How to Disable Check Boxes on Windows 11

Check boxes allow you to select multiple files in File Explorer on Windows 11. If you’d prefer to switch off this feature, follow this guide.

When you’re selecting items in File Explorer, a small check box appears next to each file and folder icon to make picking items easier. It’s enabled by default, but you may want to disable item check boxes on Windows 11.

While the check box feature is helpful on touchscreen devices, you might prefer to select items using Shift or Ctrl plus a click to choose different things. When the check boxes aren’t present, you’ll have a cleaner look for the File Explorer experience.

If you want to ditch the check boxes for items in File Explorer and the desktop, we’ll show you how.

How to Remove Check Boxes from Files and Folders on Windows 11

The check boxes next to files, folders, and other icons have been part of the Windows experience for a long time (since Vista). You will find the check boxes on item icons in File Explorer.

Disable Check Boxes on Windows 11

Since the feature is turned on by default, the check boxes also appear on icons and other items on your desktop.

However, you can remove the check boxes if you don’t use them, find they get in your way, or want a cleaner UI experience on your Windows 11 PC.

To remove check boxes from icons on Windows 11:

  1. Press Windows key + E to launch File Explorer or open it from the taskbar icon.Disable Check Boxes on Windows 11
  2. With File Explorer open, click the View button on the top toolbar.Disable Check Boxes on Windows 11
  3. When the dropdown menu appears, select Show, and click the Item check boxes setting to deselect it.
  4. Check boxes will no longer appear next to items. However, if you want to change it back to use check boxes, open File Explorer and select View > Item check boxes to reenable it.

How to Disable Check Boxes from Folder Options on Windows

If you don’t want the check boxes next to items in Windows, you can also turn them off from File Explorer Options. Using these steps produces the same result but is another way of doing it.

To turn off check boxes via File Explorer Options:

  1. Press the Windows key to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Search for File Explorer Options and select the top result.Disable Check Boxes on Windows 11
  3. Select the View tab at the top when the File Explorer Options window appears.
  4. Scroll down the Advanced settings menu and uncheck the Use check boxes to select items option.
  5. Click Apply and OK to verify the change.

After following the steps, check boxes will no longer appear next to folders and other items on Windows 11. If you want to reenable it, return to File Explorer Options and check Use check boxes to select items. Or, you can enable check boxes from File Explorer.

Customizing File Explorer on Windows 11

Whatever your reasoning for wanting to disable check boxes on Windows 11, the process is straightforward via File Explorer. You can always restore the functionality by repeating these steps afterward. It’s also important to mention that if you aren’t on Windows 11 yet, you can remove check boxes on Windows 10 just as easily.

There are other ways to manage your files and folders on Windows 11. For example, you can use the Tabs feature for easier data management. And on Windows 11, you can format a drive from File Explorer.

Windows 11 received a major UI overhaul; some things are more challenging to locate. So if you’re new to the OS, find out how to find the options setting in File Explorer. And while it’s essential to provide file access, sometimes things don’t work—if that happens, you’ll need to fix File Explorer not working next.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. mike

    August 15, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    I’d like to ask for a feature in the next windows patch: remove from desktop icons only (not folder icons).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top