How to Remove “Preview Pane” Button from Command Bar in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer?

SUMMARY: This tutorial will help you in removing "Preview Pane" button from Command Bar (aka Folder Band or Toolbar) in Windows Vista and Windows 7 Explorer. It'll also restrict users from accessing Preview Pane in Windows Explorer.


Recently we posted tutorials about removing "Get Help", "Burn" and many other default buttons from Command Bar in Windows 7 Explorer:

A few readers asked how to remove "Preview Pane" button from Command Bar in Windows Explorer because the above mentioned tutorials didn't help in removing this button.

"Preview Pane" button is shown at the right-side of the Command Bar in Windows Explorer. It allows you to show/hide Preview Pane in Explorer. You can also show/hide Preview Pane quickly using "ALT+P" hotkey.

But many people don't use Preview Pane in Explorer and they want to remove this extra button from Command Bar to make it clean. Thanks to our reader "TheAslan" who shared a Registry tweak to remove this button.

So today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to remove "Preview Pane" button from Windows Explorer Command Bar. This tweak will work in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It'll permanently disable Preview Pane in Windows Explorer so you'll not be able to access it unless you restore the default Registry settings.

So if you also want to restrict users from accessing Preview Pane and want to remove its button from Command Bar in Windows Explorer, check out following simple steps:

You can remove Preview Pane button from Command Bar using following 2 methods:

  • METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor
  • METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor

METHOD 1: Using Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc)

1. Type gpedit.msc in RUN or Start Menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Group Policy Editor.

2. Now go to:

User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Explorer -> Explorer Frame Pane

3. In right-side pane, look for "Turn off Preview Pane" option.

The option would be set to Not configured. Double-click on it and set it to Enabled.


Apply the changes and it'll immediately remove "Preview Pane" button from Windows Explorer command bar.

4. To restore "Preview Pane" button, set the "Turn off Preview Pane" option to either Not Configured or Disabled.

Bonus Tip: As you can see in the above screenshot, you can also disable "Details Pane" in Windows Explorer by setting "Turn off Details Pane" option to Enabled.

METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor (regedit)

If you are a Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium edition user, you'll not be able to run gpedit.msc command because these editions don't come with Group Policy Editor. But you can enable Group Policy Editor in these editions using following tutorial:

How to Enable "Group Policy Editor" in Windows 7 Home Premium, Home Basic and Starter Editions?

Anyway the same thing can also be done using Registry Editor. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. In right-side pane, create new DWORD NoReadingPane and set its value to 1 as shown in following screenshot:


4. Restart or log off your system and "Preview Pane" button will get removed from Windows Explorer command bar.

5. To restore "Preview Pane" button, you can either remove DWORD or change its value to 0

PS: If you don't want to edit registry manually and want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista

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  • Thanks for sharing VG , Thanks for '' TheAslan'' too .

  • Thanks..nice and simple.......

  • There's a small bug, when disabling Preview Pane icon it shows this sliding effect in command bar while opening explorer window, but when Preview Pane icon is showing then this effect doesn't appear.

    Is there any solution what disables this sliding animation effect in command bar?

  • VG

    ^^ No sliding effect here.

  • Maybe you don't have a sliding effect because you have command bar in top, I have my command bar in bottom, maybe that causes this sliding effect.

  • It's works fine. Thanks VG!
    - What is represents the reg key "NoInternetOpenWith"

  • VG

    ^^ It disables annoying "Search on Internet for program" dialog box when you try to open unknown file in Windows.

    Might be true.

  • Out of topic question:

    Cant open this item. It might have been moved, renamed, or deleted. Do you want to remove this item?

    No matter what i try to open in my windows 7 i get that pop up above, any solution?

  • VG

    ^^ On Desktop or everywhere?

  • Everywhere, but I got it sorted, I have no idea what caused that, I checked my hard disk, and problem vanished, maybe I removed some system folders I don't know yet.

  • VG

    ^^ May be. Glad to know the problem solved. :)

  • Thanks, but any tutorial from removing Paste Shortcut from desktop context menu? I was unable to find it in registry classes root.

  • VG

    ^^ Its not stored in Registry. You'll need to edit system file in Resource Hacker to customize Desktop context menu.

  • Ok thank you, shell32 I guess?

  • VG

    ^^ True.

  • VG, you should create a topic for this how to remove "Paste and Paste shortcut" from desktop context menu, I do found shortcut texts in shell32.dll but I'm not sure which one I should remove.

  • VG

    ^^ I have not checked but it should be similar to Windows XP:

  • Is it possible to get the Preview Pane button on Windows Vista's toolbar?

  • VG

    ^^ I have not tried tweaking Windows Vista command bar much so cant tell.

  • thank you . it works !

  • Thank you!
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1

  • My ability to activate and deactivate the preview pane is no longer available in my layout options in windows explorer. I am running windows 7 enterprise. I used the preview pane all the time and now it is not even an option when I go to ORGANIZE>LAYOUT. I went to folder options and preview pane handler is checked but it is not available. What happened?!

  • VG

    ^^ Try to press Alt+P keys together in Windows Explorer. It should enable Preview Pane.

  • Hi!
    Great help!!!!
    I also wanted to remove the "play" button... how to do that?

  • This is well and good, but what these instructions do is not only remove the 'Hide the Preview Pane' from the Folder Band (aka Command Bar), but they also Deactivate the Preview Pane.

    I do not want to deactivate the preview pane button altogether.

    I wish to ONLY HIDE the button on the Folder Band, and here is why...

    I am using Findexer and I created a vbs script button to toggle the Preview Pane. I placed this toggle button in Findexer so it is available in every instance of Widows 7 File Explorer window. Hence, I do not need to see the Preview Pane button in the Folder Band.

    I also am using "Windows 7 Top Preview Pane", and when one clicks the button on the Folder Band to hide the preview pane, the entire Folder Band hides along with the Preview Pane. Hence the usefulness of the vbs scripted button in Findexer to being back the Folder Band and the Preview Pane..

    I need this because the office solely uses docx files with customer information, and being able to preview the upper portion of the docx files is useful when scrolling down the documents list in the explorer view area content.

    If there is a way to configure the Registry or any System file using Reshacker, then I am all ears and eyes.

    Thanks, VG, for everything you do. I truly enjoy your knowledge base articles and thank you dearly for the time you put in to this. You must really love tinkering, like me, haha.

  • VG

    ^^ You can try similar steps given in following tutorial:

  • MR VG,
    What a pleasure it is! Thanks for the amazing knowledge-base again
    Question: Do i have to do the same in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer as well? or it is okay to do only in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer ?
    Thanks in advance

  • VG

    ^^ If you see the button in Browse windows, then you can follow the same method for Wow6432Node key as well.

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