Windows

Remove Libraries from Windows Explorer in Windows 7

Greg Shultz shows you how to remove Libraries from the navigation pane in Windows 7 Explorer by editing the registry.

I recently received an e-mail message from a TechRepublic Windows Blog reader concerning a blog post that I wrote back in February, "Be a Power User: Customize the File Management Features of Windows Explorer." In that post, I covered eight techniques that you can use to get more out of Windows Explorer in Windows 7.

One of the techniques that I shared was how to expand the navigation pane. I showed you how to reconfigure Windows Explorer's navigation pane with its five sections--Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup, Computer, and Network, as shown in Figure A--into a more streamlined tree.

Figure A

By default, Windows Explorer's navigation pane contains five sections.
To do this, you just select the Show All Folders check box in the Folder Options dialog box, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

You'll access the Folder Options dialog box and select the Show All Folders check box.
When you do, the navigation pane will contain only two sections: Favorites and Desktop, with the latter containing Libraries, Homegroup, your User folder, Computer, Network, as well as Control Panel and Recycle Bin, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

The navigation pane is more streamlined and now contains the Control Panel and Recycle Bin.

The reader told me that while reconfiguring the navigation pane so that Libraries were not as prominent was a good trick, what he really wanted to be able to do was to remove Libraries altogether. After a bit of investigation, I discovered that it is possible to remove Libraries from Windows Explorer with a couple of Registry tweaks.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to remove Libraries from the navigation pane in Windows 7's Windows Explorer by editing the registry.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.

Notes

I think that Libraries are a valuable feature in Windows 7, and I use them regularly. However, I understand that if you don't use them, having the Libraries show up in Windows Explorer can be annoying. Now, even though I will show you how to remove Libraries from Windows Explorer, my guess is that you may want them back at some point in the future. Therefore, as a part of the procedure, I'll also show you how to create a REG file before altering the Registry so that you can quickly and easily undo the change should you later decide that you want to make use of Libraries in Windows Explorer.

Keep in mind that even though Libraries will be removed 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.

Editing the Registry

Before you begin, keep in mind that the Registry is vital to the operating system and changing it can be dangerous if you inadvertently make a mistake. As such, you should take a few moments to back up your system by creating a system image in the Backup and Restore tool. That way if anything goes awry, you can restore your system and get right back to work.

To launch the Registry Editor, click the Start button, type Regedit in the Start Search box, and press [Enter]. When the UAC dialog box appears, respond appropriately.

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Removing Libraries

When the Registry Editor appears, navigate to the following folder

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

When you get there, right-click on ShellFolder and select the Export command, as shown in Figure D. (Take note of the Permissions command as you will use it in the next step.)

Figure D

You'll use the Export command to make a REG file that you can later use to restore the Libraries feature to Windows 7.
When you see the Export Registry File dialog box, choose the folder in which you want to save your REG file and then name the file Show Libraries, as shown in Figure E. You can use this file later to restore the Libraries feature to Windows 7.

Figure E

Save the file with the name Show Libraries so that you can find it easily when and if you need it.
Now, right-click ShellFolder again and this time 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, as shown in Figure F. Click OK to continue.

Figure F

You must set Permissions for Administrators to Full Control so that you can change the contents of ShellFolder.

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:

b080010d

Now, press Backspace to remove the value and type the new value, as shown in Figure G:

b090010d

Figure G

You'll set the set the Value data to b090010d.
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, as shown in Figure H.

Figure H

Libraries no longer show up in Windows Explorer.

What's your take?

Do you find having Libraries in Windows Explorer to be a nuisance? Will you use this technique to remove them? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

59 comments
LambdaFox
LambdaFox

Easier is not always better.  For users and power users, this feature may be a boon.

It does take me a couple of extra steps to do things.  Every time I do, though, I am reinforcing my understanding of the structure and organization of the underlyling system.

