How To Keep Windows 8 Explorer Ribbon Minimized By Default

The Windows Explorer Ribbon in Windows 8 has added many of the commonly used shortcuts, in a ribbon like form, on top of the Windows Explorer window. While this may be useful for identifying Windows Explorer options quickly, it might also been seen as obstructive because the new Ribbon interface consumes more desktop space. I believe that Microsoft should have provided an easy option to optionally keep this ribbon minimized by default until needed. In this post I will provide you with a quick tip, to keep the Windows 8 Ribbon Explorer minimized by default. this way, you can save desktop space and maximize the Ribbon only when needed.

Ribbon Explorer

To keep the Ribbon Explorer minimized (by default), you will have to edit the Windows Explorer’s Group Policy settings. To do this,  open “Run” dialog box by using Win+R (Press Windows icon key on your keyboard and R at the same time) hotkey and enter “gpedit.msc” within the Run box.


Now, go to the following path within the Local Group policy Editor:

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

Now, double click the option “Start Windows Explorer with Ribbon minimized”.

Start Windows Explorer

Click Enabled option in the new window which pops-up, to enable the Windows Explorer policy settings which will keep the Ribbon Explorer minimized by default.


The below screenshot shows the the Ribbon Explorer in minimized form. You can maximize the Ribbon Explorer anytime by using the arrow  icon shown below. To disable this option, go to Local Group Policy Editor again, follow the same steps and choose Disabled from “Start Windows Explorer with Ribbon minimized”.

Ribbon minimized

[via How To Geek]