Fix New File Explorer is Missing in Windows 11

If you installed the latest OS and the new File Explorer is Missing in Windows 11, here is a quick workaround. There is a great chance that you don't see the new appearance of the File Explorer due to just one setting.


In Windows 11, Microsoft has updated the classic File Explorer app. The app lost its traditional Ribbon toolbar. Instead, there is a tiny row of toolbar icons, something that reminds of Explorer in Windows XP.

Windows 11 New File Explorer

The context menus have got rounder corners, and they do not include the full set of available commands. They appear touch friendly with wider spacing between items. To see the full menu, the user have to click on the last item.

When you select a file, File Explorer shows extra commands right in the new toolbar.

However for some users File Explorer appears with its classic, Windows 10-like interface with the Ribbon. If you are affected by this issue, here is how to resolve it.

Windows 11 File Explorer Is Missing

How to fix the New File Explorer is Missing in Windows 11 issue

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Click on the File > Options File Open
  3. Click on the View tab in the Folder options dialog.
  4. Uncheck the Launch folder windows in a separate process option.Fix The New File Explorer Is Missing In Windows 11
  5. Close all the File Explorer windows you have open, and launch it from the taskbar or Start menu shortcut. The app will have the new UI.

You are done.

Finally, you can change this setting in the Registry if the GUI method doesn't work for you.

Fix the missing File Explorer appearance in the Registry

Press Win + R and enter the regedit command into the Run dialog. Using the Registry editor, go to the key


Change or create a new 32-bit DWORD value named SeparateProcess according to the following reference list:

  • 0 = Disable launch folders in separate process
  • 1 = Enable the feature.

If you want Windows 11 to have the new UI for File Explorer, set it to 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.

10 thoughts on “Fix New File Explorer is Missing in Windows 11”

  1. Thanks. This is useful for those wishing to disable the new interface as well. For me, the reason for that is the new context menus which are way to slow still and do not let third party apps plug into them and add entries there. For the moment, it would have been just an inconvenience as I had to click “Show more options” each and every time I used the context menu to show the old menus. Also, I don’t have much use for the new commands anyway, as I do everything using shortcuts and I use to disable the ribbon anyway using OldNewExplorer and then hide the command bar as well by editing shellstyle.dll as described at So, for the moment, this also works for getting the old Explorer back.

  2. Do this only if the instructions mentioned above doesn’t work!!

    01. Go to Registry Editor and navigate to the following location .
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked

    02. Rename the following entry (add an extra character or number at the end of the following entry)

    To something like this

    03. Restart

      1. I meant to remove the entry, not to add it. Also make sure to make a backup of the entry incase you are deleting the entry instead of renaming.

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