General Add or Remove Libraries in File Explorer Navigation Pane in Windows 11


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Libraries_banner.png

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

Windows 7 introduced libraries, which provide users with a single, coherent view of their files even when those files are stored in different locations. Libraries can be configured and organized by a user and a library can contain folders that are found on the user's computer and also folders that have been shared over a network. Libraries present a simpler view of the underlying storage system because, to the user, the files and folders in a library are displayed in one single view location, no matter where they are actually physically stored.

In File Explorer, users interact with libraries in ways similar to how they would interact with other folders. Libraries are built upon the legacy known folders (such as Camera Roll, Documents, Music, Pictures, Saved Pictures, and Videos), and these known folders are automatically included in the default libraries and set as the default save location.

References:

The navigation pane is the far left pane in File Explorer used to find files, folders, and drives on your PC or network.


If you turn on Show all folders in the navigation pane, Libraries will always show in the navigation pane.

Your libraries are located in the hidden %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries folder.



Contents

  • Option One: Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in File Explorer
  • Option Two: Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Folder Options
  • Option Three: Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer using REG file
  • Option Four: Add or Remove Specific Library under Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer


EXAMPLE: Libraries showing in navigation pane of File Explorer

Libraries_on_navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.png





Option One

Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in File Explorer


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Right click or press and hold on an empty area inside the navigation pane, and click/tap on Show libraries to toggle add (checked) or remove (unchecked - default) for what you want. (see screenshot below)

Libraries_navigation_pane.png





Option Two

Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer in Folder Options


1 Open Folder Options.

2 Click/tap on the View tab. (see screenshot below)

3 Under the Navigation pane section, check (add) or uncheck (remove - default) Show libraries for what you want.

4 Click/tap on OK.

Libraries_Folder_Options.png





Option Three

Add or Remove Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer using REG file


1 Do step 2 (add) or step 3 (remove) below for what you would like to do.

2 Add Libraries to Navigation Pane in File Explorer

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Add_Libraries_to_navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.reg


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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
"System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000001

3 Remove Libraries 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 4 below.​

Remove_Libraries_from_navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.reg


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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
"System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000000

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

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

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

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

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




Option Four

Add or Remove Specific Library under Libraries in Navigation Pane of File Explorer


Removing a library from showing under Libraries in the navigation pane of File Explorer will not remove the actual library from Libraries.


1 Open Libraries in File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Right click or press and hold on the library (ex: "Saved Pictures") you want to add or remove, and click/tap on Properties. (see screenshot below)

Specific_Libraries-1.png

3 Check (add - default) or uncheck (remove) Show in navigation pane under Attributes for what you want, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Specific_Libraries-2.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Libraries.png
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  • Add_Libraries_to_navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.reg
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  • Remove_Libraries_from_navigation_pane_in_File_Explorer.reg
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Last edited:
Is it possible to remove the "Libraries" folder (not the various sub-folders) from the navigation pane?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
Is it possible to remove the "Libraries" folder (not the various sub-folders) from the navigation pane?

Hello Mingle, :alien:

I'm afraid not, but as a workaround, you could "Pin to Quick access" each library you want to show in that part of the navigation pane, then remove "Libraries" from the navigation pane.

They won't be expandable in the navigation pane like under "Libraries" though.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1 14-eu0098nr (2024)
    CPU
    Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 4.8 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Intel Arc
    Sound Card
    Poly Studio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14" 2.8K OLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    2880 x 1800
    Hard Drives
    2 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Internet Speed
    Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

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