Personalization Add or Remove Devices and Printers in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Windows 11


  • Staff
Devices_and_Printers_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Devices and Printers in the navigation pane of File Explorer for your account in Windows 11.

The Devices and Printers folder shows devices that are connected to a computer, including the document devices.

When you select a device in Devices and Printers, Device Stage shows the details for that device.

See also:

When you try to open Devices and Printers from the Control Panel in an Insider build of Windows 11, it will now open to Settings > Bluetooth & devices instead.

If you like, you can add Devices and Printers as its own separate group to the top or bottom of the navigation pane of File Explorer for even easier and faster access.


EXAMPLE: "Devices and Printers" open and at top or bottom of navigation pane in File Explorer

Devices_and_Printers_at_bottom.png
Devices_and_Printers_at_top.png

Devices_and_Printers_expanded_open.png
Devices_and_Printers.png



Here's How:

1 Do step 2 (add top), step 3 (add bottom), or step 4 (remove) below for what you want.

2 Add "Devices and Printers" to Top of Navigation Pane in File Explorer

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Add_Devices_and_Printers_to_top_of_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]
@="Device Center"
"System.IsPinnedToNamespaceTree"=dword:00000001
"SortOrderIndex"=dword:0000003c
"System.ApplicationName"="Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}\DefaultIcon]
@=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
  00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,44,00,65,00,\
  76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,43,00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,\
  00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,00,31,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}\InProcServer32]
@=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
  00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,44,00,65,00,\
  76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,43,00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,\
  00,6c,00,00,00
"LoadWithoutCOM"=""
"ThreadingModel"="Both"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]
@="Device Center"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
"{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}"=dword:00000001

3 Add "Devices and Printers" to Bottom of Navigation Pane in File Explorer

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Add_Devices_and_Printers_to_bottom_of_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]
@="Device Center"
"System.IsPinnedToNamespaceTree"=dword:00000001
"SortOrderIndex"=-
"System.ApplicationName"="Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}\DefaultIcon]
@=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
  00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,44,00,65,00,\
  76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,43,00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,\
  00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,00,31,00,00,00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}\InProcServer32]
@=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
  00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,44,00,65,00,\
  76,00,69,00,63,00,65,00,43,00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,\
  00,6c,00,00,00
"LoadWithoutCOM"=""
"ThreadingModel"="Both"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]
@="Device Center"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
"{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}"=dword:00000001

4 Remove "Devices and Printers" from Navigation Pane in File Explorer

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.​

Remove_Devices_and_Printers_from_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
"{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}"=-

5 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8 If File Explorer is currently open, then close and reopen File Explorer to apply.

9 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Add_Devices_and_Printers_to_top_of_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg
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  • Remove_Devices_and_Printers_from_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg
    1.2 KB · Views: 248
  • Add_Devices_and_Printers_to_bottom_of_navigation_pane_of_File_Explorer.reg
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Last edited:
I love this. However, when I sysprep the image, the settings are removed. I used the HKLM settings (same as HKCU) but it puts an icon for Devices and Printers on the desktop as well. Still in progress, but if you have any idea or feedback it is appreciated!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell
I love this. However, when I sysprep the image, the settings are removed. I used the HKLM settings (same as HKCU) but it puts an icon for Devices and Printers on the desktop as well. Still in progress, but if you have any idea or feedback it is appreciated!

Run Sysprep with an Answer File​

For a more automated and complex customization, including registry modifications, you can use an answer file (unattend.xml) with Sysprep. The answer file can specify changes to the registry under the specialize configuration pass.

  1. Create an Answer File: Use the Windows System Image Manager (part of the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit) to create your answer file.

  2. Specify Registry Changes in the Answer File: Within your answer file, you can add registry settings under the <Registry> pass. For example:

    XML:
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
          <RegistrySettings>
               <Registry>
                      <Hive>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE</Hive>
                      <Key>Software\CustomKey</Key>
                      <Name>CustomValueName</Name>
                      <Type>String</Type>
                      <Value>CustomValue</Value>
               </Registry>
          </RegistrySettings>
    </component>

  3. Run Sysprep:
    Generalize the image as you normally would and include the "unattend" file.
    Code:
    sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown /unattend:C:\PathTo\Unattend.xml
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
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