We all know that Microsoft has added Office 2010 Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer of Windows 8. Ribbon UI is definitely better than the old Windows XP toolbar or Windows Vista and 7's command bar as it provides instant access to many options which were not accessible using toolbar or command bar such as showing hidden files, changing folder view directly, showing file extensions, etc.
But the major problem with Ribbon UI is that it takes a big amount of screen space and small screen users such as netbook or tablet users might face a big problem with it.
But Microsoft patched this method in RTM build of Windows 8. Now the Registry trick no longer works and there is no known way to remove ribbon from Windows 8 Explorer.
Recently while working on Windows 8, I found an interesting thing which forced me to believe that the old Windows Vista and 7 style Explorer is still there in Windows 8 and the new ribbon UI is actually hiding it.
Why do I think so? Its because you can get the new ribbon UI and old Vista/7 style command bar at the same time in Windows 8 Explorer. Don't believe me? Here is the proof:
Open Windows Explorer in Windows 8 and you'll get new ribbon UI obviously as shown in following screenshot:
Now press "F11" key to go full screen and the good old Windows Vista and 7 style command bar will appear and you'll no longer see new ribbon UI. Following screenshot shows it clearly:
Please note that when you enter into full screen mode, the toolbar is set to auto-hidden. You can right-click on toolbar and disable "Auto-hide" option to show it permanently.
So the bottom line is that if you don't want to use ribbon in Windows Explorer and want to get more vertical space, simply press "F11" key and you'll get the old command bar back and you'll not have to use new ribbon UI.
Here I would like to add one more thing! There are many system folders in Windows 8 which still have old command bar instead of new ribbon UI. For example, go to "C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files" folder and you'll get Vista and 7 style Windows Explorer instead of new Windows 8 Explorer with ribbon as shown in following screenshot:
Enjoy the old command bar and remove ribbon UI from Windows 8 Explorer using a simple keyboard shortcut "F11".