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How to remove check boxes in File Explorer on Windows 10



  Windows 10 Hero Image version 2

In Windows 10, File Explorer shows visible check boxes when you select a file. This makes file management easier with a touchscreen, but you might prefer a classic experience without those check boxes. You can disable them as follows.

When checked, the check boxes of items look like a small square ̵

1; empty or with a check mark – next to each file's icon, thumbnail or file name. They appear in any File Explorer formatting mode, including List and Detailed views.

This feature first appeared in Windows Vista and was enabled by default in Windows 8. You can even use item check boxes in Windows 7.

 Example of check boxes in Windows 10 File Explorer

Select check boxes from the File Explorer ribbon

You can remove these check boxes from File Explorer itself.

First open File Explorer. To do this quickly, press Windows + E or click the folder icon in your taskbar if File Explorer is pinned there. You can also find File Explorer in your Start menu.

 Open File Explorerer in Windows 10 by clicking this icon

In the ribbon bar at the top of the File Explorer window, click the “View tab.

 Click View in Windows 10 File Explorer

Locate "Item Check Boxes" in the View toolbar and click on it.

 Select Item Check boxes in Windows 10

If the feature was enabled, the check mark in the box next to each file disappears. Once you select files, a check box is no longer displayed.

 Windows 10 File Explorer without checkboxes

To enable the feature again, return to the toolbar view in Explorer and check the box next to "Item checkboxes" again. Click this option if you want to hide the check boxes and make them visible.

Alternative Method: Use the Folder Options Window

It is also possible to clear item check boxes using folder options in Explorer. To do this, open an Explorer window and click "View" on the toolbar. Click the "Options" button and you will see the Folder Options window.

Scroll through the list until you see "Use check boxes to select items". Uncheck and click Apply.

 Clear file check boxes in Folder Options on Windows 10

Then close the Folder Options window and the check boxes in File Explorer have disappeared. Enjoy!


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