General Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer in Windows 11


  • Staff
Navigation_pane_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to show or hide the navigation pane in File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.

Starting with Windows 11 build 25136 and build 22621.160, Microsoft is introducing a refreshed layout of the left navigation pane in File Explorer which makes it easy for you to navigate to folders that matter to you. The updated organization provides easy access to your pinned and frequently used folders (Quick access) and your OneDrive cloud profiles added to Windows. OneDrive cloud profiles reflect the user’s name associated with the account. Known Windows folders which are available by default in the navigation pane are no longer displayed under This PC to keep that view focused for your PC’s drives. When you navigate to folders syncing to OneDrive such as Documents, Pictures, etc., the address bar displays the correct path to help bring clarity when your folders are on the cloud vs when they are local to you.


Setting the navigation pane to show or hide in File Explorer is a global setting that is applied to all folders, and not just in the current folder.

You can drag the right border of the navigation pane left and right to increase or decrease its width in File Explorer.



Contents

  • Option One: Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer from File Explorer Command Bar
  • Option Two: Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer using REG file


EXAMPLE: Navigation pane in File Explorer

Navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.png





Option One

Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer from File Explorer Command Bar


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Click/tap on View on the command bar. (see screenshot below)

3 Click/tap on Show.

4 Check (show - default) or uncheck (hide) Navigation pane for what you want.

Navigation_pane_settings.png





Option Two

Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer using REG file


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

2 To Show Navigation Pane in File Explorer

This is the default setting.


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

Show_Navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer_for_current_user.reg


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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Modules\GlobalSettings\Sizer]
"PageSpaceControlSizer"=hex:a0,00,00,00,01,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,ec,03,00,00

3 To Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer

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

Hide_Navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer_for_current_user.reg


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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Modules\GlobalSettings\Sizer]
"PageSpaceControlSizer"=hex:a0,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,ec,03,00,00

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 If File Explorer is currently open, then close and reopen File Explorer to apply.

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


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Hide_Navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer_for_current_user.reg
    790 bytes · Views: 310
  • Show_Navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer_for_current_user.reg
    782 bytes · Views: 394
Last edited:
Is there a way to reset this back to windows defaults?

I have a machine where the navigation pane is blank and I cannot add any items to quick access or anything in the navigation pane.

Was hoping there was a quick registry fix to wipe out and add instead of fixing it the proper way
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell G15 5525
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 6800H
    Memory
    32 GB DDR5 4800mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 3050 4GB Vram
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB Solidigm™ P41 Plus nvme
    Internet Speed
    800mbps down, 20 up
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ideapad flex 14API 2 in 1
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 3500u
    Motherboard
    LENOVO LNVNB161216 (FP5)
    Memory
    12GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
    Hard Drives
    256 GB Samsung ssd nvme
Is there a way to reset this back to windows defaults?

I have a machine where the navigation pane is blank and I cannot add any items to quick access or anything in the navigation pane.

Was hoping there was a quick registry fix to wipe out and add instead of fixing it the proper way

Hello Andrew, :alien:

Do you by chance have "Show all folders" turned on for the navigation pane? If so, turn it off like below to see if that was the issue.


If not, you could see if clearing and resetting your Quick Access folders like in the tutorial below may help.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium


This worked, thanks brink
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell G15 5525
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 6800H
    Memory
    32 GB DDR5 4800mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 3050 4GB Vram
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB Solidigm™ P41 Plus nvme
    Internet Speed
    800mbps down, 20 up
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ideapad flex 14API 2 in 1
    CPU
    Ryzen 5 3500u
    Motherboard
    LENOVO LNVNB161216 (FP5)
    Memory
    12GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
    Hard Drives
    256 GB Samsung ssd nvme

This worked, thanks brink
Great news. You're most welcome Andrew. :shawn:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

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