How to Disable New Ribbon UI in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer?

Yesterday we posted a very easy to use trick to temporarily disable Ribbon UI in Windows 8 Explorer. We used the built-in Full Screen mode to disable Windows 8 Explorer ribbon:

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

This method proves that the old Windows Vista or 7 style command bar is still present in Windows 8 Explorer and the new ribbon is simply hiding it.

And today our friend "Lee Whittington" shared another simple method to completely remove ribbon from Windows 8 Explorer. This method involves renaming a system file present in Windows 8 which is responsible of showing ribbon in Windows 8 Explorer.

This method will permanently remove ribbon from Windows Explorer in Windows 8 and you'll get Windows Vista and 7 style Explorer as shown in following screenshot:


So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. Open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Windows\System32 folder. Here we are assuming that Windows 8 is installed in C: drive in your computer. If you installed Windows 8 in any other partition, replace C: drive with the correct drive letter.

2. Now look for a file UIRibbon.dll.

3. Now you'll need to take ownership of this DLL file. You can use any of following 2 methods to take ownership of UIRibbon.dll file:

4. Once you take ownership, rename UIRibbon.dll file to any other name such as UIRibbon_bak.dll or UIRibbon.old or any other name.


5. That's it. Restart your system and you'll no longer see ribbon in Windows 8 Explorer.

UPDATE: A few users reported that it might cause Wordpad and Paint applications not working as these applications also use ribbon UI. To overcome this problem, you can use Windows Vista's Wordpad and Paint in Windows 8 using following tutorials:

Or you can use a new method mentioned in following tutorial:

The Best Method to Remove Ribbon UI from Windows 8 Explorer

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Ribbon in My Favourite.. :(

  • Does this do away with all the new shortcut keys?

    I really don't see any issue with pressing control + F1 to either see it or not. It is hidden by defualt now.

  • hmmm nice works well I wonder there is same trick to get old start menu? ^__^

  • Guess I'm one of the few who believes that the best way to get rid of the ribbon is to not use Windows 8. :-)

  • Kills Paint and WordPad also. Fail.

  • ^^ You can use following:

  • Worked in Windows Developer Preview too. Without breaking new think in wdp. (Although now its outdate but I still had WDP with extended timebomb, so I can compare WDP with WCP :) )

  • The ribbon. The day Ballmer did one line of coke too many.

  • Suggestion: After doing all this go in Control Panel, Folder Options and make sure to select "Always show menus". Without 3rd party add-ons, your normal pull down menus are back.

  • A question: if you rename the file UIRibbon.dll, what will append at the next (major) Windows Updates ? it will come back ? not sure it's a good idea...

  • VG

    ^^ Most probably it'll not come back but if an update reinstalls the DLL file, you'll need to rename it again.

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