How to Disable “Libraries” Feature in Windows 7?

Recently we told you how to disable "Homegroup" feature in Windows 7. Today we are going to share a small trick to disable "Libraries" in Windows 7. If you are not aware of "Libraries", Libraries collect folders that are stored in different locations on your hard drive so that you can browse them in one place. Libraries help you in organizing files using metadata about the file for example owner, published date, file type, etc. Libraries icon is always visible in Windows Explorer.

After following this tutorial, "Libraries" feature will be disabled in Windows 7 and its icon will also be removed from Windows Explorer and Start Menu.

You just need to run a small Registry script to disable it. Don't worry! Its just a Registry script which will modify some key values in Windows registry to disable libraries functionality. You can use it safely without worries.


Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor. Now go to following keys one by one:



Take ownership of both keys using this guide and close Registry Editor.


Download following ZIP file, extract it and run the "Disable Libraries in Windows 7.REG" file:

Download Registry Script to Disable Libraries Feature

After running the .REG file, log off or restart your system and you'll no longer see Libraries icon in Windows Explorer:


If you don't want to disable complete "Libraries" feature but only want to remove its icon from Explorer, then run "Only Remove Libraries Icon from Windows 7 Explorer.reg" file.

PS: There is also a restore script available in the above ZIP file, in case you want to restore Libraries.

Also Check:

How to Remove "Libraries" from Windows 7 Explorer Navigation Pane?


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7

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  • I hate those sort of automatic folders in Windows... Will Microsoft learn... some day... that most people do not like 'atuomathic things' that never use? Thanks for this page!

  • I realize that this is a old thread, but I have recently deployed windows 7 desktops and my users are having issues with the libraries feature and I needed to find a way to disable it across the domain with group policy. Long story short is that all of which I tried from forum advice did not work, although it led me in the right direction. I just want to pass along the very simple solution to get the libraries feature to stop showing up in the explorer window.

    Go to the GPO you want to use for this, and go to Computer Config---Preferences---Windows Settings---Registry

    Choose New Registry Item and change Action to "delete"

    You can leave the Hive set at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

    and for key path put:

    Removing this key works immediately.... (if you should choose to test)... just navigate to the location manually, export it for backup purposes and the delete it... then close and re-open my computer and libraries will be gone.

    And, in my case, (no guarantee on this part) the shortcut on the task bar that used to launch libraries, now opens up directly to the user's My Documents folder (which is really their H:\ drive)
    Hope that this helps someone and prevents them from spending their entire morning figuring this out.

    Matt Montalto

  • This trick comes in handy when it comes to SSD and HDD integration. With these libraries, it can slow down the SSD considerably, and if you are like me and

  • Awsome! I can't believe that I have been overlooking this option for so long. Thank you! Its exactly what I needed. I've just got two questions; first, can I do the same thing for Favorites? And second, do you happen to know how to hide the menu in Windows Explorer with a reg hack or in Group Policy?

    Thanks again!

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:

  • No more clutter in Explorer nav pane!! Hopefully won't have to "Refresh" view after file management. A blessing. Thanks. Can't wait to view more of your site.

  • Worked like a charm. Thank you so much for sharing it. :)

  • This is possibly the best things I've ever found for Windows 7.

    Now if you can make 8 not make me want to throw my PC out of the window (they really ought to build an OS which doesn't presume you have a touchscreen) then I'll use that instead.

    Seriously though, thanks for posting this. Great help.

  • Jesus Christ thank you! I hated that it wouldn't let me arrange files by type without "bundling" all the same file types under one icon. There's many times I can't remember if the file I need is, for example, pdf or docx, or a gif or Jpg, etc....

    The fact that this seems to be a recursive function was incredibly annoying. pulling files our of folders inside folders and showing you all of them at once, when I only need to look through the few that are actually in the Documents folder.

  • glad to be rid of the rubbish library feature

  • One major flaw with the current Libraries defaults:

    Most users want a "stable" environment each time they log on.

    On a Windows 7 machine with several user accounts, each with Libraries by default including stuff from user account "Public" for each private user, when ever they look at "their" account's libraries, they will see stuff added and dropped by others. This will disturb their sense of "stability" in their account.

    The Public folders should NOT be included as a default! Let each user add them or not, as they see fit for their own purposes!

  • Thank you very much for that. But some programs' save dialogue still shows Libraries (like Firefox for example) Any way to deal with that?

  • Nevermind. It wasn't enough to disable libraries altogether, in order to never see it in save-as dialogues in 3rd party software. But after applying the registry tweak to remove libraries from explorer, the above problem disappeared. Thanks again.