So, I turn it off.  In my group of friends we have two guys who people go to when their systems get messed up.  The other guy uses all these bells and whistles.  I am the guy my friends come to when he can't getterdone...

LambdaFox
LambdaFox

If you are running 64-bit windows, you will also need to do the following in Regedit:

1.  Go to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder

2. In the left pane of regedit, right click on the ShellFolder key and click on Permissions

3. At the top, select the Administrators group. At the bottom, check the Allow box to the right of Full Control and click on Apply then click OK.

4. In the right pane of regedit, right click on Attributes and click on Modify.

5. Set the hex value as follow:

    a: To enable libraries in the Open/Close File Dialog, set value to:  b080010d

    b: To disable libraries in the Open/Close File Dialog, set value to:  b090010d

Close Regedit and Restart computer.

kmariebox
kmariebox

I would be forever grateful if someone could please tell me how to  restore/undo this removal...

The instructions to remove it were great, but now I need reverse directions as soon as possible  :)

MANY thanks in advance!

Kratoklastes
Kratoklastes

I forgot to mention: we also have a cheapo Android miniPC that turns our TV into a wifi-enabled PC. EVEN IT can see every other machine on our home wifi; our Android phones can see every shared folder on every other device, and every non-Windows PC can see the phones. And setting all that up took a matter of minutes... whereas we have not ever had Windows 7 machines that were reliably able to view network shares on non-Win7 machines despite tens of hours (at least) dedicated solely to the networking problem. The "dog that did not bark" conclusion is clear: Microsludge deliberately releases software with networking subsystems that undermine networkability with non-Winsludge machines.

Kratoklastes
Kratoklastes

Win7 was a pig (and Win8is such a pig that you only give it to people you hate, for Christmas). Networking any non-Win7 PC's? Look forward to screaming "Come friendly bombs, and fall on Redmond." Want to customise folder layouts/toolbars/sidebars? Well, you might just need to edit your registry. WTF? We have 4 Microsludge machines - two Vista, two Win7 - and four ubuntu machines. Doing ANYTHING on the ubuntu machines is a breeze; they see all network shares, they see all wifi printers, and the look&feel is how we like it, from the file manager to the layout of Firefox and Thunderbird. But *The Lovely* has to have Office for multi-operator document change tracking (she's a barrister), so we have to have some legacy machines loaded with Redmond's de facto malware: insecure, bloated, appalling interoperability... and the joy of half a gig a month in retrofitting patches to fill the gaping holes in the garbage they foist on an unsuspecting public, because they release software before it's properly finished and tested. And of course anyone who suggests that it's inherently a problem with Windows, is told "Oh, uhm, it's probably TOTALLY not that. Did you try power-cycling your router? Did you restart your machine on a day whose Unix date is a Mersenne prime?" Meanwhile the Ubuntu machines - one an old Dell D630 - chug along and DO THEIR JOB. If anybody ever tried to give me Microsludge bloatware *as a gift*, I would take it as a declaration of hostile intent. First move on any new machine that's to be used for my work: low-level format of the HD (Gutman wipe - to ensure that no Redmond infection remains on it), then install Linux.

Melusineusa
Melusineusa

I could not have said it better. I found these so-called "libraries" a confounded nuisance. I have all my programs on "C" and my documents folders on "D”. "E" is for back-ups. End of story. I see other users shuffling through various libraries in search of an elusive folder and I cannot understand why they put themselves through that misery! I would have remained with XP if Microsoft had not given up servicing it. I refused to use Vista but Win 7 is almost as gimmicky, except that thanks to TR we can now civilize it a bit. My computer is a business tool and I like my database in clear order. I think M-soft should consider doing two versions of its future upgrades: - One for business people and - One for game player and Facebook wanderers...

