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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


NOTE: This trick will not work in Windows 10. If you are using Windows 10, check out following guide instead:

[Tip] Remove 6 Extra Folders from Windows 10 Explorer "This PC"

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:


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


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)


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.


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.

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Nice!!!!

  • Thanks VG

  • two questions:
    1- how do you exactly create new folders, besides the six already present?
    2- I changed the location to the Music folder from "C:/Users/username/Music" to "\\\Musica", only to find out that when I tried to restore the default location of the folder, it tells me it cannot create the folder "C:/Users/username/Music", "Filename, directory name or volume label syntax is incorrect"... must be a bug...

  • Hey VG , can we show the 6 icons below the devices and Drivers Section??

  • VG

    ^^ Its already mentioned in the above tutorial. Please read it again. ;)

    Please check following:


  • Is there a way we could add those 6 folders into Windows 7 Explorer? Does Windows 8.1 Preview registry keys work in Win7 too?

  • VG

    ^^ You can try yourself by using Restore default settings REG file in Windows 7.

  • Awesome tip!!! I really disliked those folders being inside the main view. Thank you VG!!!

  • Nope, doesn't work. I only got some broken files displaying in My Computer window :C.

  • thanks Vishal... I thought I could add more "folders" to the existing ones, not in the "network locations" section tho... anyways, the tip helped me find a way to add a shortcut to my share to one of the existing folders... thanks!

  • It that creative name change from My Computer to This PC the reason MS charges so much for an operating system that users are so eager to make changes to so that it is tolerable to use?

  • thanks VG... i really wanted this

  • Thanks a ton it was really difficult accessing my drives with all that clutter.

  • The above methods does not remove folders from win7 explorer in windows 8.1.
    eg the win 7 explorer is displayed while opening a file there i can see the 6 folders

  • Yes, 6 Items has been removed from "This PC" but it's still exist when other pop-up window open such as when I choose where to download torrent. You can check this screenshot


    Do you know how to remove this 6 Items completely?

  • Is there a way to change the icons of these 6 folders? They don't mirror the icons I've already set for those folders. (Folder icons show up fine opened from the actual path "D:\" but not the relative "This PC" path.) Cheers!

  • Thanks! These folders are nothing but clutter for me, so I'm much better off without them!!

    As a side note, under the same "NameSpace" key, I also found the key {0579E89F-E364-4a3d-A9CB-90262B2B7E1C} which seems to be Norton-related (I have Norton 360). Supposedly, I should be seeing some kind of backup drive that is removable deleting the aforementioned key, but I don't use the backup capabilities of Norton 360 so I guess that's the reason I don't see anything else (so I will leave that key alone as it is).

    Thanks again!

  • I got the same problem like RD

    After i did the above tutorial the six items has been removed from "This PC" but it's still exist when other pop-up window open such as the "Save as..."within any MS Office application.

    Is there a way to remove also in here the folders?

  • @RD, @Michel,
    That may be due to the applications in question being 32 bit,
    there are also keys under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WoW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace

    for these icons in 32 bit applications. (note the "WoW6432Node" in the above if at first glance it looks identical to the line in the article)

  • @Ian Thank you alot, btw how do you know this trick???

  • VG

    Thanks Ian for reminding me about WoW6432Node key. Added to the main article.

  • about to try, is there any way to change the name "This PC" back to "Computer"?


  • VG

    ^^ Method added to main topic.

  • thanks VG, so useful

  • This PC window comes up after booting into my desktop. Can i stop this from happening ?

  • Nice tweak...^_^Thanks

  • Can i get rid of This PC page completly .The delete button does not appear to work.

  • When i go to inside a folder of downloads situated in favourites the downloads folder is coming below "This Pc". How to tweak it.

  • Quick question... why does "This PC" open automatically every time my computer starts up and how can I disable it?

