Ribbon Disabler for Windows 8

Yet another tool that i have created for Windows 8. Its Ribbon Disabler for Windows 8.

Latest version is 2.5, a critical bug is fixed. Please update ASAP. See the change log below, I'll share the details

Ribbon Disabler is compatible with Windows 8 from Consumer Preview up to Windows 8 RTM.
Ribbon Disabler will allow you to disable Ribbon in Windows 8 Explorer and preserve Paint and Wordpad working. Aslo it has an option to restore ribbon.
There is no system files what will be modified by this tool.Since version 2 the Ribbon Disabler modifies your explorerframe.dll but makes backup. It is safe.
Here is example of Explorer without Ribbon:

If you have some unwanted line before the command bar after Ribbon Disabler

If you have something similar:

please refer to the following article:
Fix: A line shows below Explorer’s address bar after disabling Ribbon in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
It will be fixed.

Change log

Please always use only latest version.
Fixed critical issue in the code. Every time you remove/restore ribbon in Explorer it causes wrong NTFS permissions to be set for some system files. It can cause other user accounts to be unable to work in Windows 8. This is fixed.
Command line options are implemented so you can use Ribbon Disabler in your scripts.
A new code base, with support for Windows 8 x86 and x64.
first release with Windows 8 x64 support only

Ribbon Disabler command line options

Ribbon disabler.exe /d - delete the ribbon silently
Ribbon disabler.exe /r - restore the ribbon silently

For Windows 8 x64:
Ribbon disabler x64.exe /d - delete the ribbon silently
Ribbon disabler x64.exe /r - restore the ribbon silently

Ribbon Disabler is portable application and does not require to be installed.

Download Ribbon Disabler v2

Donate options for satisfied users:

Anonymous | 15 Mar 12

Nice piece of software

Anonymous | 27 Apr 12

Windows 8 sucks ass

Sergey | 27 Apr 12
Comments: 478


Anonymous | 17 Jul 12

Thanks, Happy Bulldozer.

Anonymous | 18 Aug 12

thx man this is nice

Anonymous | 09 Oct 12

Thank you

mirecek1965 | 03 Nov 12

Thanks, but i dont use explorer.

Sergey | 04 Nov 12
Comments: 478

I am too

Pharaoh | 05 Nov 12

FYI if you activate this as an Administrator and add an additional user to Windows 8, it will not execute after creating the account. So if you deactivate this, then the new account loads just fine. And then again - if you reactivate afterward, it disables the 2nd user account. I tried making the 2nd user an Administrator as well and turning of UAC all together and it still doesn't work. Can you fix this?

Sergey | 06 Nov 12
Comments: 478

i will look into the problem

it fails | 17 Nov 12

a windows message came up that says that there was something worng with CLR203r / System.Drawing :(

me again | 17 Nov 12

in the last comment I said, that it fails. But it was my fault. I started it from network. If I start it locally, then it runs and does it well - thanks a lot ))

Alex | 22 Nov 12

I don't get you people. Why abandon Win7, install Win8 and then disable ribbon, get classic startmenu, disable startscreen... gives me LOL.

Sergey | 23 Nov 12
Comments: 478

I just go with the flow

quciks | 01 Dec 12

The Ribbon is helpful. No more going into folder options or anywhere else. I dont know why anyone would want to disable it.

Sergey | 01 Dec 12
Comments: 478

Look at the downloads counter. Not everyone agree with you

gash | 12 Dec 12

how you got tranparency (aero glass) back to win8???
i miss aero glass soooo bad in win8 :(

Sergey | 12 Dec 12
Comments: 478

I agree, but it is hard to get it working.

gash | 12 Dec 12

could you explain it to me?
i will try it ^^
is it possible for win8-rtm?
(btw. sry for my poor english ^^" )

Sergey | 12 Dec 12
Comments: 478

It is not possible without damage for Windows.
Don't even try.

ribbonhater | 26 Dec 12

I would like to have no ribbon and no command bar at all in the explorer. So maybe you could build in an option to your program that you can choose between just removing ribbon and replacing ribbon with command bar.
I have absolutely no use for both of them, shortcuts do everything for me i need. I hated the command bar in 7 and hate ribbon in 8, so I would be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

George | 11 May 13

The themeee, we want that theme in the screenshots, omfg

George | 11 May 13

ah, in the pictures is windows 8 release preview or RTM? It is possible to make the navigation bar background transparent using DWMGlass by BigMuscle?

