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How do I show/hide the command bar (or, as some people call it, the Folder band) in Windows Explorer in Windows 7?

I know ALT toggles the menu bar.

I'd like to toggle the visibility of that command bar (with the organize button).

enter image description here

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There are 2 ways to auto-hide the 'command bar', they are:

1) Manually

2) Automatically

To do it manually, you will need to install Resource Hacker which will allow you to edit the Shellstyle.dll file in Windows. Once you've installed it, follow this link on AskVG. In case the link ever goes down, I'll add a screenshot here:

enter image description here

Make sure that if you are using a 3rd party theme, edit the Shellstyle.dll file for that theme or this won't work.

Now, with option 2, if you want to set this up automatically, you can download Command Bar Tweaker (via LifeHacker) but it only works with the default Aero theme

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There is a tool called "Windows 7 Command Bar Tweaker" which allows to easily hide this bar.

Its original location doesn't exist anymore, but there is an archived download link.

So, this tool has two modes:

  • Auto Hide Command Bar: The bar will show when the mouse cursor crosses its original location. I personally find it annoying as this causes a lot of "flickering", not to mention it requires precision to get the bar.
  • Permanently Hide Command Bar: You won't see this bar anymore, for good. Caution: it "resets" your Windows theme (wallpaper, window color, sounds...), so make sure you can restore your personalizations afterwards.

Requires you to log out for the change to take effect.

Successfully tested on Windows 7 64-bit.


If you are interested in trying to "resource hack" the Shellstyle.dll file by yourself, you may have a look at this AskVG article.

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  • The link from the internet archive did the trick for me. – enigmaticPhysicist Nov 29 '16 at 1:34
  • The AskVG link only autohides---it cannot permanently hide. – enigmaticPhysicist Nov 29 '16 at 1:41
  • Note there is a PS at end of section 5 about permament hide, did you try it? But more importantly, it seems this AskVG article has been modified. They don't mention anymore the "Windows 7 Command Bar Tweaker" tool, and the download link now points to a pre-modified DLL (very bad practice, there are so many versions of the DLL…). – Gras Double Nov 29 '16 at 21:25
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I applied the instructions on Ask VG to the classic theme to permanently hide the command bar. This is the resulting shellstyle.dll. I hope this saves some of you some time.

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