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


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Libraries_banner.png

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.

See also:

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

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


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

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