  • Oh MY! Instant relief! It took me a long time to get here. Disabling Windows Libraries makes me feel so much better! A constant irritation is gone. What a gift. 2013, 12. Merry Xmas!

  • Microsoft is really pushing hard for users to jump to some other OS. If they don't stop with this Documents, Libraries and Homegroup c*ap it will be really wise to find alternative OS with a tree directory system.

  • ...Even manually deleting the key at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5} only has the effect of changing he displayed name from "Libraries" to "Libraries (32-bit)."

  • @Everyone

    Someone needs to slap me. I didn't notice where it said to log off and back on. I hadn't expected a registry tweak to need that. So, my apologies to all as the script /does/ work.

  • It works perfectly. I can confirm this. :)

  • Exactly what I was looking for. Actually was able to utilize a few other suggestions posted also. Thank you very much!

  • Hi Vishal, U wrote "PS: There is also a restore script available in case you want to restore Libraries." Could U give me link? Just for security reason, before applying remove libraries script.

    Thank U.

    PS. Very usefull articles found on this site.

  • Right, I did not realised, thank U, VG.
    Script applied. Libs are gone :)

  • Thank you Thank you - This is the best
    I've got rid of Libraries in Win7 and it worked.

  • When will Microsoft get the idea that all people do not work the same?

    If you like to jam everything together, and are an uptight OCD who has all day to organize their files in neat little stacks, you might like the way Microsoft wants to organize your life. If you THINK like they do, you might learn to like hunting for your files according to their plan.

    For those of us who are free thinkers, need to focus on our creativity and LOVE LOVE LOVE to have multiple folders and shortcuts sprinkled over the desktop in a way ONLY we free thinkers can understand, you're going to hate everything Microsoft. Windows seven feels like a straight jacket, and I am not about to do windows 8.

    I want to see the full path name of every file I own. I can't do that. I want to have access to an undo button in every file, in case I accidentally drop a file into the wrong category and want to retrieve it - NOPE, can't do that. I want to open my old windows mail program and retrieve my contacts and mail files and put them on my new computer - NOPE, access is not only denied, but they don't even tell you it's denied; Windows 7 simply ignores you.

    I hate this operating system.

  • Thanks very much for the "Disable Libraries in Windows 7.REG file; it worked like a charm. You are awesome!

  • I did the registry tweaks and achieved what they can do but LIBRARIES was the default in the right pane, right of the navigation pane. So I went to Step 2 and ran the delete option (the most powerful of the two [Disable Libraries in Windows 7.REG], not considering the 3rd restore option). Problem is, I lost the ability to access explorer.exe from the start button/orb. I can still access from the main menu that pops up from a left click on the start button/orb.

    Need to get the right click on the start button/orb option back - please help!

  • Last workable OS Microjunk ever made was 98 Plus. Me close 2nd. Xp the best with heavy tweaking. Then they went off into such a goofy place that has no name to describe it. Maybe this correlates with a new CEO or something. They now are so far gone with Win 10 there is no hope of a return to sanity so I've been learning Linux. In the meantime I spend every spare minute "correcting" the mess called Windows 7.

    Thanks for this modification.

  • Coming back to this old article while searching for a peripherally related issue, I wanted to mention the alternative approach I've taken to this problem - stop using File Explorer altogether.

    As Tom noted earlier regarding Windows 10, M$ has gone into some very strange places. I can follow along with most of it, but the File Explorer has now accumulated so many layers of "helpful" features (that I can't readily disable) that it's become all but useless for its primary function, cleanly navigating the folder hierarchy to move/delete/copy/manage files. Add to this that Win10 has "improved the security" of my system by making it impossible to launch FE with "Run as Administrator" (and thereby avoid messing with ownership/perms of files for family members that need assistance), and I've finally given up. Resorting to an approach I haven't used since Win3.1 (the heyday of CPS PC Tools and Norton Commander), I am now using a 3rd party file navigation tool because the stock Explorer has come full circle - it's once again marginally usable junkware.

    I must add that I really appreciate the effort that went into this registry hack and how much it improved File Explorer for Library haters, but for my purposes it's now obsolete. I'd rather just leave FE "vanilla" for whomever might want to use it, doing most of my own folder navigation with whatever FE alternative I find most attractive. For me right now that's FreeCommander XE (which does all I want and more, pretty much the way I want to do it, and can run install-free from portable media), but that is surely a matter of personal taste. I just wanted to remind folks that all the gyrations to beat Win10's FE into something usable may not be worth it if you're comfortable using a non-M$ navigation tool, a move that's surely less radical than giving up on the OS altogether.

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