The Windows Explorer Ribbon UI is one of the hundreds of new features introduced with Microsoft’s newest version of Windows operating system. The Ribbon UI replaces the Explorer toolbar and provides better access to all Windows Explorer features and settings
The best thing about the Ribbon UI is that it’s minimized by default and one can access almost all Windows Explorer settings and features without having to open Folder Options dialog. One can minimize or maximize the Ribbon either by clicking the down arrow that appears on the upper-right of the window or by pressing Ctrl + F1 hotkey.
While majority of Windows users love the Ribbon in Windows Explorer, a small percentage of users love to have the old Explorer toolbar in Windows 8 as well.
Users who would like to disable the Ribbon Explorer and want to enable the old toolbar can download and run a small utility named Ribbon Disabler. Ribbon Disabler is a free utility from the maker of Personalization Panel for Windows 7, User Picture Tuner, and Windows 7 Home Basic Color Changer.
It lets you enable the Toolbar and disable the Ribbon with a click. Download, run the tool with admin rights, and then click Disable Windows Explorer Toolbar. Once done, you will be asked to log off and log on to apply the change.
When you enable the Toolbar in Windows 8 with Ribbon Disabler, you will see organize, slide show, print, new folder, open, play all and many other options in Windows Explorer.
Please note that the Ribbon Explorer zip file includes separate executable for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8. Make sure you run the right version. The tool comes with an option to revert to the original Windows Explorer Ribbon UI.
How to change Explorer Ribbon icons, Metro file explorer app for Windows 8, and enable Ribbon Explorer in Windows 7 guides might also interest you.
Download Ribbon Disabler