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How to Turn on Compact View in Windows 11 File Explorer

The new Compact View option reduces space between items in File Explorer. Here is how to enable or turn on compact view in Windows 11 File Explorer.

The File Explorer in Windows 11 has changed a lot compared to the one you find in Windows 10. Mainly, the ribbon menu is gone, and most of the options are simplified. If you are wondering, all the essential options now appear in what’s called a Command Bar at the top of the File Explorer. Microsoft even modified the right-click context menu and removed many redundant options from the command bar to make things clutter-free.

One of the striking changes in File Explorer is the gap between items to make it suitable for both touch and mouse inputs. Unlike in Windows 10 (at least in older versions), where the spacing changes depending on whether you are in tablet or desktop mode, Windows 11 has consistent spacing no matter the mode. As you can guess, this brings a consistent user experience.

As good as the spacing is, you might not like it. For example, the increased space between items in File Explorer means you will see less information; it might look like wasted space, make it hard to select items with your mouse, etc. In that case, you can enable the Compact View option. Turning on this option will reduce the space between items and make File Explorer feel classic.

This Windows 11 guide will show you the exact steps to turn on the compact mode in Windows 11 File Explorer without further ado.

Turn on Compact View in File Explorer

To turn on the Compact View in File Explorer, you need to select the Compact View option. Here is where to find and select it.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Click on “View.”
  3. Select the “Compact View” option.
  4. With that, the compact view option is turned on.
  5. The gap between items should be reduced now.

Detailed steps:

The option we are looking for is located in the File Explorer itself. So, we need to open it first. To do that, press the “Windows key + E” shortcut or click on the “File Explorer” icon on the taskbar. Of course, you can also search for the same in the Start menu.

After opening the File Explorer, select “View” on the command bar and select the “Compact View” option.

As soon as you do that, the spacing between items in File Explorer will be reduced instantly.

That is it. It is that simple to turn on compact view in File Explorer in Windows 11.

If you want to restore the default layout, i.e., increase spacing between items, select the “View > Compact View” option from the File Explorer command bar.

That is all.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Related: How to restore classic context menu in Windows 11 file explorer

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