dinyarchavda
dinyarchavda

While I have been able to hide these libraries, My documents, etc., as a target in Explorer, they are still there (in your example, you'd see them if you click "Greg Shultz" in explorer. What is more annoying is that they still appear when I go to save something, e.g., a webpage, and I have to plough through all those extraneous places to get to my C: drive. In Word 2003, there was a "My Places" option that you could add to, and move the default places down so you did not see them, but even that seems to have gone in Word 2010. Is there any way to get rid of all these virtual folders (libraries, documents, Music, etc.) so that I never have to see them again in any context?

boardlot
boardlot

In WExpl W7, I have a Desktop folder under Favorites as it should be and a Desktop folder under C:\Users\ as it should be BUT I have another Desktop folder ON TOP of Libraries. When I collapse this Desktop folder EVERYTHING in WExpl collapses iunder this Desktop folder. Also ... click Properties and it doesn't dispay a normal Properties window. Instead it displays the Personalize Features, ie Wallpaper & Sound. The same as if I rt clicked my desktop and chose Personalize. There isn't a Delete feature in the Right Click menu and I'm unable to move it. There's a feature ... add to Library which I've tried but it merely dupes the folder under Libraries leaving the original Desktop folder in the same location. Hope someone has a solution.

RU7
RU7

for about 5 months now. I like the OS but just today libraries misbehaved and I no longer trust that my actions will do what I expect when I am in a library. I have a directory, D1, with jpg photos. It has a sub-directory, D2, with size-reduced copies of some of the photos and some powerpoint presentation and slide show files using the smaller photos. In the library, the D2 did not show up in D1 but sub-directories in D2 did show up in D2. The library showed all the PP files in both D1 and D2. When I deleted either one of what appeared to be a duplicate set of files, they were deleted from both directories. When I restored them they were restored to both. When I descended the directory tree manually, all directories and files showed up as they should with no duplicates. Bye bye libraries.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

MS stay out of my files! I don't even use any of the My Junk folders and I occasionally have in the past renamed them to: - No Documents - No Music - No Pictures etc.

Regulus
Regulus

You're going to make a lot of people very happy with this 'tweak'. I currently subsidize Win Exp with WDE (Windows Double Explorer) and Cubic Explorer to partially avoid WE. This Will really spoof it up. THANK YOU. That being said, the broad customer base for this product will probably find the 'Libraries' concept much more user friendly. My comment to Microsoft during the Beta period, was, 'Can't we have a 'Tech Switch' for the previous mode? Microsoft does have varying mode versions in the Control Panel. And, Thanks Again !

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

Surprisingly, I found that this tip was helpful. Most of the tips simply point out the standard configuration features of Windows that any serious user of XP or Win2K would have found the first time they tried to make Win7 look and act more like their previous version. I wish these articles were written for power users, who know to backup the registry branches before modifying them,instead of for pure novices who don't know how or why to backup anything. The tedious screen shots could be eliminated and the article condensed to under 100 words.

JimCool77
JimCool77

Libraries work for my organization so as the old saying goes different strokes for different folks.

RShady
RShady

Excellent-I've even noticed a slightly better response time.

carlsf
carlsf

Perform these steps..... They should have never have been there. MS have should have left the "CLASSIC" option there. MS have F***** the O/S which is why we will NOT load/install WIN7 and as for Office 2007 and 10 and the "RIBBON" well enought said we will be using GOOGLE Cloud and our exisiting Office 2003 licences.

mail
mail

Very useful. I'm sure Windows libraries have a use for someone but I haven't come across it yet

ilkka.jantti
ilkka.jantti

Thanks, Greg! This is something I have been waiting for. Libraries have been a nuisance for me. Ilkka

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I have no use for most of the items in the tree column of Explorer. Perhaps I'm too set in my ways, but I just want the 'Computer' list of hard drives. I put everything in a 'Data' folder on my D: drive. I don't have ANY music or videos, and I get tired of all of the Libraries for taking up space. Libraries strike me as tool useful for those who didn't learn file and directory management. I don't like the 'Favorites' list either, while we're at it. I can put shortcuts to folders on the desktop or Start menu, where they won't clutter up the tree. Unfortunately, WIN+E opens this cluttered view, and I haven't been able to break myself of this shortcut. I've got to reassign it one day.

