[Tips] Tweak and Customize Windows 8.1 Explorer “This PC”

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If you are using the new Windows 8.1, you might have noticed that Microsoft has renamed "Computer" (previously known as My Computer) to "This PC". For readers convenience, most of the times we use "Windows Explorer" term to mention My Computer, Computer or This PC items in all Windows versions.

Windows 8.1 Explorer is quite similar to Windows 8 Explorer. It also comes Ribbon UI and similar interface but there are a few things which make them different. For example, Windows 8.1 Explorer comes with a few extra items such as Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos. All these 6 items are shown under "Folders" group in "This PC" window.

Windows_8_1_This_PC_Explorer.png

Today in this tutorial, we are going to share a few tips and Registry tweaks which will help you in tweaking and customizing Windows 8.1 Explorer according to your requirements. With the help of this tutorial, you'll be able to:

  • Rename "This PC" to "Computer", "My Computer" or any other desired name
  • Remove or Hide Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup and other items from Navigation Pane in Windows 8.1 Explorer
  • Remove Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos folders from Windows 8.1 Explorer window
  • Separate "Hard Disk Drives" and "Devices with Removable Storage" sections
  • Add new useful items in Computer or "This PC" window and Explorer context menu

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

Rename "This PC" to "Computer", "My Computer" or Any Other Desired Name

Microsoft has changed name of "My Computer" to "This PC" in Windows 8.1. Although its just a change in name but many people don't like this new name and they want to rename it back to Computer or My Computer.

You can actually rename "This PC" to any desired name quickly and very easily. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Open "This PC" window and click on "Up" button present in toolbar. Alternatively you can press "Alt+Up arrow" keys together.

2. It'll open Desktop folder. Now right-click on "This PC" icon and select Rename option. Alternatively you can click on "This PC" icon and press F2 key to rename it.

Rename_Windows_8_1_This_PC.png

3. Now type any desired name and press Enter.

That's it. You have renamed "This PC" successfully.

PS: You can also directly rename "This PC" from navigation pane or Desktop.

Remove Favorites, Libraries, etc from Navigation Pane in Windows 8.1 Explorer

When Windows 7 was released, Microsoft added some new items to Windows Explorer navigation pane such as Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup, Network and Computer. We shared a few Registry tweaks to remove these unwanted items from Windows 7 Explorer which can be found here.

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft added a new option to remove Favorites from Windows Explorer navigation pane. And now in the latest Windows 8.1 OS, Microsoft has also added option to remove Libraries from Windows 8.1 Explorer navigation pane.

Show_Hide_Libraries_Windows_8_1_Explorer.png

So now in Windows 8.1, you can remove or hide Favorites and Libraries from navigation pane of This PC window without using any Registry tweak:

If you want to remove remaining items such as Homegroup and Network from navigation pane, you'll have to use the same Registry tweaks which were shared for Windows 7:

The above tutorials should also work for Windows 8.1.

Remove Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc folders from Windows 8.1 Explorer

When you open Computer or "This PC" window in Windows 8.1, you'll immediately notice 6 new items which are:

  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos

These items are shown at the top in "This PC" window. Some people might have problems with the addition of these new items as it takes a big space of "This PC" window.

If you want to hide these 6 folders, you can click on the small arrow given near the group name "Folders (6)" and it'll hide all 6 folders. You can also double-click on the group name to do the same thing.

You can also right-click and set "Group by" option to "Descending" to move this "Folders" section below "Devices and drives" section.

Hide_6_New_Folders_Windows_8_1_This_PC.png

But if you want to remove these new folders completely from This PC window, you can take help of following Registry tweak:

How to Remove Unwanted Items from My Computer Window?

The above mentioned tutorial works for all Windows versions including Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

You just need to open Registry Editor and go to following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace

Remove_Windows_8_1_This_PC_Folders_Registry_Editor.png

Under "NameSpace" key, remove following sub-keys:

{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} (to remove Music folder)
{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} (to remove Downloads folder)
{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} (to remove Pictures folder)
{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} (to remove Videos folder)
{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} (to remove Documents folder)
{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641} (to remove Desktop folder)

Once you remove all 6 keys, it'll remove the whole "Folders" section from Windows 8.1 Explorer or "This PC" window.

Remove_6_New_Folders_Windows_8_1_This_PC.png

UPDATE: Some 3rd party 32-bit programs may still show these unnecessary 6 folders in "Browse" windows such as Save, Save as and Open file windows as shown in following screenshot:

Windows_8_1_Browse_Window_Folders.png

To remove these 6 folders from browse window as well, follow the same steps given above for following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace

Go to the above mentioned key and delete following keys present under it:

{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} (to remove Music folder)
{374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} (to remove Downloads folder)
{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} (to remove Pictures folder)
{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} (to remove Videos folder)
{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} (to remove Documents folder)
{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641} (to remove Desktop folder)

Remove_Windows_8_1_Browse_Folders_Registry_Editor.png

That's it. Now you'll not see these 6 folders in browse windows as well. Thanks to our reader "Ian" for this extra tip...

PS: If you don't want to edit Windows Registry yourself, you can use following ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically. Just download following ZIP file, extract it and you'll get a .REG file to remove these 6 items from Windows 8.1 Explorer. Double-click on the file and accept confirmation. The ZIP file also contains a restore default settings file to add the 6 items back in Windows 8.1 Explorer:

Download Registry Script to Remove 6 New Folders from This PC in Windows 8.1

Separate "Hard Disk Drives" and "Devices with Removable Storage" Sections

Microsoft has combined both "Hard Disk Drives" and "Devices with Removable Storage" sections in a single section "Devices and Drives" in Windows 8.1 Explorer.

Windows_8_1_Explorer_Single_Section.png

Following tutorial will help you in separating the new "Devices and Drives" section in multiple sections:

How to Separate "Devices and Drives" Section in Windows 8.1 Explorer "This PC"?

Add new useful items in Computer or "This PC" window and Explorer context menu

Last but not least you can use our following exclusive Registry tweaks to add new items in Windows Explorer context menu or to add new items in Computer or "This PC" window.

[AIO] Ultimate Tutorial to Customize My Computer and Windows Explorer Context Menu

Also Check:

How to Get Windows XP Style Toolbar in Windows 8.1 Explorer without Using Any Software?

The above mentioned tutorials will work absolutely fine in Windows 8.1.





Posted by: | Categories: Windows 8 / 8.1


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