Restore classic Folder Options in Windows 11 and change them in Registry

Starting in Windows 11 Build 24381, Microsoft has removed some of the classic Folder options from File Explorer. The company kept the ability to change them in the Registry, but removed the checkboxes from the user interface. Here is how to restore the missing checkboxes in the Folder option dialog. Also, we will review how to change File Explorer options in the Registry.


Microsoft has announced that the following options will no longer be exposed on the View tab in the File Explorer options dialog.

  • Hide Folder Merge conflicts.
  • Always show icons, never thumbnails.
  • Display file icon on thumbnails.
  • Display file size information in folder tips.
  • Hide protected OS files.
  • Show drive letters.
  • Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items.
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color.
  • Use sharing wizard.

You can spot the changes in the following screenshot.

Folder Options Dialog In Windows 11

The company noted that users still will be able to change them in the Registry on demand. However, they didn't provide a single Registry key that one could use.

Luckily, it is easy to restore the removed checkboxes and restore the classic Folder options on Windows 11. There are a couple of ways for that.

How to Restore Classic Folder Options on Windows 11

  1. In the Search, start typing regedit, the click on the Registry editor entry to launch it.Open Regedit
  2. In the left panel, navigate to the following branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder.
  3. Under the Folder subkey, look for the FolderSizeTip branch. Right-click it and select Rename from the menu.Rename The Key
  4. Type FolderLegacySizeTip for the new name of the key.Change FolderSizeTip To FolderLegacySizeTip
  5. Similarly, rename the following keys:
    • FolderSizeTip => FolderLegacySizeTip
    • HideMergeConflicts => HideLegacyMergeConflicts
    • IconsOnly => IconsLegacyOnly
    • SharingWizardOn => SharingLegacyWizardOn
    • ShowDriveLetters => ShowLegacyDriveLetters
    • ShowInfoTip => ShowLegacyInfoTip
    • ShowTypeOverlay => ShowLegacyTypeOverlay
    • SuperHidden => SuperLegacyHidden
    • ShowCompColor => ShowLegacyCompColor
  6. Now, open File Explorer and click on the "..." > Options item in the toolbar.Click On Options In File Explorer
  7. Congrats, the folder options dialog now includes all the checkboxes.Restore Classic Folder Options In Windows 11

To undo the change, rename the values back to their original names, i.e. remove the "Legacy" word from their names.

How it works

Long story short, in Build 23481 Microsoft has applied a filter to the list of options of File Explorer. They are stored in the Registry under the above reviewed key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder.

If an option name matches the one in the hardcoded blocklist, the Folder Options dialog doesn't expose it. This is a fast and dirty hack.

You may wonder how the filter works. It checks if the option name in the Registry contains, say "FolderSizeTip". So, if you rename the key to FolderSizeTip2, it will not appear, as it matches the *FolderSizeTip* criteria.

But if you change the option name (subkey name) to FolderLegacySizeTip, it will not match the *FolderSizeTip* pattern. So it will re-appear in the Folder Options dialog. This way, you can rename the option subkey to something like Folder11Size22Tip, so it will also do the trick.

I understand that renaming several keys is not convenient. So I have created two PowerShell scripts to restore or hide the checkboxes. Also, there is now an option in Winaero Tweaker for that.

Restore checkboxes with PowerShell

To save your time, you can use the following PowerShell scripts. Note that you need to run both scripts as Administrator.


Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\FolderSizeTip -NewName FolderLegacySizeTip
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\HideMergeConflicts -NewName HideLegacyMergeConflicts
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\IconsOnly -NewName IconsLegacyOnly
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\SharingWizardOn -NewName SharingLegacyWizardOn
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowDriveLetters -NewName ShowLegacyDriveLetters
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowInfoTip -NewName ShowLegacyInfoTip
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowTypeOverlay -NewName ShowLegacyTypeOverlay
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\SuperHidden -NewName SuperLegacyHidden
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowCompColor -NewName ShowLegacyCompColor

The script will automatically rename the entries in the Registry, so the checkboxes will be restored.

If you decide to rollback the change, here is the second script for that purpose. It makes the checkboxes disappear by restoring the original subkey names in the Registry.


Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\FolderLegacySizeTip -NewName FolderSizeTip
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\HideLegacyMergeConflicts -NewName HideMergeConflicts
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\IconsLegacyOnly -NewName IconsOnly
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\SharingLegacyWizardOn -NewName SharingWizardOn
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowLegacyDriveLetters -NewName ShowDriveLetters
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowLegacyInfoTip -NewName ShowInfoTip
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowLegacyTypeOverlay -NewName ShowTypeOverlay
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\SuperLegacyHidden -NewName SuperHidden
Rename-Item HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\ShowLegacyCompColor -NewName ShowCompColor

You can download both scripts from the following link: Download PowerShell Scripts.

You can run the scripts as follows.

