[Tip] Hide / Remove Search Box and Up Button from Windows 8 and 8.1 Explorer

If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 or if you are following this website regularly, you might be aware of the fact that Microsoft has improved Windows Explorer functionality a lot in these new Windows versions. Microsoft has put options to hide/remove favorites, libraries from Windows Explorer navigation pane in Windows 8/8.1. You can also easily mount ISO and VHD files in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer without using any 3rd party software as mentioned here.

But there are a still few annoyances present in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer such as combined "Devices and drives" group by section, 6 extra folders in Windows Explorer, Details Pane at right instead of bottom, etc.

All of the above mentioned annoyances can be fixed with the help of following tutorials and freeware:

Apart from the above mentioned annoyances, there are 2 other things which many Windows 8/8.1 users complain about. These are "Up button" and Search box in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer.

When Microsoft removed Up button from Windows Explorer in Windows Vista and Windows 7, many people complained about this move and Microsoft decided to put Up button back in Windows 8/8.1 Explorer. But as they say you can't please everyone. Many Windows 8/8.1 users started complaining about no option given to hide or remove Up button from Windows Explorer.

Regarding search box, in Windows 7 you were able to remove search box from Windows Explorer by simply removing Windows Search component using "Programs and Features" in Control Panel but Windows 8/8.1 Explorer don't allow you to remove search box.

Although Windows 8 and 8.1 don't allow you to remove Up button and Search box from Windows Explorer, we are sharing a free and portable tool which will help you in hiding/removing both these things quickly and easily.

"Windows 8.x Explorer Rebar Tweaker" is a small, portable and free software which can be used to remove up button and search box from Windows 8 and 8.1 Explorer. It also allows you to change the padding between addressbar and search box in Windows Explorer as well as customizing back/forward buttons width.


Using this little freeware is very easy. You just need to run its EXE file and it'll start running in background. Now you can run "ConfigurationGUI.exe" file to customize options such as:

  • Show/hide Up button
  • Show/hide Search box
  • Change Rebar padding (extra space between addressbar and search box)
  • Change navigation buttons (back/forward) width


Apply your changes and close all running Windows Explorer windows. Open Windows Explorer again and you'll see the changes immediately without restarting Explorer process or Windows.

This program stores all settings in an INI file present in the same folder, so you can also modify the INI file to change settings.

There are 2 separate EXE files available of this program for 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows editions.

Interested people can download the program using following link:

Download Windows 8.x Explorer Rebar Tweaker

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Posted in: Software, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Thanks for the trick, VG :)
    btw how do I move the details pane to bottom without installing anything? also, how to reduce the width of that damned details pane? it's default size is way too much wide and occupies a huge part of the explorer window. I wonder why MS is hell bent on making our life troublesome with these sort of stupid changes with every new edition of windows!

  • VG

    ^^ You'll need to edit system files to manually move details pane to change its size as shown in following tutorial:


    Not tested on Windows 8/8.1.

  • ^^ Hey VG , this trick http://www.askvg.com/how-to-move-show-details-pane-at-top-in-windows-vista-explorer/ does not work in Windows 8.1 x86

  • Does this do in memory patching to disable Up button and search box or modify files on the disk?

  • Hello, Developer of Explorer Rebar Tweaker here.

    I don't do any in-memory patching, as that is a bit risky (especially since Windows updates tend to change things that would break tools that patched memory)

    Here's the way this tool works:
    1. Program sits in background, waiting for an explorer window to be created
    2. Program grabs the handle to the window and the toolbar in the window
    3. Program hides what is selected/applies padding to that window

    Using this method, it allows the user to change the settings without having to restart my program or explorer, just simply open a new window.

  • VG,an off topic question,but none of my metro apps are working.When i click them either control returns to start menu or the desktop.I also posted in Windows forums,but i did not get an answer.So please assist if you can.I ve tried app troubleshooter and sfc /scannow(Files are in good state) but both of these didnt helped

  • are there trick to know the wifi connection is wep or wpa encrypted? in windows 8 we can just hover to the network, how we gonna do it in windows 8.1?

  • Because we’ve breadcrumbs, Up button is useless.

  • Hi there, is there a way to make this apply to all users rather than just the user it is run on?

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