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

I'm definitely going to give this a try. Can the same be done for Homegroup? Both are completely useless to me. I'm too old-school, i guess.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you actively use the Libraries feature in Windows 7?

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

because my Windows 7 notebook has absolutely NO problems joining, viewing, sharing or whatever I want it to do with my Windows XP, my Slax netbooks, even my old Windows Mobile 5 PDA. Your problems notwithstanding, you might would appear less fanboyish if you held off on the slang terms. That may be cool at other forums, but on these we tend to be professional. By the way, you do notice this thread is over 2 years old? Now do you feel better? Wizard57M TR Moderator

seanferd
seanferd

I think I know what you mean, but I can't be certain.

gechurch
gechurch

I haven't heard too many people that have actually made the jump to the cloud. I take it you are using Google Docs. Do you find performance and features acceptable? I haven't used Google Docs, but am fussy about application launch speed. Surely this is an issue? I quite like Office 2007/2010 now I'm used to them, but agree there's not a lot they add over 2003. Outlook has definitely improved, and they integrate nicely with SharePoint, but for document editing there's not much advantage. In fact, I don't think there hae been huge improvements since about Office 97 in this regard. I'm surprised about your thought on Windows 7 though. I think this is a great OS. I love windows snapping, the taskbar is awesome, I love being able to pin items to taskbar icons, and even accessing VPNs and wireless networks are much easier to get to. I've done a few rollouts of Win 7 to my clients now, and have found it a great OS to deploy. I tweak a few things and the end result is a really simple machine to use. Offline folders have improved heaps too. I try to avoid them under XP, but to my mind they "just work" under Windows 7. By combining roaming folders with folder redirection (My Docs, Desktop) and forced offline files for the redirected folders you get the best of all worlds; tiny roaming profiles, all documents stored on the server and also available when out of the office (perfect solution for laptops) and fast logins/logouts now that sync doesn't happen every time. What are your reasons for avoiding this OS?

mike.panagos
mike.panagos

[Edit: I didn't read all the comments so I didn't see this was already posted! Ah, well!] I actually don't mind libraries and find them useful for the most part, but I agree that it's better for my personal use to have explorer open computer by default. Use this article to change the explorer to open computer by default. I tested and it affects WinKey+E as well. http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/02/07/trick-to-open-computer-or-documents-as-default-instead-of-libraries-folder-with-windows-explorer-on-windows-7/

gechurch
gechurch

You are correct that libraries were really designed for less experienced users that have difficulty remembering where they put things (a common problem, and I think it's a pretty good solution). I'm like you though - I just want to see drives. I have modified the exporer shortcut to open directly to the drives view instead of to libraries. You can do it by right-clicking the explorer icon in the taskbar, then right-clicking on Windows Explorer in the menu that comes up and click Properties. Replace the target with: %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} I also change the icon to the picture of the computer (the icon in the third column on shell32.dll). The above change also "fixes" win+E.

michael_boardman
michael_boardman

Hear hear! I pretty much do the same, although I am reluctant to follow the steps and remove libraries - Windows is likely enough to mess up on its own (as it did 10 minutes ago, crashing as I went to input my log-on password) without altering the Registry for something which, while it would be nice to be rid of, is just an annoyance. I'm not even sure the suggestion that MS made that it helps people who can't set up a proper folder structure is correct (I know they didn't phrase it this way, but that's what it amounted to), as you still have to tell Windows where any additional libraries are before it includes them in the Library structure. I may be misinterpreting this but, to be quite frank, I'm fed up of fixing Windows stuff which is supposed to work but doesn't.

snodger
snodger

The procedure for removing Homegroup is identical to that described by Greg for removing Libraries, but this time you need to navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93}\ShellFolder, and the Attributes data must be changed from b084010c to b094010c.

