Get Windows 7 Or Windows 8 Style File Explorer On Windows 8.1

OldNewExplorer is a free tool for Windows 8.1 devices that allows you to restore the Windows 8 or Windows 7 style file explorer on Windows 8.1 devices. In Windows 8.1, a lot has changed about how the drives are grouped in the file explorer window. Windows 8.1 groups all devices and drives into a single category, instead of how this was handled in Windows 7 or Windows 8, where the removable media and hard drives were grouped differently. While some of you like this, others might hate this completely. OldNewExplorer takes care of this problem for people who hate this problem, and as a bonus, the app also allows you to remove the ribbon ui from the file explorer, and replace that with the toolbar that was previously present in Windows 7!

OldNewExplorer comes as an installable exe file that allows you to install one or more of the above mentioned features, and hence using it is extremely easy. You can also use the exe file to restore the Window 8.1 explorer to its previous look. Let’s take a closer look at OldNewExplorer for Windows 8.1 now.

OldNewExplorer - Configuration

Features of OldNewExplorer

When you download the OldNewExplorer from the link at the bottom of the article, you will be presented with a zipped file which will  download to your device. Once you unzip the zipped folder, you will be presented with the following files.

OldNewExplorer - Setup Files

In the above screen, you will be able to see two dll files, one readme file and one file named OldNewExplorerCfg.exe. This is the one that you need to use to apply changes to the file explorer. So head on over to it and double click it.


A dialog box as shown in screenshot 1 will pop up on your screen when you double click on the aforementioned file. In the dialog box, you can choose to select the options that you wish to apply to your explorer window. I selected the following options for my use.

OldNewExplorer - Selected Options

You can customize the above options to your own liking. Once selected, click on Install. Now, the below two dialog boxes will appear one by one on your screen.

OldNewExplorer - Confirmation MessageOldNewExplorer - Confirmation Message

Click OK on both of them, and reboot your machine.


Before, my PC’s file explorer window looked like this…

Windows 8.1 File Explorer - Default View

Notice the cumulative drive grouping, ribbon UI and no details pane at the bottom. And after installing the patch, it looks like this…

Windows 8.1 File Explorer - Modified View

As you can see, I have successfully removed the Ribbon UI from my system, and the drives are grouped now in a much better way, the hard drives being grouped together and removable drives being grouped separately. Overall, this app is clearly a great way to get back the feeling of using a Windows 7 device when you are actually using Window 8.1.

Also check how to log in straight to desktop and disable automatic Windows Store app updates in Windows 8.1.

The Verdict

I love this little applet! There is nothing to hate about OldNewExplorer, and it works like a charm. I did not find any qualms with it at all, and it also earns some bonus points for simplicity as well! This is one of those apps which I would rate as a solid 5 out of 5!

Get OldNewExplorer.

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