Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer in Windows 11


The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.
This tutorial will show you how to show or hide the navigation pane in File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

Setting the navigation pane to show or hide in File Explorer is a global setting that is applied to all folders, and not just in the current folder. You can drag the right border of the navigation pane left and right to increase or decrease its width in File Explorer.

EXAMPLE: Navigation pane in File Explorer

Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer in Windows 11
Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer in Windows 11

Option One: Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer from File Explorer Command Bar

  1. Open File Explorer (Win+E).
  2. Click/tap on View on the command bar. (see screenshot below).
  3. Click/tap on Show.
  4. Check (show – default) or uncheck (hide) Navigation pane for what you want.
Navigation Pane Settings
Navigation Pane Settings

Option Two: Show or Hide Navigation Pane in File Explorer using REG file

  1. Do step 2 (show) or step 3 (hide) below for what you would like to do.
  2. To Show Navigation Pane in File Explorer

This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.



(Contents of REG file for reference)


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

  1. Save the .reg file to your desktop.
  2. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.
  3. When prompted, click/tap on RunYes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.
  4. If File Explorer is currently open, then close and reopen File Explorer to apply.
  5. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.

That's it.

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