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Windows 11 still lets you open old File Explorer without any tweaks or hacks

A screenshot of Windows 10s File Explorer

Despite the fancy looks, Windows 11 still carries a lot of legacy code under its hood. As a result, many components are relatively easy to access and use. File Explorer is one such component, which, as some argue, has gotten way too slow and clunky in Windows 11. If you miss the old File Explorer but downgrading to Windows 10 is not an option, here is how you can easily access it without hacks, registry tweaks, or third-party apps.

Launching the classic File Explorer in Windows 11 is very easy. All you have to do is press Win + R, type "control," and then click the arrow up button next to the address bar. Voila, you have the old File Explorer without its fancy tabs or the WinUI redesign.

Alternatively, you can open the Start menu and launch Windows Tools (just do not go in there when in dark mode—it looks whack). Next, click anywhere in the navigation pane or use the address bar to navigate to another folder (via XDA).

It is also worth noting that you can have two different File Explorer generations side-by-side for some extra productivity and experimentation. Moreover, launching the old File Explorer in Windows 11 will get you back to the classic context menus, albeit only in the current window.

New FIle Explorer in Windows 11 vs the old one

Although Microsoft has already improved and keeps on improving the redesigned File Explorer in Windows 11, many users still object to it due to various bugs, slowdowns, and other things. The one in Windows 10, on the other hand, still works great. It is snappy, responsive, and much more stable. Therefore, in light of Windows 10 running out of support in about a year, you can safely upgrade to Windows 11 right now if the new File Explorer is the only thing holding you back.

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