  • Cool. This is really close to what I want, but not close enough. It drives me a little crazy that opening Explorer always takes you to "This PC," and scrolls the navigation pane so that "This PC" sits at the middle of the screen. I want to see my Favorites first, because--obviously--they are my favorites. I at least what my Favorites to be at the top of the navigation pane, instead of half cut off.

    So, is it possible to do any of the following?
    - remove "This PC" entirely
    - reorder the navigation pane so that This PC sits at the top (with subfolders collapsed)
    - make the taskbar shortcut for Explorer open to Favorites instead of This PC
    - add a Favorites shortcut to the taskbar, not just the start menu

    Thank you!

  • I will second the request on how to change the This PC folders. There is no Customize option to change the icon. Thanks!

  • VG

    ^^ Check out following key in regedit:


    Try following:


  • Me too! Help, please!

  • Thanks! I wanted to remove the folders group from 'This PC'. Nice tutorial.

  • how to rename title name,,? like your, Divices and Drivers the title default it name NTFS or FAT depent on what kind of our format right..? thanks

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:


  • try right click computer and add it to start.. still this pc not the name u changed

  • Here's a link to how you make Libraries appear below Favorites like in Windows 8. Does anyone know how to make SkyDrive and HomeGroup appear below Computer in the navigation pane?

  • Hello,
    Thanks so much for providing Registry script to remove 6 new folders in Windows 8.1's This PC folder. I see almost every time we install new update using Microsoft Update we have to apply the Registry script again. So there is no more way to remove those folders from This PC?
    Thanks again.

  • I second Armond's view i m also having the same issue.

  • VG

    The folders are shown via Registry so removing them from Registry is the only way. We cant prevent Windows updates from undoing our changes. So the only working way is to re-apply Registry tweaks after installing updates.

  • I am using Windows 8.1 and am wondering if it is possible to have each folder open at the same spot and with the same dimensions each time it opens?

    For example, when I click my Mp3s shortcut, (which is on the right hand side of my desktop) it would be nice if the folder opened on the right hand side, in a long rectangular window, every time I clicked the shortcut. Similarly, every time I click the my Documents shortcut (which is on the left side of my desktop) I would like the folder to open on the left hand side, in a shorter window. Since I have less documents, then MP3s, this folder arrangement is ideal.

    With Windows XP, what I described above is possible.

    Currently, whenever I open a new window, the new window appears almost on top of the old window. Or if no windows are opened, it will just arbitrarily open where ever the last window was opened! AGGGgghhh!

    Thank you much for your time and your help.

    You’re my only hope!

  • VG

    ^^ I'm not sure but you can try following:

    1. First remove all folders view type settings from Registry:


    2. Then open your desired folder, move and resize it according to your requirements and when you click on Close button, press and hold Shift and Ctrl keys together. It might save that folder window size settings.

  • If you create or access a folder through favorites or use a pinned item that links to Downloads. It recreates the item in the navigation pane under ''This PC''. It will disappear after the window is closed.

    Is there a way to prevent this from recreating itself?

  • VG,

    Thank you much for your quick response and your suggestion, however it was in vain. I clicked the link, downloaded the zipped folder, and opened & ran it. I then opened and re-sized & positioned my folders to my precise desired specifications. I then re-opened the folders to the same horrifying fate as before. I then restarted my system and retried positioning the folders-- to no avail. After all this, the folders still open EXACTLY as they did before. Thanks again, any additional thoughts &/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Cool

  • I just installed Windows 8.1 and instantly regretted it. Reason ? Those 6 folders !
    I just followed your instructions, and Boom! Those 6, gone :D
    Thank you :)

  • The upgrade to Windows 8.1 has been nothing but a pain.
    For the average user to be told to mess with the registry is stupid.
    The upgrade to This PC sounds like a lot of technical knowledge is required.
    The upgrading is a pain and cost to many on limited downloads.
    I can not see the icons for files such as photos to be able to send photos without having to review all my photos.
    Some one is not a genius about User Friendly.
    Maybe Apple is a better choice atleast you can go to a store and talk to a person; not just a GEEK.