Anonymous | 12 May 13

Is there going to be a version that will work for Retail Windows 8?

Anonymous | 27 May 13

I can't download anything from your site and there's some really great things I want... like Ribbon Disabler, Win8Aero, Win7Aero, WinAeroGlass, etc. Please fix this ASAP!

Shahnewaz Ahmed | 13 Jul 13

Works perfect! Great work guys! Thumbs up and cheers.

wow | 17 Jul 13

This tool is wonderful, after a restart, any folder i'd open would close itself automatically ..... .

e-m.m-a@live.fr (answer here please) | 19 Jul 13

i wanted to deleted the ribbon thing, so I clicked on "disable" and my computer restarted but... the only thing I got when I open my session is a black screen with only the cursor that I can move. The desktop and menu don't show, I can only see the lock screen but when I go back on menu/desktop that's black screen...
I don't know what to do, maybe I'd just have to enable the ribbondisabler but as I told you, I can't cause I have a black screen..
I also tried with my dad's session and it does the same..
It'd be nice if you could answer asap. Thank you a lot

arifi kamil | 08 Sep 13

how can i use this thing

Anonymous | 08 Sep 13

Anyone know how he got that Aero theme? I want it!!

Anon | 23 Sep 13

Please add Windows 8.1 RTM support.

Sergey | 23 Sep 13
Comments: 478

It works already there. You can use it in Windows 8.1 RTM.

tim | 17 Oct 13

I just upgrade to win 8.1 and apply the ribbon disabler v2.5. After logout and login. Nothing display. I can only use ctrl-alt-del to start the task manager. And found that "c:\windows\explorer.exe" can't work.

tim | 17 Oct 13

I just upgrade to win 8.1 and apply the ribbon disabler v2.0. After logout and login. Nothing display. I can only use ctrl-alt-del to start the task manager. And found that "c:\windows\explorer.exe" can't work.

tim | 17 Oct 13

I just upgrade to win 8.1 and apply the ribbon disabler v2.0. After logout and login. Nothing display. I can only use ctrl-alt-del to start the task manager. And found that "c:\windows\explorer.exe" can't work.

Then I download and apply ribbon disabler v2.5. The windows still can't work normal. There are error message once I try to explorer something, the message is "can't find the program entree point. ?Createlnt@Value@DirectUI@@SAPEAV12@H@Z(in dynamic link program library C:\WINDOWS\system32\explorerframe.dll).

Sergey | 18 Oct 13
Comments: 478

I am sorry, you should not use the old version of Ribbon Disabler. See the change log.
I curse the people who give it to you.
Version 2.0 was buggy, and applying 2.5 over it will not help.

Run sfc /scannow from the Elevated command prompt, reboot your PC when SFC will finish its work.
Then you will be able to use Ribbon Disabler 2.5

tim | 18 Oct 13

dear sir, thanks for your great help. The desktop come back. But the ribbon disabler v2.5 still doesn't work

deeohhen | 18 Oct 13

I just updated to Windows 8.1. I tried using the ribbon disabler but upon restart, the screen just goes black after the log in screen. There is nothing i can do except ctrl+alt+del. Despite not being able to see anything, i tried to follow the instructions you left for the gentleman who seems to have had the same issue. It doesn't seem to work. PLEASE HELP!! i really need my laptop for school :(

Maxgle | 19 Oct 13

I also had the problem of blank screen when upgrading to windows 8.1. I tried many things to get it back, but nothing I tried could get rid of blank screen. Fortunately, I had just made an image prior to upgrading to windows 8.1. I restored the image back to windows 8, and had to download and install windows 8.1 again. I sure would appreciate getting the ribbon disabler to work with windows 8.1. Thanks for your efforts.

Alex | 20 Oct 13


Same problem as above. I just downloaded Win 8.1, then applied Ribbon disabler and voila! Black screen directly after logging on. I know, I know, not to bright on my part.

