Bill Detwiler: If you don't use Windows 7 Libraries and would rather they not appear in the Windows Explorer navigation pane, then I've got just the tip.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'll show you how to remove Libraries from the navigation pane in with a quick registry edit.
Windows 7 Libraries were designed to help us organize our files more efficiently by putting them in groups -- like music or pictures.
But many people already do this within their system's directory structure, and they would rather not mess with another superfluous layer of file management.
Such was the case for one member who recently asked Greg Shultz, TechRepublic's Windows blogger, if there was a way to remove the Libraries entry from Windows Explorer's navigation pane -- that area on the left containing Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup, Computer, and Network.
Luckily, Greg found a registry edit that does just that.
Just remember that improperly editing the Windows Registry can damage your Windows installation, including making Windows unbootable. You should always make a backup of the registry before making any edits.
Also, even though this tip will remove Libraries from Windows Explorer, they will still be available and will show up in various places such as in the Open and Save dialog boxes of your applications.
With those caveats out of the way, let's make that edit.
Click the Start button, type Regedit in the Start Search box, and press [Enter]. When the UAC dialog box appears, respond appropriately.
When the Registry Editor appears, navigate to the following folder:
When you get there, right-click on ShellFolder and select the Permissions command.
When you see the Permissions for ShellFolder dialog box, select Administrators in the Group or User Names panel and then select the Full Control check box in the Permissions for Administrators panel.
Click OK to continue.
Now, right-click on the Attributes value and select the Modify command. When the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box appears, you'll see that the default Value data setting is:
Now, press Backspace to remove the value and type the new value:
Now click OK, close the Registry Editor, and then log off your session. When you log back on, you'll see the Libraries no longer show up in Windows Explorer.
If you ever want Libraries to reappear, open the registry editor again, and change the ShellFolder Permissions value back to b080010d and save the change.
Well, that does it for this episode. For more Windows tips ans tricks, check out TechRepublic's Windows blog or subscribe to our Windows newsletter. I'll link to both in the TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on your path to becoming an IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, or you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/billdetwiler.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.