  • Hey um on my laptop, F2 is the 'decrease volume' button - it doesn't work as an F key...what do do to rename it then?

  • VG

    ^^ There must be another key "Fn" at the bottom of your keyboard which needs to be pressed together with function keys to work. When you press a function key, it performs the action specified by your laptop manufacturer but when you press function key with Fn key, it performs Windows defined action such as Help with F1, Rename with F2, etc.

  • Hello. I have 32-bit Win 8 and I can't find the registry "Wow6432Node". Any suggestion?

  • VG

    ^^ You don't need to edit that key in 32-bit Windows.

  • I thought only "the first action" (removing the 6 keys from NameSpace) is enough for removing "Folders" from Explorer. But after couple of days (and installing couple of programs and Windows updates) they appeared back! So I thought I should do something more.

    Now I have repeated the first action (removed the 6 keys from NameSpace) and so far it's good. Wondering how they appeared back again. Maybe with Windows updates?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Many times Windows updates reset the key values in Registry. So whenever the folders come back in Explorer after installing updates, you'll need to re-run the script.

  • Regarding the removal of 'Homegroup' from the navigation pane of windows explorer - your steps didn't work for me. The below _did_ work for me however (copied from: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-desktop/unable-to-remove-homegroup-icon/699c4550-c88e-4e0c-b30c-339ca25e52f8)

    1. Press Win + R to open a run box.
    2. Type: regedit and hint Enter.
    3. Navigate to:


    4. Find a folder (key) with the name {B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} , this is the registry entry Homegroup icon. Delete the folder from the registry.
    5. Press F5 to refresh the desktop and see if the icon disappears.

  • VG

    ^^ Please check following:


  • In Windows 8.0 I open Flip 3D by pressing Windows logo key+TAB, then I installed update Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1 and Win+Tab doesn't work.
    Does anyone know how to activate in Windows 8.1 Flip 3D?
    Thanks in advance!

  • hey, ive still got one question: how can i deinstall Internet Explorer on my Windows 8.1 Laptop (i wanna only use Chrome or Firefox) But there are two Problems: 1.I dont see Internet Explorer as a program in "deinstall programs" in the control Panel and 2. the Computer says i first Need permission from "TrustedInstaller" to delete ie in Computer\Programs(68x)
    can so please help me

  • @az
    The thing is IE is so integrated into the system files that its not possible to uninstall it without harming ur OS, hence i wud not advise u to do so.

    However, if u don't like the IE, u can disable it by going to ControlPanel > Programs > Turn Windows Feature On & Off and from there just untick the IE box and click OK and restart,done.

    VG will correct me if i m wrong

  • VG

    ^^ Absolutely correct.

  • So useful, thanks

  • Thanks for the "Remove those six folders"!
    I SHOULD have come to the idea by myself since this trick is related to some Windows 98 tweaks. But google found your website faster ; )
    So I give you back a tweak you don't have listed on your site...

    You could add the "enable full row select" and "disable full row select" registry tweaks to your list.
    With "full row select" disabled you can drag and drop a file BETWEEN items on right pane instead of having to drop them either in an empty area right of the items or on a non-folder-non-executable.

    Try it, that is a part that I missed when moving from Vista to Win7 and Win8(.1). It makes life a lot easier and allows smaller explorer windows since you don't have to save space for an extra empty area.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]

  • VG

    ^^ Thanks. That tweak is mentioned in following tutorial:


  • Best and most complete solution document on this subject I have found. Don't know why M$ is making us use the registry to hide folders we don't want to see instead of some simpler method. Recommend this document as a great solution to anyone looking to remove the default folders under My PC.

  • VG can you help? I cant rename NTFS group. How can I do it? Please help. Thanks

  • Awesome thanks soo much !!

  • Thanks !
    It was so helpful tutorial (Y)

  • VG can you help me in removing OneDrive link from This PC in windows 8.1?
    This one drive link is bugging me a lot and I want to arrange the libraries right above This PC explorer.
    Please Help me.
    Thanks !