Ctrl+alt+del works and I can get to the task manager, but that's about it.

I need help fixing this. If anyone can help me out, I would be in your debt.


johnnyzero | 21 Oct 13

If you previously used Ribbon Disabler under Win8, this problem will occur if you run it again after upgrading to Windows 8.1. That's because Ribbon Disabler will overwrite a Windows system file called "explorerframe.dll" with the older backup copy that it created under Win8. This older version of the dll is incompatible with Win8.1, and this causes the black screen.

The solution: *before* using Ribbon Disabler, you must first delete the older backup file called "explorerframe.winaero" located in Windows\System32. You'll need to have "Show hidden files and folders" enabled to do this.

Now you should be able to run Ribbon Disabler without crashing Windows.

johnnyzero | 21 Oct 13

For Alex & any other users who are still dealing with the black screen, here's how to fix it:

1) Pres ctrl+alt+del and click on Task Manager.

2) From Task Manager, click on "More details", then File, Run.

3) Run "cmd" with administrator privileges.

4) From the command line, type sfc /scannow, then press Enter.

5) Let System File Checker do its thing & finish. Re-start Windows if prompted.

This should repair the Windows system file that got nuked by Ribbon Disabler.

Once Windows is up and running again, if you want to use Ribbon Disabler without crashing Windows, follow the instructions in my post above.


help | 21 Oct 13

Pls someone can provide us the measures .. we upgraded to win 8.1 and install the ribbon disabler again... but our computer crash! what can we do? thxxx!!

Sergey | 21 Oct 13
Comments: 478

I do not know guy that's happened there at your PCs, but here is live video from my PC:

I have no idea how I can help you.

johnnyzero | 21 Oct 13

The "black screen" problem will only occur for those users who previously ran Ribbon Disabler under Win8 (i.e.: prior to updating to Win8.1).

Once you understand how Ribbon Disabler works, it's easy to see why this problem occurs.

Ribbon Disabler works by applying a resource hack to a Windows system file called "explorerframe.dll". At the same time, it also creates a backup copy of the original dll, which it renames as "explorerframe.winaero". This backup file is used by Ribbon Disabler in case you ever want to undo things & restore ribbon functionality.

So, for anyone who previously ran Ribbon Disabler under Win8 (i.e.: prior to updating to Win8.1), your Windows\System32 folder will already contain a file called "explorerframe.winaero".

[My post is too long, so I had to split it in two. Continued below...]

johnnyzero | 21 Oct 13

[continued from previous post above]...

Here's the scenario; please try to follow my logic here:

1) After updating to Win8.1, you notice that the ribbon is back. That's because the update installs a newer, unhacked version of explorerframe.dll.

2) Like most people, you assume that you just need to run Ribbon Disabler again. You run Ribbon Disabler, but you notice that the "Disable Ribbon Explorer" option is greyed out. That's because it detects the existence of the older backup file, explorerframe.winaero, and it assumes that the ribbon has already been disabled.

3) So, you go ahead and click on the only thing you can: "Enable Ribbon Explorer". Once you do this, explorerframe.dll gets replaced by the older backup file that was created under Win8. This older version is incompatible with Win8.1, and it causes the dreaded black screen.

As I posted previously, the solution is to simply delete the file "explorerframe.winaero" from your Windows\System32 folder *before* running Ribbon Disabler for the first time under Win8.1.

Ahmed | 08 Nov 13

nice work
thank you man

Anonymous | 10 Nov 13

Would it be possible to add option to disable/hide the command bar as well?

Sergey | 10 Nov 13
Comments: 478

it is possible, but I see no reason.
Without the command bar, Explorer is completely unusable.

Leontin | 17 Nov 13

Thank you so much! Working great on Windows 8.1!

Tom | 09 Dec 13

Nice. I'd love to be able to disable the folder bar though. It's pretty redundant (that's what right-click was invented for). I've tried following a few tutorials but none of them have worked so far.

Rob | 24 Dec 13

Looking at JohnnyZero's posts, I noticed that AFTER re-enabling. Black screen still occurs. Doing an SFC /SCANNOW via CMD, via TaskMan to see if it will fix the problem.

