The Libraries feature in Windows 7 provides an easy interface to manage multiple file locations from a single location. Four default libraries are displayed in Windows Explorer: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Video.
Many users only utilize one or two of the libraries.
You can easily remove any of these libraries from the Navigation Pane and also restore them at a later time if you need to. The libraries can also be collapsed to have them available but also cleared temporarily.
This is a simple task that may be useful for those just starting out with Windows 7.
Hiding an Individual Library
Open the Libraries window or open Windows Explorer and select Libraries. In the Navigation pane, right-click the library that you want to hide and a popup menu will be displayed. Out of the options, select “Don’t show in navigation pane”.
The library you selected will now be absent from the Navigation pane, but it will still be in the right pane of the Libraries window. In order to add it back to the Navigation Pane, right-click on the library in the right pane and a similar popup window will open as before. Select the option “Show in navigation pane”.
You may also delete a library if you want to. This is not the same thing as hiding a library. To delete a library, follow the same steps as you would for hiding a library but select “Delete” instead. If you do this either by accident or purposely, it is simple to get it back if you right-click on Libraries in the Navigation pane and click “Restore default libraries” from the menu.
Another option is to collapse the list if you would rather not hide or delete the library from the Navigation pane. This will collapse the list entirely, getting the libraries list out of the way. Right-click the Libraries link and, as usual, a popup menu will open. From the list, select “Collapse”. Once the list is collapsed, it is only temporary. If you click the arrow next to the Libraries link, the list will expand. You can collapse it again by clicking the same arrow.
If, for some reason, you are displeased with the Windows 7 Libraries feature, it is possible to completely remove the link from the Navigation pane. Included below is a registry hack that will accomplish this. This is not a manual registry hack but two .reg files that will save all the trouble of the multiple steps it will take to do this manually. This will not only remove the Libraries link from the pane, it will disable the shell extension in the registry and you will no longer be able to access any of the libraries. Fortunately, another hack is included to enable the Libraries feature again.
To disable the Libraries feature, double-click DisableLibrariesFeature.reg. Now close all Explorer windows and logoff then logon again. The feature will now be disabled. A reversal is included to enable the Libraries feature. To re-enable the Libraries feature, double-click EnableLibrariesFeature.reg. then logoff and logon as you did in the step to disable the feature.
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