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How To Enable or Disable Compact View in File Explorer in Windows

If you are running the latest version of Windows, the default layout of File Explorer has changed. Now it comes with additional padding between elements. However, some users didn’t like this new File Explorer Mode and want to go to the previous version called compact mode. So the question is, how to enable or disable compact mode in File Explorer?

What is Compact Mode in Windows File Explorer?

Compact mode is beneficial for users who want to see more information. However, the new version is designed for better consistency with modern XAML experiences. So if you have a touch screen laptop, the new design would be useful for you. That said, Microsoft should have enabled it depending on the device type.

How To Enable or Disable Compact Mode in File Explorer

How To Enable or Disable Compact View in File Explorer in Windows

There are two ways to change the file explorer compact mode. First, you can disable it by going to the folder option, and second is to edit the registry entries. And in this article, I am going to talk about both of these methods:

  1. Folder options
  2. Registry editor

You will need to have an admin user account to change the registry entries. This works both in Windows 10 and Windows 11. However, Windows 10 needs one of the updates to get this feature.

1] Folder Options

Folder options are definitely the easiest ways to disable compact mode in Windows 10. For this, you will have to follow these steps:

  • In Windows 10, open File Explorer using Windows + E.
  • Then from the top menu, click on the View Tab.
  • From here, click on options.
  • Now from the Folder Options window, click on the View tab.
  • Now under the Advanced settings, look for the Use Compact Mode option.
  • Then place a checkmark next to the option, then click on Apply and OK.
  • Finally, restart your system, and the compact view will get enabled.

In Windows 11, it is rather simple. Open File Explorer, and then get inside any folder. Make sure you are in List View to understand the impact. Click on the Hamburger menu on the top of the panel, and select Compact View.

Notice the amount of space between the individual file and folder listing. The mode is specifically meant for the touch-based devices, but this is the way to go if you want a relaxed view.

2] Registry Editor

The registry method is an advanced way of enabling the Compact view in Windows 11 and Windows 10. However, since it can be a risky method that can damage your Windows 10 installation, I would recommend that you should take a registry backup before proceeding ahead.

  • At first, press Windows + R to launch the RUN dialog.
  • Type down Regedit and press enter, and it will launch the Registry Editor window.
  • Next, you will need to go to the following path:
  • Now from the left hand, click on the Advanced Registry key and then look for the DWORD named UseCompactMode on the right side.
  • If you don’t find the UserCompactMode DWORD, you will need to create a new DWORD and name it the UseCompactMode.
  • Now double click on the UseCompactMode DWORD and set the value to 1.
  • Then click on Ok and restart your computer.

After that, you will find that the compact mode view has been enabled in the File Explorer. Also, you can disable it by going to the same path and set the value of UseCompactMode DWORD to 0. Or you delete it from your computer, and then you have to restart your machine.

File Explorer Compact View is beneficial when you have a touch device as it makes sure there are not incorrect touches, but when it comes to devices that use precise pointers such as Mouse on a desktop, this mode is not useful. I hope this post comes in handy if you are a user who needs to see more details.

Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.



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