Willie11
Willie11

Even though User Accounts shows me as an Administrator on this computer I get stopped at the point of changing the permissions in the Registry. The only person with full control is "Trusted Installer". I do have "full control" on CLSID however. I also noticed that I do not have an "Attributes" value in this folder. This is 64 Bit Windows 7. Is that different? What is going on?

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

I for one, learned very early on the value of placing files in locations that make sense to "you" or ones self. Having no clue where to find a file you recently downloaded is a thing I have always found to be quite annoying. That said, I also recognized that the steps necessary in correcting this were "my" responsibility as only I would know what sort of organizational structure would suit my particular needs. Certainly I understood also that no one could reasonably expect a software manufacturer to design and implement a "one size fits all" aproach to organizing a users files. With painstaking dilligence and discipline I named and renamed, moved and copied, files and folders to eventually formulate a system that worked for me. I took a bit of pride in knowing what I had and where to find it in a reasonably efficient manner. One of the earliest "Libraries" I assembled was my collection of music. Fraunhoffer's release of an MP3 encoding application was invited into my digital life exhuberantly. I learned early on the value of filenames and folders named in a uniformly recognizable fashion that suited "me". Being able to retrieve songs and assemble playlists in my favorite Media Player application (Winamp at that time)was easily accomplished with an economy of steps and time comparable to that of many professional Disc Jockeys. The process and discipline of this task was not lost in my very real understanding that all of my efforts would be down the tubes should I get a virus, lose a hard drive or whatever. At this elementary understanding of computers, coupled with my financial means then, I was acutely aware that at any given moment I might have to Format and start over again for any of a multitude of reasons, no doubt the majority of which would appropriately be catalogued under "User Error". This notwithstanding, I immediately recognized that 1.) Organizing My Files Myself and 2.) Taking efforts to see to it that my efforts were not wasted by making backups was "my" responsibility. Not Microsofts, not my non-existent PC Technicians, NOT my computer manufacturers responsibility but "MINE". To this date I am still of the same mind. Furthermore, though I have given most all of the "New-fangled" additions to Windows a try as they have been released, few meet what I consider to be necessary features in the maintenance and organization of the files I hold dear and have amassed for well over 10 years now. I have observed throughout this time a virtually universal trend of software manufacturers to observe and mimic Apple's way of handling this issue. Microsoft is in no way trailing this trend. If anything, they are likely the most instrumental in causing others to follow suit in the same fashion as a mere matter of survival. In my honest opinion, I believe i-Tunes to be one of the most enigmatic and often infuriating applications I have ever found to deal with. Its manner of organization has multiplied the steps necessary for me to retrieve a specific item by a factor of 5 to 10 times that of my own preference. Windows media player is no different. And now with the inclusion of Windows Libraries, it would seem that this pattern is being extended to every file type one might desire to save as personal data. Being able to find a specific file within a Library is to me, a lesson in how NOT to organize things. This says nothing of how one goes about backing up these Libraries and the relative pain involved in doing so for the following reasons. It is not I who has catalogued them but rather MS who has decided in its infinite wisdom that it has a far greater understanding of my needs with regard to organizing my files than I myself have. Thus, in happily accepting their way of doing things I would find my data located in any number of locations within any of the 4 HDDs my computer uses. With almost 4 TBs of space one can see the absolute necessity of a robust "Search" engine packaged within the OS as MS has decided that using "Search" to get to ones files is the preferred method of doing so. Yes, I understand that from their perspective the majority of users will find this to be the desired method just simply due to the sheer numbers of new computer users. I have a hard time faulting the desired overall objective MS has in doing things like this. What I do find egregious however, is the adoption of the obvious policy that MS seems to insist on pursuing at what by now can no longer be mistaken as anything less than a blatant disregard for the needs andor concerns of their smaller sales constituents. That of the experienced and more technically inclined userforce of MS products is relegated to the dung heap of their experiments.

