Libraries is a one of the new features in Windows 7. Libraries is essentially virtual folders described in a .library-ms file that aggregates content from various physical folder and directory locations (with support to include shared folders on networked systems) to present in a unified view in Windows Explorer.

Library provides conveniences such as searching in a library will automatically federates the query to the all folders included in the library, including those that located in remote systems, in addition to searching on the local system. Library also supports transparent saving of files and folders into library with the backing of physical location, where the default save location for a library can be configure by the user.

In Windows 7 Explorer, Libraries special folder is prominently displayed on the navigation pane, with four default libraries for different file types: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos, which pre-configured to include the user’s profile folders for these respective file types, as well as the computer’s corresponding Public folders.

Not all users will like the Library feature in Windows 7 though. Some users may prefer to manage and organize their files with just normal folders. Furthermore, Library takes up a rather large area of screen estate in the Windows Explorer navigation pane, effectively causing regular folders tree harder to access and reach.

Windows 7 does not by default provides ability to disable or turn off Library feature. The best workaround is by hidden unused or unwanted Libraries from navigation pane view in Windows Explorer. With the following registry trick, it’s possible to “disable” and remove Libraries feature from Windows Explorer in Windows 7. Actually, Libraries which is tightly integrated with Windows 7 shell is not completely removed and totally disabled. After the registry hack, Windows Explorer navigation pane will not have trace of Libraries shortcut anymore, but Libraries are still been used and accessed when user clicks on Documents, Pictures, Music or Videos links at Start Menu. However, Libraries will not be seen when Windows Explorer is started up, and default folder will be directed to My Documents instead.

How To Disable and Remove Libraries from Windows 7

Download and apply the following registry registration entries file to remove Libraries in Windows 7. See the code below to know which registry keys and values that is going to be removed, and if necessary, backup the affected registries.

remove-libraries.reg

Alternatively, copy and paste the following code into a text editor such as Notepad, and save as a file name with .reg extension, then double click to run the .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FolderDescriptions\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel]
“{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}”=-

Remove Libraries from Windows 7

Log off and log on or restart the computer after applying the registry hack, which will delete the above registry keys and/or values. No Libraries folder or shortcut will be shown in Windows Explorer’s navigation pane, and “Include in Library” item on Commands bar will not work too. Note that if you click on Documents, Music, Pictures or Videos link directly in Start menu, it will trigger Libraries view.

For user who decides to restore and re-enable or turn on back the Libraries feature in Windows 7, download and apply the following registry registration entries file instead:

restore-libraries.reg

Note: Some registry keys may be protected, and users are required to take ownerships and grant themselves full control permissions on the registry keys.

It’s also possible to just change a registry key to hide the Libraries groups in navigation pane of Windows 7 Explorer.

Check out more Windows 7 hacks and usage guides.

Thanks to Brittosa for the trick.

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