  • VG

    ^^ You just need to delete {8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75} key using the same steps as given in "Remove Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc folders from Windows 8.1 Explorer" section of above tutorial.

  • Hello Mr. VG,
    please give me a registry tweak to hide/delete "This PC" in Windows Explorer (I don't mean the subfolders only)

    Thanks in advance


  • VG

    ^^ Try following:


  • Great!
    The messy explorer tree has been one of my main complaints about Windows 8. I could never find a fix in any of the tweaking apps i was trying.
    This tweak is going in my permanent toolbox!
    Thanks a lot

  • in my "this PC", some unwanted item in "Network location". They appeared with the "windows media player" icon. please show me the way to remove them.

  • Every time I boot my computer, I am running "Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center" it automatically opens the "This PC" window. Why does it do that and how do I stop it from doing that, anyone know how by chance?

  • VG

    ^^ There is an option "Restore previous folder windows at logon" present in Folder Options. Make sure its unchecked.

  • In Windows 8.1, when I use Windows Explorer and I go to folder elsewhere than where it starts up in, after a couple of seconds, explorer automatically shifts back to the folder it started up with! It's so irritating to have to once again go back to the folder I wanted to review.
    Why does this happen, and how can I get explorer to knock it off?!
    Please send a copy of your reply to my e-mail address.
    Thank you kindly.

  • Thank you so much. Having those six folders at the top of Explorer was so annoying. You rock!

  • Thanks man you are great.it worked

  • my icon at the bottom of my desktop tells me how many hours I have left before I need to charge my pc has disappeared can you bring it

  • If you select 'network' in the navigation pane, on the right hand side you see the groups computers, media and devices, network infrastructure and printers. On one windows 8.1 pc (after 8 upgrade) , all the groups have disappeared, except 'computers'. In one picture in one of your articles, you have a display like this. Do you know how to make them appear/ disappear ?

  • Is there a registry tweak to permanently hide the action pane in the MMC in windows 8? I know about Customize, but that's only temporary.


  • I've removed the line in the registry but the folders aren't more present.
    It's work fine but after each Windows Update the folders are again present in explore and i must repeat the operation in the registry.
    Is there someone who has the same problem and above all is there someone who has the solution to fix this definitely?

  • VG

    ^^ Many Windows updates re-add the keys in Registry, so we'll have to re-run the scripts to remove the keys.

  • Right click in the navigation pane of win 8.1 shows items you can remove. It works for Favorites but I can check and uncheck till kingdom come but libraries won't remove.
    Anyone new ideas how remove libraries from navigation pane. I suppose there must be a solution in the registry.

  • I love this website! I've been here since like 2011 when I was customising my Windows XP to look like Windows 7.. Oh my God! Who will forget Vishal Gupta?

  • i did it but it did not work "folders" still is in my computer
    This method does not work for me
    what can i do?

  • Hi VG, Hope you are doing well...:)
    Seams Microsoft changed the registry keys we need to delete in order to remove Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc folders from Windows 10 Explorer or This PC. It appears that the keys are not the same of the keys in Windows 8.1.
    So, could you please update the article? Or do you think it's best to wait until Microsoft release the Windows 10 RTM?

  • I used the registry edit to remove the folders listed below from Win explorer and it worked perfectly BUT these folder keep getting recreated and added back to the registry somehow. I have to keep deleting the 6 lines from the registry over and over. How can I keep these annoying folders from being recreated?

  • VG

    ^^ The folders are recreated automatically by Windows updates and they are shown via Registry so removing them from Registry is the only way. We cant prevent Windows updates from undoing our changes. So the only working way is to re-apply Registry tweaks after installing updates.

    Check following guide:


  • Hi, I wanted to change icons of the "Folders" i.e. Documents, Downloads etc. I have changed them from the Libraries but I wanted to change them in This PC. Is there anyway?
    Thanks in advance.
    @ VG

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:


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