using REG file (No longer works in 22H2+)
  • Option Four: Enable or Disable File Explorer Command Bar for Current User using REG file (No longer works in 22H2+)
  • Option Five: Enable or Disable File Explorer Command Bar for Current User using Command (No longer works in 22H2+)


EXAMPLE: File Explorer with command bar and ribbon in Windows 11

File_Explorer_with_command_bar.png
File_Explorer_with_ribbon.png





Option One

Temporarily Open File Explorer with Ribbon


This option will open a File Explorer window with the ribbon.

You will be able to browse and navigate in this File Explorer window with a ribbon only for as long as this window is open.


1 Open the Control Panel.

2 Perform one of the following actions depending on which Control Panel view is used: (see screenshots below)
  • If using small icons view, click/tap twice on the Up arrow.
  • If using large icons view, click/tap twice on the Up arrow.
  • If using category view, click/tap once on the Up arrow.
Control_Panel_small_icons_view.png
Control_Panel_large_icons_view.png
Control_Panel_category_view.png

3 You will now have a File Explorer window with the ribbon open. (see screenshot below)

File_Explorer_window_with_ribbon.png





Option Two

Create Shortcut to Always Open File Explorer with Ribbon


1 Create a new shortcut using the command below for the path you want:

Open File Explorer to Desktop with Ribbon
powershell.exe -nop -ep bypass -c "& {"Start-Process \"Control\"; $wshell = New-Object -ComObject wscript.shell; $null = $wshell.AppActivate(\"Control Panel\"); Start-Sleep 0.75; $wshell.SendKeys("'""^"lDesktop~"'")}"

OR

Open File Explorer to Home with Ribbon
powershell.exe -nop -ep bypass -c "& {"Start-Process \"Control\"; $wshell = New-Object -ComObject wscript.shell; $null = $wshell.AppActivate(\"Control Panel\"); Start-Sleep 0.75; $wshell.SendKeys("'""^"lHome~"'")}"

OR

Open File Explorer to OneDrive with Ribbon
powershell.exe -nop -ep bypass -c "& {"Start-Process \"Control\"; $wshell = New-Object -ComObject wscript.shell; $null = $wshell.AppActivate(\"Control Panel\"); Start-Sleep 0.75; $wshell.SendKeys("'""^"lShell:OneDrive~"'")}"

OR

Open File Explorer to This PC with Ribbon
powershell.exe -nop -ep bypass -c "& {"Start-Process \"Control\"; $wshell = New-Object -ComObject wscript.shell; $null = $wshell.AppActivate(\"Control Panel\"); Start-Sleep 0.75; $wshell.SendKeys("'""^"lThis PC~"'")}"




Option Three

Restore Classic File Explorer with Ribbon for All Users using REG file


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


This option will no longer work on Windows 11 version 22H2 and higher.


1 Do step 2 (classic) or step 3 (default) below for what you would like to do.

2 To Restore Classic File Explorer with Ribbon

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Restore_classic_File_Explorer_with_ribbon.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked]
"{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}"=-

3 To Restore Modern File Explorer with Command Bar

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Default_modern_File_Explorer_with_command_bar.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked]
"{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}"=""

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 Sign out and sign in or restart the computer to apply.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




Option Four

Enable or Disable File Explorer Command Bar for Current User using REG file


This option will no longer work on Windows 11 version 22H2 and higher.


1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Enable File Explorer Command Bar

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Enable_File_Explorer_command_bar.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}]


 3. To Disable File Explorer Command Bar

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Disable_File_Explorer_command_bar.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}\InprocServer32]
@=""

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 Either restart the explorer process, sign out and sign in, or restart the computer to apply.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




Option Five

Enable or Disable File Explorer Command Bar for Current User using Command


This option will no longer work on Windows 11 version 22H2 and higher.


