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How to enable Windows 11 Explorer Compact Mode

The new Windows 11 operating system comes with an updated File Explorer file manager. The tabs and the ribbon toolbar are gone, so Microsoft decided to simplify the application interface.

There are 9 options available in the main Windows 11 toolbar by default, which open additional menus. Basic file operations such as Cut, Copy, and Paste have separate buttons, and everything else is available in the submenu.

Windows 11 also changes the interface for displaying drives, files, and folders. Although when you open File Explorer, you get a list of files and folders with their sizes, types, dates of change, and other information, you may notice a large amount of free space between them.

The screenshot below shows the default display mode in Windows 11 Explorer.

You can compare it to compact view mode, which File Explorer also supports.

If you want more files and folders to be displayed simultaneously, you can achieve this by enabling a compact view.

It’s unclear why Microsoft decided to use alternate mode with spaced objects by default. Perhaps the company was guided only by aesthetic considerations or wanted to simplify the work with files for devices with a touch screen. The second option seems less likely because the company could only implement device type verification, including an optimized mode for touch devices. A compact option would be included for everyone else.

How to enable Compact View in Windows 11 Explorer

Compact View mode is available to all Windows 11 users, but you must enable it manually.

To do this, do the following:

  • Open File Explorer
  • On the toolbar, select the View option
  • From the drop-down menu, select Compact View.

Tip: In the View > Show submenu, options are also available to display hidden files and filename extensions.

Final Words:

Some Windows 11 users may like the new default display mode in File Explorer. It’s great for touch devices because it will make it easier to select files and folders. On other devices, the Compact View mode is preferable, which displays more objects without scrolling.

Which mode do you like best?

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