How to Reset File Explorer to Default Windows 11 Settings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Resetting File Explorer to its default settings in Windows 11 can help resolve various issues like slow performance, crashes, or unexpected behavior. By following a few straightforward steps, you can restore File Explorer to its factory settings and get it running smoothly again.

How to Reset File Explorer to Default Windows 11

Resetting File Explorer will revert any custom settings to their original defaults and may help clear up issues you’ve been having. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Open File Explorer Options

First, open File Explorer and click on the three dots in the toolbar. Then, select “Options”.

In the File Explorer window, you’ll see three dots (ellipsis) in the upper-right corner. Clicking on these dots will bring up a menu, and from there, you need to select "Options." This will open the Folder Options dialog box where you can make changes.

Step 2: Reset Folders

Next, in the Folder Options window, click on the “View” tab, and then click on “Reset Folders”.

Once you’re in the Folder Options window, navigate to the “View” tab. Here, you’ll find a button labeled “Reset Folders.” Clicking this button will reset the folder views back to their default settings.

Step 3: Restore Defaults

Still in the “View” tab, click on “Restore Defaults” to revert all settings to their original state.

In the same tab, there’s another button called “Restore Defaults.” Clicking this will revert all the customization you’ve done in File Explorer back to the default settings.

Step 4: Apply Settings

After resetting and restoring defaults, click “Apply” and then “OK” to confirm the changes.

To make sure all the changes take effect, you’ll need to click “Apply” and then “OK.” This will close the Folder Options window and apply your new (well, old) settings.

Step 5: Restart File Explorer

Finally, restart File Explorer to ensure all changes are implemented. You can do this by closing File Explorer and reopening it or restarting your computer.

To finalize the reset, you need to restart File Explorer. You can close and reopen the application, or simply restart your computer. This ensures all settings are completely rolled back to default.

After you’ve completed these steps, File Explorer should now be back to its default settings. This should resolve most issues you were experiencing.

Tips for Resetting File Explorer to Default Windows 11

  • Backup Before Reset: Always back up your custom settings before performing a reset, in case you want to restore them later.
  • Update Windows: Sometimes updating Windows can resolve issues without needing to reset File Explorer.
  • Check for Corrupt Files: Use the built-in System File Checker (SFC) to scan for and repair corrupted files.
  • Clear Cache: Deleting File Explorer’s cache can also help improve performance.
  • Use Safe Mode: If File Explorer is still acting up, try resetting it while in Windows Safe Mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I reset File Explorer?

Resetting File Explorer will revert any changes made to the folder views and reset all settings back to default. This can help solve performance issues or bugs you might be experiencing.

Will I lose files if I reset File Explorer?

No, resetting File Explorer will not delete any of your files. It will only change the settings and views back to their defaults.

How often should I reset File Explorer?

Only reset File Explorer when you are experiencing issues. Frequent resets are usually not necessary.

Can I undo the reset?

You can manually re-customize File Explorer to your liking after a reset, but there is no single button to undo the reset.

What should I do if resetting doesn’t fix the issue?

If resetting File Explorer doesn’t resolve your issues, you may need to look into other troubleshooting steps, such as updating Windows or repairing system files.


  1. Open File Explorer Options
  2. Reset Folders
  3. Restore Defaults
  4. Apply Settings
  5. Restart File Explorer


Resetting File Explorer to default in Windows 11 is a useful trick when things start to go awry. Whether it’s sluggish performance or unexpected crashes, a quick reset can often do wonders. Remember to back up your custom settings and consider other troubleshooting methods like updating Windows or checking for corrupt files if a reset doesn’t solve your problems.

Windows 11 brings a lot of new features and changes, but at its core, familiar solutions like resetting File Explorer can still be the key to resolving your issues. If you find this guide useful, consider reading more on Windows troubleshooting, and don’t hesitate to share this with others who might benefit from it.

Understanding how to manage and troubleshoot your computer’s basic functions can save you time and frustration. So go ahead, reset that File Explorer, and get back to smooth sailing on your Windows 11 machine!

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