Filip013 | 03 Jan 14

How did you make the upper border of Windows Explorer transparent, Sergey? By default it's supposed to be white.

Sergey | 03 Jan 14
Comments: 478

It was Windows Consumer Preview.

Filip013 | 04 Jan 14

Ah... Well, I should have known. It's a neat tool anyway.

Anonymous | 11 Jan 14

Isn't there anyway to check for updates auto?

Mrtin | 11 Jan 14

I accidentaly enabled the wrong one and now my windows will not boot, black screen after HP logo please help. I've restarted a lot of times and automatic repair doesnt start. No usb or disc recovery tool

Karim | 03 Feb 14

Could someone tell me why should we remove the ribbon? Thank you.



emma | 07 Mar 14

Hi! My System32 folder doesn't have explorerframe.winaero file, but I do have explorerframe.dll and explorerframe.dll.151. I got the black screen after installing th first time, and had to do the /sfc bit. I've got hidden files and folders showing as well as protected OS files. Help? :(

Anonymous | 13 Apr 14

Hi--not sure if anyone still reads this, but this no longer works after the recent Windows 8.1 update.

Anon;P | 14 Apr 14

Anybody else having issues? After a recent update, all of a sudden ribbon came back and I can't disable it. :( Hope it gets fixed soon, thanks.

Sergey | 14 Apr 14
Comments: 478

I have Update 1 installed. just tried. it disables correctly

Elevory | 19 Apr 14

No, it doesn't. Black screen on boot.

Anonymous | 23 Apr 14

Seems this won't work with newest update of Windows 8.1

Anonymous | 28 Jun 14

Yeah same here it doesn't work with Update 1 of Windows 8.1

davidt | 06 Jul 14

where the link for the v2.5. The download button only gives me the v2.0

hessam | 15 Jul 14

nice tool but there is no way to disable that without modify system file?
example when i go to below folder ribbon automatically hided itself
i think there is a hidden way to do that for other folder too
C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files

Thesunfei | 15 Jul 14

Can we disable the up button?It look ugly and unnecessary .

Can I please ask.... | 03 Sep 14

I don't know if this is the right place to ask this. I came across this great website while desperately searching for a way to modify the word 2013 (the entire office suite) ribbon. I can't tolerate the WHITE on WHITE. The built in three shades of grey offered as an alternative are too depressing to look at all day. I need some color - I am going to downgrade if I can't find a solution. I was hoping one of themes would do the job, but now I suspect they will not be able to modify the ribbon within the suite.

Does anyone know if there is a solution? So, far I haven't been able to find anything.

Acehole | 13 Oct 14

Thanks for this perfect software...it works fine on Windows 8.1 but when applied , i have a new bar under the menus , as seen on your screenshots (organize,open,burn...) ???? it's a remain of the ribbon or an other windows item that i can fix ??? truly yours.

s1nwithm3 | 14 Nov 14

thought I should let you guys know: as of Nov. 13 2014s windows technical preview build 9879 this no longer works and causes "this pc" to no longer work. the entire file explorer stops working until you run "sfc /scannow"

Anonymous | 11 Dec 14

It just didn't work in Windows 8.1

Blabla | 22 Dec 14

Great. It works. Thanks!!!

Skrell | 20 Jan 15

Doesn't seem to work in Win 8.1 update 1 x64 ...i get some framework error upon trying to disable the ribbon...i can copy the exact error message later when i get home.

errorMsg | 26 Jan 15

- Win 8.1 Pro update 1 x64

EndUpdateResource Failed: 5.

See the end of this message for details on invoking
just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

************** Exception Text **************
System.Exception: EndUpdateResource Failed:5
at DLL.DeleteResource()
at Ribbon_disabler2.Form1.btnDisable_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)
at System.Windows.Forms.Button.WndProc(Message& m)
at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

alanclarc143 | 05 Mar 15

We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome weblog!

MAN | 31 Mar 15

After starting the computer Ribbon Disabler with a delay of 10 seconds, and it's not pretty.

Yeah | 16 Apr 15


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