  1. Press Win + X and select Terminal(Admin) from the menu.Terminal as Admin
  2. In the PowerShell tab of Terminal (Ctrl + Shift + 1), type the following commands, one by one.
    1. Type Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned, and hit Enter. This execution policy will allow you to run self-written scripts on your local device.Powershell Execution Policy Remote Signed
    2. Now, type the full path to the script, e.g. c:\powershell\restore-checkboxes.ps1. Correct the path to your file.Restore Classic Folder Options With PowerShell
    3. Finally, restore the default execution policy with the Set-ExecutionPolicy restricted command.Powershell Execution Policy Restricted

Using Winaero Tweaker

The Winaero Tweaker app also comes with a handy option that allows you to save your time and avoid registry editing. Download the app, and navigate to File Explorer > Classic Folder options.

Winaero Tweaker Make Checkboxes Visible

There, you will be able to restore the checkboxes, open Folder Options, etc. Additionally, you can change the removed options directly on this page!

Restore the removed options with ViVeTool

In Build 23481, Microsoft performs A/B testing for the checkbox removal. This means that some users have the checkboxes hidden, and some have the full list of options.

The freeware opensource ViVeTool app allows you to enable the updated Folder Options dialog with checkboxes hidden. But you can also use the app to unhide them!

Do the following.

  1. Download ViVeTool from GitHub, and extract its files to the c:\vivetool folder.
  2. Right-click the Start button in the taskbar, and select Terminal(Admin) from the menu.
  3. In Terminal, type the following command: c:\ViVeTool\ViVeTool.exe /disable /id:40608813.Vivetool
  4. Restart Windows 11. Voila, you will now have the full set of checkboxes in the Folder Options.

Note: I have tested this method in Windows 11 Build 23481, and it worked like a charm. But it may stop working in any of the forthcoming builds.

Finally, instead of restoring the checkboxes, you may be interested in learning how to change the appropriate options in the Registry. This is what Microsoft expects you to do. Here's how you can do it.

Change Folder Options in the Registry

  1. Launch the Registry editor app. For that, press Win + R, type regedit, and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer.
  3. Here, create or modify the 32-bit DWORD value ShowDriveLettersFirst. It is responsible for the "Show drive letters" option.
    1. To show drive letters, set the ShowDriveLettersFirst value data to 0.
    2. To hide the drive letters, set it to 2. You can learn more about these values here.Showdrivelettersfirst
  4. Now, go to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced branch.
  5. Here, create (if missing) or modify the following 32-bit DWORD values.
    1. Hide Folder Merge conflicts => HideMergeConflicts. 1 = Hide (checkbox is checked), 0 = show (unchecked).Change Folder Options In The Registry
    2. Display file size information in folder tips => FolderContentsInfoTip.  1 = Show, 0 = hide file size in tooltips.
    3. Always show icons, never thumbnails. => IconsOnly1 = Show, 0 = hide.
    4. Display file icon on thumbnails. => ShowTypeOverlay1 = Show, 0 = hide.
    5. Hide protected OS files. => ShowSuperHidden.  1 = Hide, 0 = show.
    6. Show popup description for Folder and Desktop items => ShowInfoTip.
    7. Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color => ShowEncryptCompressedColor.  1 = Show, 0 = hide.
    8. Use sharing wizard => SharingWizardOn1 = Use the wizard, 0 = the wizard is disabled.
  6. Finally, restart the Explorer to apply the change.

You are done!

In case if Microsoft will remove more settings from the Folder Options dialog, here's the full list of its checkboxes that you can manage in the Registry. As you may already observed, you need to set a value to 1 to enable it (tick the checkbox), and to 0 to disable it, except where noted.

All Registry keys and values for Folder Options in File Explorer

  • Show drive letters first => ShowDriveLettersFirst=0/2 (0 - show, 2 - hide)
  • Disable Automatic Search for Network Folders and Printers => NoNetCrawling = 1/0
  • Use check boxes to select items => AutoCheckSelect = 1/0
  • Display correct filename capitalization => DontPrettyPath = 1/0
  • Descrease space between items (compact view) => UseCompactMode = 1/0
  • Unlock Taskbar => TaskbarSizeMove = 1/0
  • Small Taskbar icons => TaskbarSmallIcons = 1/0
  • Don't show hidden files => Hidden = 2 - don't show hidden files, 1 - show hidden files.
  • Don't show thumbnails => IconsOnly = 1/0
  • Display file icon on thumbnails => ShowTypeOverlay = 1/0
  • Display file size information in folder tips => FolderContentsInfoTip = 1/0
  • Hide empty drives => HideDrivesWithNoMedia = 1/0
  • Show file extensions => HideFileExt = 1/0
  • Hide system files => ShowSuperHidden = 1/0
  • Open folders in separate process => SeparateProcess = 1/0
  • Hide folder merge conflicts => HideMergeConflicts = 1/0
  • Restore previous folder windows at logon => PersistBrowsers = 1/0
  • Show encrypted and/or compressed files in color => ShowEncryptCompressedColor = 1/0
  • Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items => ShowInfoTip = 1/0
  • Show preview handlers in preview pane => ShowPreviewHandlers = 1/0
  • Show status bar => ShowStatusBar = 1/0
  • Show sync provider notifications => ShowSyncProviderNotifications = 1/0
  • Use Sharing Wizard => SharingWizardOn = 1/0
  • When typing into list view, select the typed item in the view => TypeAhead= 1/0
  • Display the full path in the titlebar (on tabs) => FullPath = 1/0

That's it!

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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