1 Open Windows Terminal, and select Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

2 Copy and paste the command below you want into Windows Terminal, and press Enter.

(Disable)​
reg add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{d93ed569-3b3e-4bff-8355-3c44f6a52bb5}\InprocServer32" /f /ve

OR​

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

3 Close Windows Terminal.

4 Either restart the explorer process, sign out and sign in, or restart the computer to apply.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • File_Explorer.png
    File_Explorer.png
    5.6 KB · Views: 189
  • Default_modern_File_Explorer_with_command_bar.reg
    680 bytes · Views: 356
  • Restore_classic_File_Explorer_with_ribbon.reg
    682 bytes · Views: 288
  • Enable_File_Explorer_command_bar.reg
    590 bytes · Views: 34
  • Disable_File_Explorer_command_bar.reg
    634 bytes · Views: 36
Last edited:

cereberus

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Deities Fangs - how can anybody think the new abomination of file explorer is an improvement? Another dumbed down interface!

More clicks to do what we could do easily before e.g.

All versions of file explorer since W7

Before to copy a file
Right click copy, right click paste

Now
Right click copy, Right Click More Options, paste

Just one example - I hope they do not disable this like the W10 Start Menu.

The more I use W11, the more dissatisfied I become.

We're doomed!

 

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Bree

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Now
Right click copy, Right Click More Options, paste
There's no need to go to 'Show more options', the right-click has a 'paste' icon.

1629318616435.png
 

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davewin11

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It seems to me that the option should be there already in preferences. It is not as though the symbols are some global standard, or maybe they are!?
 

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Wisewiz

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@Brink
Thanks for this quick-and-easy. I didn't hate the new command bar, I just found it puny and anemic. The rich ribbon is so much more useful.
 

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Brink

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:shawn:
 

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Awesome Brink, Awesome !! :)
 

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Fabler2

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How ironic. Wasn't all that long ago people hated the 'new Ribbon' in File Explorer. :zany:
 

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Ya but I hate that command bar, going from 10 to 11 takes some adjusting, and now I have the normal looking 10 drop down menu window when I right click on folders and things, the other way I had to click 4x before the window stayed open.

To delete or copy and paste is a PITA with the other window, I gotta make it how I want it to enjoy it (y)
 

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Fabler2

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Ya but I hate that command bar, going from 10 to 11 takes some adjusting, and now I have the normal looking 10 drop down menu window when I right click on folders and things, the other way I had to click 4x before the window stayed open.

To delete or copy and paste is a PITA with the other window, I gotta make it how I want it to enjoy it (y)
I'm not sure what you mean about the new context menu as copy, delete, cut, paste, rename and share are all icons. Still if you're happy that's what counts. :)
 

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Ya I don`t like the icons, I just like the words. Plus it wouldn`t stay open, now it`s perfect (y)

OK something`s wrong it went back to the way it was :mad:
 

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    Skylake Special X299
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    Intel Core i9 9900X
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    Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 32GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZR)
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    EVGA RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 Ultra Gaming (12G-P5-4877-KL)
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    2560 x 1440 165Hz
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    Samsung 980 Pro 500GB x2, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2, Western Digital Black 4TB x1
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    EVGA 1200 P2, EVGA Black Custom Braided Cables
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    Corsair H115i, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
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    Logitech G910 Orion Spark
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    Logitech G700s, Asus ROG GX860 Buzzard
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    Thermaltake Riing Duo 14 x3, Thermaltake Riing Plus 14 x2, Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless Headset
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
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    Skylake Special Z170
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    Intel Core i7 6700K
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    Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16D-16GTZR)
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    EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC x2, EVGA Pro SLI Bridge
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    Realtek High Definition
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    AOC G2460PG
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    1920 x 1080 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 870 Evo 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2
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    EVGA 1000 P2, EVGA White Custom Braided Cables
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    Corsair H100i v2, Corsair ML120 x2, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
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    Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway 75/75
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ThrashZone

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Hi,
I'm not minding the new display to much seems okay once you see where the stuff is now
Might leave it a little while

Not sure why they keep putting the details pane on the side though that is dumb, bottom is best place for it ms :doh:
 

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    asus x3
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    Onboard Realtek x3
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    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
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    Hard Drives
    To many to list
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    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
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    G710+x3
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Wisewiz

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Old New Explorer (Download OldNewExplorer - MajorGeeks) takes neat care of this. Doesn't really have to be installed; works perfectly in 11. Just read the readme file, and if the only thing you click is "Details pane at bottom" it will change only that feature when you close the app (don't click Uninstall, or you'll undo the change).

