How to switch back to the classic ribbon in Microsoft Office

Microsoft introduced a “simplified menu ribbon” in early 2021 Office Program package (Word, Power Point, Excel, Outlook, etc.), which means that fewer icons are displayed and less space is required. If this isn’t for you then there is a very easy way to get the classic ribbon back.

The classic ribbon that you are probably used to has a slew of symbols on it.

The new, simplified ribbon has fewer icons and more space for fingers to click icons (for touchscreen computers and tablets).

The simplified tape in the Outlook Desktop application.

These screenshots are from Microsoft Outlook, but the simplified ribbon is in every app in Office Suite.

This is not only the case in the desktop apps. The new, simplified ribbon has also appeared in the web apps. Here is the classic ribbon in Microsoft Word Web app.

The classic band in Word Web app.

And the new, simplified ribbon in the same app.

The simplified tape in the Word Web app.

According to Microsoft , the simplified ribbon is “more streamlined to take up less screen space,” which means the company has hidden most of the icons so the ribbon takes up less vertical space. Presumably, this is a move to help people who work from home with laptops, or maybe because they see the future with smaller, more mobile devices (though Office already has a touch mode for this).

How to switch Outlook Between touch and mouse mode

Whatever the reason, the simplified ribbon won’t be to everyone’s taste. So you go back to the classic tape.

First, click the little down arrow on the far right of the ribbon.

The toggle arrow in the ribbon.

This arrow acts like a toggle to toggle between the simplified and classic bands whenever you want. The ribbon design doesn’t change automatically in all Microsoft apps, so you’ll have to toggle the classic ribbon in each one Office App you are using. Fortunately, each app remembers your preference so you only have to do this once.

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