Libraries in Windows Explorer of Windows 7 is taking up a lot of screen estate in the navigation bar. Libraries is implemented in Windows 7 for easy file management and organization purpose. However, existence of Libraries group push down the full Users who don’t use or don’t get used to Libraries for organization may want to disable or hide Libraries altogether.

End users can choose to hide unwanted or unused libraries from view in Windows Explorer navigation pane, or can also almost completely remove and disable Libraries function from Windows 7 Explorer, which involves quite a bit of registry keys. User who just want to hide the Libraries section in navigation pane of Windows Explorer in Windows 7.

In order to hide and remove Libraries group or branch section from Windows 7 Explorer’s navigation pane, follow these steps:

  1. Run Registry Editor (RegEdit).
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder

  3. Right click on ShellFolder registry key, and select Permissions.

    Edit Registry Key Permissions

  4. Click on the Advanced button.

    Advanced Registry Security Settings

  5. In “Advanced Security Settings” dialog window, go to the Owner tab.
  6. Select and highlight the currently logged on user name or Administrators group (if user is a member of Administrators” in the Change owner to: box.
  7. Select the tick the check box for Replace owner on subcontainers and objects option, and click OK.

    Take Ownership of Registry Key

  8. Back in “Permissions” dialog window, click on Add… button.
  9. Enter the user’s login user name in the Enter the object names to select text box, and click on the Check Names button.

    Add User for Permissions Granting

    If there is error with the user ID entered, correct the error. If there is no error found, click the OK button.

  10. Back in “Permissions” dialog window, select and highlight the newly added user name in Group or user names: section, and tick the checkbox for Allow access right next to Full Control in the Permissions for <user name> section.

    Note: Read permission is automatically selected when Full Control is granted.

    Click on OK when done.

    Taking Full Control Registry Key

    Tip: If user is a member of Administrators group, it’s possible to grant to Full Control access rights directly to Administrators too, which will be extend to all users with administrator’s privileges.

  11. In the right pane of Registry Editor, double click on Attributes registry value.
  12. Change the DWORD hexadecimal value data of “Attributes” from “b080010d” to b090010d, and click OK.

    Hide Windows 7 Libraries

  13. Restart the computer.

The trick above will hide the Libraries from Windows Explorer in Windows 7, as shown in illustration below. However, Windows Explorer is still open to Libraries virtual folder, unless user force Windows Explorer to open another folder as default. Users who want to make use of Libraries can still access the Libraries from \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries folder.

No Libraries in Windows 7 Navigation Pane

No Libraries Folder in Classic Windows 7 Navigation Pane
There is also no Libraries tree been shown when revert to class all-folders listed Navigation Pane in Windows 7 Explorer.

An alternative method to make the change is by using registry registration entries file. Simply download the Hide-Libraries-Win7.reg or copy and paste the following code to a text editor such as Notepad, and save it as a file with .reg extension. Run the .REG file to merge the value to registry.

Note: User may require to take full control permissions on the registry key listed in step above before able applying the change.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder]
"Attributes"=dword:b090010d

To rever and re-display or re-show the Libraries in the navigation pane of Windows 7 Explorer, just change back the value data for Attributes to b080010d, or download Show-Libraries-Win7.reg.

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  • Olivax

    It works!!!! Many thanks!!!

  • Ryan

    It’s completely obnoxious that you would host byte-sized files on depositfiles. That was a long wait for what was supposed to be a convenience.

  • Phil

    Jessica, Unfortunately, you may be right about future problems. But what exactly is "rather useful" about this "feature"? Most of us already know who we are and where we want our files and how we want them organized and associated with other files. This "feature" among many other "features" is a great, not a small inconvenience. It reminds me a bit of Vista. Xp works and it can be configured rather quickly and easily to do just what you want and only what you want. That is what most of us want. Unfortunately XP is old and looking to the future; the fact that it has no real SATA support, no USB 3 support and no IP6 etc. are important considerations. But the hijacking of my life (in other words: my time) with so called features is also an important consideration. I really hope you are wrong.

  • jer28

    Too late for my part, I thought its only hiding in the flap and not in the start menu and the tutorial does not work to reactivate the so much more of my documents, pictures, videos, music in the start menu.
    In short, more details regarding blades holding tape firm destine for this so-called tip.
    I do not recommend it, I'll try a restore to see if its format but swells.

    Jer.

  • Peter A. Berger Jr.

    this works great on Win2008R2 for local sessions to rid me of Libraries — but it doesn't address Terminal Server/XenApp sessions. When I click Save As it defaults to Libraries. Any way to hide/disable for "all" users, not just the console user?

  • Anon

    "unless user force Windows Explorer to open another folder as default."

    How do you force Win Exp to open another folder by default? If I place a shortcut to a folder on my desktop it opens that folder. But if I pin that folder to the taskbar it opens in libraries regardless.

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  • Will

    If you want to get rid of the Homegroups item also just use this:

    <code>

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}ShellFolder]

    "Attributes"=dword:b094010d

    </code>

  • Sarah

    They might be useful if they did not default to indexing the contents… You will hear your hard drive thrash in the back ground after adding large collections of files. You think MS would warn you of this when setting them up. Insult to injury, under taskman, you don't see indexing happening: you have to guess.

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  • Jessica

    I'd not recommend hiding the libraries since a lot of things won't work after that.

    E.g.: Opening explorer with a right click on the start button and the Slide Show desktop gadget don't work anymore, to name just a few things.

    After a bit of testing you might find the Libraries rather useful since in fact, they are. :-)

    Jessica

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