Just double-click the .cfg file and you're good to go.

Deatils pane.jpg
 

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    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
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    i5-8400 @ 2.80MHz
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    Lenovo
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    16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
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    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
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    LG E2442
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    1920x1080
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    2 x Samsung 870 EVO SSD
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    Lenovo SFF
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    Microsoft Wired 600
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    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
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    Lenovo ThinkCentre M910S SFF
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    i7-7700 @ 3.60MHz
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    Lenovo
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 @ 2400MHz
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    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
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    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
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    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
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    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung 870 EVO SSD
    Mouse
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    Microsoft 600 wired
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Hi,
Can you do that @Brink ?
Just the details pane bit
I hate you can't have preview and details pane activated at the same time.
 

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    asus x3
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    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
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Brink

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Hi,
Can you do that @Brink ?
Just the details pane bit
I hate you can't have preview and details pane activated at the same time.
I'm not aware of a way to have both panes at the same time. It was the same in W10. :(
 

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    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
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    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
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    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
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    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
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    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech MX Master 3
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    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
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    HP Spectre x360 2in1
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    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
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    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
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    Intel Iris Plus
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    Intel SST
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    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
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Wisewiz

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Until/unless Shawn Brink gets time to do this, Old New Explorer does what you want. Once you set Details to bottom, Preview opens while Details is open.

Deta & Prevew.jpg
 

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    11 Pro 22H2 (22621.1194)
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    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
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    i5-8400 @ 2.80MHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung 870 EVO SSD
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Wired 600
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    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for satellite!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 22H2 1194
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M910S SFF
    CPU
    i7-7700 @ 3.60MHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16GB DDR4 @ 2400MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung 870 EVO SSD
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
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    Microsoft 600 wired
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    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender

ThrashZone

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I'm not aware of a way to have both panes at the same time. It was the same in W10. :(
I hate it doing that crap it's senseless
 

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    asus x3
    CPU
    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
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    xfinity gigabyte
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I have to click 4x to get that window to open and stay open, and I do not like the icons across the top, I want the Show more options window to open all the time, just like W10. :)
It`s been working perfectly ever since I changed it.
 
Last edited:

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    Windows 11 Pro
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    Skylake Special X299
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    Intel Core i9 9900X
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    Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 32GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 Ultra Gaming (12G-P5-4877-KL)
    Sound Card
    Supreme FX
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Asus PG279Q
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440 165Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 500GB x2, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2, Western Digital Black 4TB x1
    PSU
    EVGA 1200 P2, EVGA Black Custom Braided Cables
    Case
    Thermaltake View 31 Tempered Glass Limited Edition
    Cooling
    Corsair H115i, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
    Keyboard
    Logitech G910 Orion Spark
    Mouse
    Logitech G700s, Asus ROG GX860 Buzzard
    Internet Speed
    Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway 75/75
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Malwarebytes 4.5.2
    Other Info
    Thermaltake Riing Duo 14 x3, Thermaltake Riing Plus 14 x2, Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless Headset
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
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    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Skylake Special Z170
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    Intel Core i7 6700K
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    Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16D-16GTZR)
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    EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC x2, EVGA Pro SLI Bridge
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    Realtek High Definition
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    AOC G2460PG
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 870 Evo 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2
    PSU
    EVGA 1000 P2, EVGA White Custom Braided Cables
    Case
    Corsair Vengeance C70 Gunmetal Black
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    Corsair H100i v2, Corsair ML120 x2, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
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    Logitech G500s
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    Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum
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    Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway 75/75
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jimbo45

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I'd be happy if files etc were presented in standard date sort sequence or alphabetical -- not that rediculous "recently used" piece of b/s.

I've even deleted a file accidentally because the file in the download was not actually in the downloads file on the Windows machine but one on a NAS server !!!! -- OK user error - but whoever thought up that silly way of displaying files and then made it the default.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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