[Did You Know] You can Remove “Libraries” from Windows Explorer Navigation Pane in Windows 8.1 and Later

When Microsoft released Windows 7, they re-designed Navigation Pane in Windows Explorer and added following 5 items to it:

  • Favorites
  • Libraries
  • Homegroup
  • Computer
  • Network

Microsoft didn't provide any option to show or hide these items from Navigation Pane and we had to depend upon Registry tweaks to remove unwanted items as described here.

But Microsoft added a new option to hide "Favorites" in Windows 8 Explorer Navigation Pane as shown in following tutorial:

Windows 8 Allows You to Remove "Favorites" from Windows Explorer Navigation Pane

Still options to hide Libraries and other items were missing in Windows 8. Now with the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has added another useful option to show or hide "Libraries" in Windows 8.1 Explorer Navigation Pane.

By default libraries are hidden in Windows 8.1 Explorer Navigation Pane but you can use this new option to toggle libraries appearance.

Simply open Windows Explorer and right-click in Navigation Pane and click on "Show libraries" option as shown in following screenshot:


It'll immediately show or hide Libraries in Windows 8.1 Explorer Navigation Pane.

Another nice addition to Windows 8.1 by Microsoft.

PS: If you want to remove 6 folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos) from My Computer (or This PC) window, you can remove them easily using a simple Registry tweak given in following tutorial:

[Tips] Tweak and Customize Windows 8.1 Explorer "This PC"


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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Great one indeed , but at time of installation of 8.1 , does the setup create default libraries ( docs , pics , music , vids ) or not???

  • How about hiding folders in "This PC".
    I find it very annoying especially in navigation pane.

  • VG

    ^^ Those folders can be easily removed using a simple Registry trick which have been shared a long time back on AskVG: ;)


  • Can we disable the libraries functionality in Windows 8.1?? (Not hiding it)

  • VG

    ^^ Following tweak should work not tested:


  • Libraries is GONE! Yay! What a useless piece of s**t idea that was.

  • Hi!
    I posted the same on W7..
    Impossible to make disappear libraries in "Navigation Pane" ---> "Show libraries"
    I dare not erase the key altogether (security)
    Any tip
    Thank and a hip hap happy new year

  • Hi VG,
    In the Public folder, there is a hidden library for RECORDED TV, and yet, the SHOW IN NAVIGATION is grayed/greyed out. I think recall I was able to enable this in Windows 7, but in windows 8.1, it is not possible. I am sure there is a registry tweak to fix this, can you assist with showing it in the NAV Pane?

    The Library is handy to some yes and no. No to the those who have one folder type for each kind of file store their files in, and Yes if you have multi-partitions or Disks with Doc, Music, video etc, folders in different areas for overflow, which the library will consolidate all your Music, Docs, Video to one central location making multi-tasking easier. And no, if you don't network with a LAN using file sharing to other devices, like phones and Smart TVs and Yes, if you do. For the simpleton, libraries are not useful.

  • VG

    ^^ Just copy the Recorder TV folder from Public folder and paste it into your user Library folder. It'll appear in navigation pane.

  • Your tweaks and tips are more useful than any other I've found.

    I'd like to *restore* Libraries in the Navigation tree, but the tweaks and built-in switch for doing so (Win 10) don't work, nor does the "Add to libraries" folder content menu entry. I can, however, so the libraries folders in certain places as well as directly add folders to them via the dialog box.

    Any idea how I can restore them to the Navigation Pane?

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