How to Show or Hide Libraries in Windows 11/10

The Windows Libraries let you organize all the related files from different folders and computers into one centralized location. This guide will tell you how to show or hide libraries on Windows 11/10.

The libraries folder is hidden from view on Windows 11 by default. With the libraries folder, users can include folders and files stored on their local computer or at a remote location to browse and access them from one location. You can create a single folder to consolidate content from multiple storage locations. Then, you don’t have to search a thousand places for files and folders.

When you add a folder to your library folder, it doesn’t physically move or take up more space on your hard drive. You will lose physical storage because folders won’t be duplicated. It’s a simple way to get to content from one centralized location. So, if you include the 100 GB folder in the Libraries folder, it will not copy the 100GB to the Libraries folder.

How to Show or Hide Libraries on Windows

What is a Windows Library?

Windows Libraries allows you to bring together related files from different folders or PCs in a single place. Specifically, libraries are collections of shortcuts to original file or folder locations located on a local computer or a network drive. User folders are actual folders, while Libraries are collections of shortcuts to User folders, and to some extent, this signals the difference between Libraries and User Folders.

How to Show the Libraries Folder on Windows 11/10

You need to navigate Folder Options to bring back the Libraries folder in File Explorer. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Press Windows + E keys on your keyboard to open File Explorer. Alternatively, you can open it by clicking on its icon from the taskbar.
  • After File Explorer opens, click the ellipse (three dots) on the taskbar menu > Select Options from the pop menu that appears.
  • Now you will see the Folder Options window.show libraries in windows
  • On Folder Options windows > Click on the View tab > Now, scroll down to find the Navigation pane under Advanced settings.
  • Check the box next to Show libraries.
  • Click on Apply > Click OK.

In File Explorer, the Libraries folder will now appear in the navigation menu.

How to Hide the Libraries Folder on Windows 11/10

If you change your mind about displaying the Libraries folder in File Explorer, you can hide it from view. To do so, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Press Windows + E keys from the keyboard to open File Explorer. Alternatively, you can open it by clicking on its icon from the taskbar.
  • After File Explorer opens, click the ellipse (three dots) on the taskbar menu > Select Options from the pop menu that appears.
  • Now you will see the Folder Options window.
  • On Folder Options windows > Click on the View tab > Now, scroll down to find the Navigation pane under Advanced settings.
  • Uncheck the box next to Show libraries.
  • Click on Apply > Click OK.

This process will successfully hide the libraries folder from view in the file explorer.

That’s all. The Libraries folder can be shown or hidden in File Explorer based on your preferences.

How to Add Files or Folders to Libraries on Windows 11/10

Add Files or Folders to Libraries on Windows

You can add or remove folders from the Libraries folder after the Libraries folder has been enabled. To add a folder in the Libraries folder, you need to go through the following steps:

  • Press Windows + E keys from the keyboard to open File Explorer. Alternatively, you can open it by clicking on its icon from the taskbar.
  • Now, navigate to the folder you want to add to the Libraries.
  • Right-click on the folder > Select Show more options from the context menu.
  • On the more option context menu, select Include in library > Now, select the existing folder, or click the Create new library.

Now, the chosen folder will appear in the Libraries folder.

What are the Steps to Enable Windows Libraries?

Following are the steps to enable windows libraries:

  • Open File Explorer > Click on the three-dot menu on the top middle.
  • Click on Options > Folder options > Switch to the View tab > Navigation Pane > Check the Enable libraries.
  • Now Windows File Explorer will display Libraries. You can turn this feature back on in Windows if it has been turned off.

Where Can Libraries be Found in Windows 11/10?

The root folder of a Windows Library is a virtual folder and therefore cannot contain anything. Nevertheless, more folders can be added to it, and they can all be accessed quickly. You’ll find them in the left-hand panel on File Explorer, besides This PC, OneDrive, and other folders.

The libraries folder is located at %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries.

Which Folders are the Defaults in Windows Libraries?

Microsoft Windows 11 provides the following default windows libraries: Camera, Roll, Documents, Music, Pictures, Saved Pictures, and Video. There is now a Camera Roll folder and a Saved Pictures folder in Libraries. OneDrive Camera Roll shows photos from those folders, while Saved Pictures shows images that have been edited.

I hope this post will help you know how to show or hide libraries on Windows 11/10

Nandini Keshri is a student, writer, and tech enthusiast. When not writing about tech, she loves to write poetry and explore the world.

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