Get Windows 7 Style Classic Explorer Features in “This PC” in Windows 8 and Later

UPDATE: This freeware can be used in Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

There are many people who complain about various new features or changes made by Microsoft in its latest OS Windows 8.1. Some of them are as following:

  • Single "Devices and Drives" group by type in Windows Explorer
  • Addition of 6 annoying folders in Windows Explorer
  • Addition of Ribbon instead of Command bar
  • Moving Details pane to right-side of Windows Explorer

Lets discuss all above mentioned points in details!

Issue 1: In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has combined "Hard Disk Drives" and "Devices with Removable Storage" sections in Windows Explorer or "This PC". In previous Windows versions, hard disk partitions used to show in "Hard Disk Drives" section and CD/DVD drives, USB drives used to show in "Devices with Removable Storage" section. In Windows 8.1 Explorer all drives are shown under a single section "Devices and Drives".

Its very annoying to many people and we have discussed it recently in following topic:

How to Separate “Devices and Drives” Section in Windows 8.1 Explorer "This PC"?

Issue 2: Second issue is the unnecessary addition of 6 new folders Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos in Windows 8.1 Explorer. These 6 folders are shown at the top in Windows 8.1 Explorer and many people don't like it. We have shared this issue and a working solution in following tutorial:

[Tips] Tweak and Customize Windows 8.1 Explorer "This PC"

Issue 3: Third issue is related to the addition of Office 2013 style ribbon UI in Windows 8.1 Explorer. The ribbon UI was added first in Windows 8 Explorer. Many people still prefer Windows 7 style Command bar and they want a way to remove ribbon from Windows 8.1 Explorer and bring back Command bar. We have shared a few tricks to remove ribbon UI and restore command bar in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer in following topics:

The Best Method to Remove Ribbon UI from Windows 8 Explorer

How to Disable New Ribbon UI in Windows 8 Explorer?

[Tip] Get Rid of Windows 8 Explorer Ribbon and Get Classic Toolbar Back

Issue 4: Last issue is related to Details pane also known as Common Tasks area or Shellstyle. In Windows 7, Details pane was placed at bottom of Windows Explorer but Microsoft moved it to right-side of Explorer in Windows 8/8.1. There are many Windows users who want to move Details pane back to bottom in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer.

If you are also among those people who don't like these changes and want to bring Windows 7 style classic features back in Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 Explorer, this topic will definitely please you.

Today in this topic, we are going to share a new free and portable software for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 users which will fix all these issues and annoyances as shown in following screenshot:

Windows_7_Classic_Features_Windows_8_1_Explorer.png

"OldNewExplorer" or O-N-E is a free and portable Windows Explorer tweaking utility created by "Tihiy" @ MSFN forums which allows you to:

  • Restore Windows 7 style devices and drives grouping in Windows 8.1 Explorer
  • Restore default libraries and remove 6 folders from Windows 8.1 Explorer
  • Restore Command bar and remove Ribbon from Windows 8/8.1 Explorer
  • Move Details pane back to bottom in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer
  • Enable/disable Status bar in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer
  • Change appearance/color of Command bar and Status bar in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer

Using this free tool is very easy. You just need to run its EXE file, check/uncheck desired options and click on "Install" button. That's it. It'll immediately apply the changes.

OldNewExplorer.png

In future if you want to restore default functionality of Windows Explorer, run the tool again, check/uncheck desired options and click on "Uninstall" button.

Interested people can download the tool from following link:

Download OldNewExplorer for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10

PS: It seems the official website is down at the moment. Interested people can download the software using following direct download link:

Direct Download Link of OldNewExplorer

Thanks to our readers "ZerO", "zydrius32" and "Pushkar Gogte" for sharing it...





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Posted in: Software, Windows 10, Windows 8 / 8.1


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Comments

  • Now people will stop making a headache...

  • I don’t understand why there’s a function to turn off Status Bar if you can do that through Folder Options.

  • VG

    ^^ Many people might not be aware of the fact that Status bar can be disabled from Folder Options. If you put Details Pane at bottom, Status bar doesnt make sense. Also it looks a little bit weird to have both Details Pane and Status bar at bottom, thats why the developer has provided a direct option to enable/disable status bar.

  • uninstall vutton not working for me, it just hang :(

  • Hi VG,
    Thanks a lot for sharing this cool utility :) I really like the Windows 7 style file manager than the one found in Windows 8/8.1 !

  • Vishal you are indispensable.

  • @RamonXick Which AV do you use?

  • @VG Can you update this post whenever new version is released?

  • Ribbon Disabler and/or Classic Shell could do a much better job.

  • ^^ Ribbon disabler is pathetic. Classic Shell is good. But the freeware mentioned above is excellent. Easy to use and portable.

  • Is it able to show Ribbon UI and old command bar Together?

  • VG

    ^^ Not possible.

  • VG,

    OldNewExplorer v1.1.0 Works on Windows Technical Preview [64-bits] Portuguese-Brazil!

    Tested only: "Use classical drive grouping in This PC" and "Show details pane on the botton".

    Congratulations for your work!

  • Hey VG, the link for Old New Explorer is dead, do you know any mirror?

  • VG

    ^^ I have updated the article to put working direct download link.

  • can i use it on windows 10 build 9926

  • VG

    ^^ I have not tried it on Windows 10 but it might work.

  • Wow, this program really helps me. This program will disable File Explorer's ribbon without affecting Paint, WordPad and other ribbon programs!

  • Trying to get Windows 7 look in "This Computer" option on Win. 8.1 to show drives other than just C and D. Is there a link anywhere? Cannot see the E, drive (CD/DVD), or any of my thumb drives. Thanks.

  • Thanks for this! Love it!

  • I tried this the other day on windows 10 and the whole explorer crashed with a black screen not able to open even the task manager so I had to do a refresh, and oh hell... I lost all my .exe files, including installers >_< please confirm me that is already working on 10.

  • VG

    ^^ Working fine here on Windows 10.

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