How to Force Windows 8 to Keep the Explorer Ribbon Minimized

By Lowell Heddings on September 14th, 2011


The addition of the Ribbon to Explorer in Windows 8 wasn’t exactly a popular decision—there were outcries from loads of people about how it would make the whole experience bloated and waste space. Here’s the simple solution.

Hit the Win+R keyboard shortcut to bring up the Run box, and then type gpedit.msc into the dialog and hit Enter. Browse down to the following section:

Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Windows Explorer

Once you’re there, find the option on the right-hand pane for “Start Windows Explorer with Ribbon minimized” and double-click it.


Set the radio button to Enabled, click OK, and close it.


Now whenever you open up a new Explorer window, the Ribbon will be minimized by default.



Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/14/11
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