How to disable File Explorer tabs in Windows 11

Laptop with Windows 11 and Microsoft logos

The addition of tabs in File Explorer caused great excitement when Microsoft first talked about them. When the company released Windows 11 2022 Update last month, there was disappointment that the feature was not included. But with the release of the first 'moment' update for Windows 11 22H2, tabs are now rolling out to everyone.

For many Windows 11 users, this is great news, but what if you're really not a fan of the change? Here's how you can disable tabs in File Explorer.

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You many have been expecting there to be a toggle to switch the feature on and off, but if this is the case you're going to be disappointed. Somewhat strangely, Microsoft has not included the option to disable File Explorer tabs.

Thankfully, there is a solution. We've looked at the incredibly useful utility ViVeTool previously, but it has always been to help unlock hidden features and options of Windows. If you don't yet have the tool installed, you can download it from GitHub, and then use the following instructions to disable Explorer tabs:

  1. Extract the contents of the zip file to, for example, C:\ViVeTool
  2. Open the Command Prompt with administrator privileges
  3. Type cd C:\ViVeTool and press Enter (changing the path if necessary)
  4. To disable tabs, type vivetool /disable /id:37634385 and press Enter, and then type vivetool /disable /id:39145991 before pressing Enter again
  5. You can also disable the new navigation pan by typing vivetool /disable /id:36354489 and pressing Enter
  6. Restart Windows

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