How to add or remove ‘Folders’ section from This PC on Windows 8.1

This PC Folders on Windows 8.1

If you are using Windows 8.1 on your PC, you may have already noticed that “Computer” has been renamed to “This PC”, and that Microsoft has added a new section called Folders, which contains user’s personal folders (Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Downloads).

Although, some users may find this addition useful, many just want to see their storage drives and connected devices — anything else is just on the way.

A difference to the new boot to desktop and tweaking options in the Power User menu is that can be easily configured by going to the Taskbar and Navigation properties. Microsoft isn’t making it easy to add or remove folders from this new section. The only way that seems to work is by editing the Windows Registry (regedit). (Below there is a list with the keys that remove each folder.)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
; Remove Desktop folder from This PC
; Remove Documents Folder from This PC
; Remove Downloads Folder from This PC
; Remove Music Folder from This PC
; Remove Pictures Folder from This PC
; Remove Videos Folder from This PC

But of course not everyone is comfortable editing the Registry, as such to make it a bit simpler I created two *.reg files (add-folders.reg and remove-folders.reg) and I put them in a ZIP file that you can easily download here, extract, and apply by simply double-clicking each file.

If you don’t want to remove all the folders from This PC, just right-click the remove-folders.reg, click Edit, delete the lines for that particular folder, save the file, and double-click to apply the new changes.

The add-folders.reg will revert the process in case you change your mind and want the folders back. 

This is pretty much all you have to do, now close and open File Explorer once again, and Folders should be removed from This PC. Also if you like your File Explorer the way it was in Windows 8, you can also bring back Libraries, here is how to do this.

Important: Make sure you understand that changing Registry settings in Windows could cause unexpected problems. Remember to backup the Registry and/or backup your system before modifying anything.


About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].