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.

Donate options for satisfied users:


  1. Anonymous
    15 Mar 12

    Nice piece of software

  2. Anonymous
    27 Apr 12

    Windows 8 sucks ass

  3. Anonymous
    17 Jul 12

    Thanks, Happy Bulldozer.

  4. Anonymous
    18 Aug 12

    thx man this is nice

  5. Anonymous
    09 Oct 12

    Thank you

  6. mirecek1965
    03 Nov 12

    Thanks, but i dont use explorer.

  7. 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?

  8. Sergey
    06 Nov 12

    i will look into the problem

  9. it fails
    17 Nov 12

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

  10. 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 ))

  11. 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.

  12. Sergey
    23 Nov 12

    I just go with the flow

  13. 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.

  14. Sergey
    01 Dec 12

    Look at the downloads counter. Not everyone agree with you

  15. gash
    12 Dec 12

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

  16. Sergey
    12 Dec 12

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

  17. 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 ^^" )

  18. Sergey
    12 Dec 12

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

  19. 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.

  20. George
    11 May 13

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

  21. 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?

  22. Anonymous
    12 May 13

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

  23. 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!

  24. Shahnewaz Ahmed
    13 Jul 13

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

  25. wow
    17 Jul 13

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

  26. 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

  27. arifi kamil
    08 Sep 13

    how can i use this thing

  28. Anonymous
    08 Sep 13

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

  29. Anon
    23 Sep 13

    Please add Windows 8.1 RTM support.

  30. Sergey
    23 Sep 13

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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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).

  34. Sergey
    18 Oct 13

    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

  35. 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

  36. 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 :(

  37. 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.

  38. 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.


  39. 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.

  40. 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.


  41. 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!!

  42. Sergey
    21 Oct 13

    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.

  43. 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...]

  44. 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.

  45. Ahmed
    08 Nov 13

    nice work
    thank you man

  46. Anonymous
    10 Nov 13

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

  47. Sergey
    10 Nov 13

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

  48. Leontin
    17 Nov 13

    Thank you so much! Working great on Windows 8.1!

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. Filip013
    03 Jan 14

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

  52. Sergey
    03 Jan 14

    It was Windows Consumer Preview.

  53. Filip013
    04 Jan 14

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

  54. Anonymous
    11 Jan 14

    Isn't there anyway to check for updates auto?

  55. 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

  56. Karim
    03 Feb 14

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

    10 Feb 14


  58. 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? :(

  59. Anonymous
    13 Apr 14

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

  60. 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.

  61. Sergey
    14 Apr 14

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

  62. Elevory
    19 Apr 14

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

  63. Anonymous
    23 Apr 14

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

  64. Anonymous
    28 Jun 14

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

  65. davidt
    06 Jul 14

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

  66. 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

  67. Thesunfei
    15 Jul 14

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

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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"

  71. Anonymous
    11 Dec 14

    It just didn't work in Windows 8.1

  72. Blabla
    22 Dec 14

    Great. It works. Thanks!!!

  73. 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.

  74. 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)

  75. 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!

  76. MAN
    31 Mar 15

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

  77. Yeah
    16 Apr 15


  78. asasa
    25 May 15


  79. Anonmoose
    14 Jun 15

    Great software thanks

  80. boy
    16 Jun 15

    my laptop going black screen after enable ribbon again and log off. Cant start task manager, cant fix corrupt file with sfc in advance startup.. please help ASAP!

  81. johnnyzero
    29 Jul 15

    Any word on whether this is going to be updated to work with Windows 10?

    I know that it was reportedly working fine with some of the early preview releases, but at some point last Fall it stopped working.

    I dread the thought of not being able to disable the Ribbon in Windows 10

  82. Harry
    30 Jul 15

    Yes, precisely. There's no way I'm using windows 10 for anything other than testing until I can rid it of that ugly ribbon and get sensible plain text menus back.

  83. johnnyzero
    31 Jul 15

    I suspect that Microsoft may have changed the architecture of Windows 10's exploreframe.dll such that the Ribbon resource can't be as easily disabled as it could in Windows 8/8.1. The Ribbon is probably more "integrated" into the overall Windows UI than in previous versions.

    I haven't used Windows 10 at all yet, so I don't even know if it still includes the "Always show menus" option like Windows 7/8. Anybody?

    In any case, I sure hope that Sergey will be able to update Ribbon Disabler to work with Windows 10. Maybe he's been holding off for the "final" release on 7/29.

  84. Acehole
    06 Aug 15

    I was happy to use on windows 8.1 "ribbon disabler" to get rid off this ...ugly ribbon and when i go to Windows 10 to discover the same ribbon (yeurkkk) , i read somewhere that it is compatible ,so i try to use it but have a black screen after logoff , like comments above ! is it ,perhaps, coincidental with the Nvidia drivers bug certain report or "ribbon disabler " is NOT compatible with Windows 10 ? thanks anyway for the great work of Winaero to permit to keep hands on the machine that, obviously , Microsoft want not !!!

  85. Bathsheba
    14 Aug 15

    I just tried this on my fresh install of Windows 10, and IT WORKED. No more chaotic, ever-changing, keyboard-hostile ribbon.

    Thank you!

  86. Help
    07 Dec 15

    I downloaded Iit from a guy on YouTube. HE didn't say that it was windows 10 only and now all i get when i log on is blackscreen. Typing this with my iPad please help!

  87. johnnyzero
    08 Dec 15

    1) Pres ctrl+alt+del and click on Task Manager.
    2) From Task Manager, click on File, Run New Task.
    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 when prompted.

  88. Bub
    11 Dec 15

    I'm happy to report this works for me in Windows 10. Since ExplorerFrame.dll is already being modified, would it be possible to also disable the distracting command bar? Menu bar all the way!

  89. justs
    26 Mar 16

    First, thank you for this great piece of kit! I would like to get my ribbon back, but I can't seem to. I am on Windows 10 Nov update and originally installed Ribbon Disabler 1 and it worked great to disable the ribbon. I tried to reenable, but it didn't work. I then tried Ribbon Disabler 2 and same thing, no go on the reenable. I uninstalled Ribbon Disabler 1 via the 'remove programs' area, but Ribbon Disabler 2 was not on the list (assume this is a portable version.)

    Is there any way for me to get the ribbon back? I am running the After Dark CC theme for Win10 November Update if that makes any difference.

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