michel
michel

I don't really like the concept, which I feel makes it even more confusing. On my home computer, Libraries are a mere nuisance. At the office, we have data on various server volumes and it is much easier to refer to X:\ (or \\Server\Documents) than to try to add all those volumes to the library and deal with them. Besides, some programs have a problem dealing with links in libraries when you access them with different computers. One other thing that bugs me: "special" default folders for images and videos. I usually deal with projects, which have various kinds of documents including text, photos, technical drawings, animations and videos. I basically want all of that classified by project in a project folder which sits in the "Documents" folder.

joedob
joedob

I don't use Libraries and see them as real pain. I still set up my clients' machines with C: for programs only and ALL the data on D: drive under one folder. Backup/Recovery is much simpler under that scenario. M$ just made it much more difficult with the latest "improvements". I am not sure if it is me. I looked at Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise and find all of them buggy with cosmetic changes, inconsistent behaviour and illogical error messages. IMHO M$ repaints, renames, repositions the same OS GUI just so they can collect money again. For no rhyme and reason an all of my Win7 installations I lose my desktop icon pictures, USB & DVD drivers, get Access denied when connecting to my other machines, Outlook "runs out of resources" on 4GB tripple core running on its own and the like... The list is long. I still have XP programs that don't run on it, regardless of all the compatibility mode claims. If other posts would not claim how great it is, I would say Win 7 is not even beta. Right now I would rate it as only marginally better than Vista. That pile of crap I refuse to support reverting back to XP or if no drivers are available (reluctantly) "upgrading" to Win7. I use my Library to learn about Ubuntu. It's about time.

lbalon
lbalon

I have found the Libraries feature extremely useful. I used to have multiple shortcuts (in XP) to access my most used directories. This feature allows me to put them in one place and to all multiple locations for the information as well as aggregate information from multiple systems.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

While it may be useful for the common user they (libraries) are an irritation for anybody that gets the concept of an inverted tree. MS should have enabled this customization for those who have no problems understanding directory structures. My thanks for the information.

scott
scott

I honestly gave Libraries a try when Windows 7 was released. After frustratingly having to change the view of each folder (Details, etc), and it not remembering it. I did a search and found out that for any folder in Libraries it uses the same global view, no matter what. So if I wanted pictures in large thumbnail, but documents in detail, I would have to change it each time I went into those through the library folder. This was very frustrating because I like to have each folder remember the view I set. I ended up doing away with Libraries and just stuck with using shortcuts in the Favorites section to get me where I want to go.

bd1235
bd1235

I do use libraries and I have folders on my D drive linked to the various libraries. I have no great use for their display in Explorer. I use The command "%windir%\explorer.exe /n, /e, /select, C:\" without the quotes to start explorer which opens on Computer and displays all drives. I work down from there so libraries are above and "out of sight" for me. One reason I use libraries is because Windows Streaming Media uses libraries to find media to stream. It seems that if it isnt in the Libraries you cant stream it unless you use a 3rd party program like Mezzmo or similar. I have two devices that accept WSM so Libraries are quite important but I use them also to keep my data out of the C drive.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin

gechurch: I agree with you 100% Win 7 is a an exceptional OS and more techs should take the time to move forward and physically master the OS. We all have to move forward and as a retired IT CEO I find it absolutely exhilarating mastering this OS. When I think of where we it all started from to what we have now it's an incredible journey! So enjoy it move on, stop trying to cling to the past too many in IT are fearful of change because this will shatter their routine and they will have to perform outside of the envelope. Come on enjoy it it is a remarkable industry that you have the apotheosis to be a professional in.

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

Libraries seems to be the successor to desktop search in Microsoft's attempt to teach users that it doesn't make any difference where or how you store your "important" files and personal information, ie, "Trust us, believe that we know what we're doing; you don't have to." It's obvious from Microsoft's defaults that they believe it's desirable to have user data and all application dlls mixed in with the system files on the boot device - a concept that was obsolete as soon as OSs could access multiple partitions and drives- or else. If they'd get truly innovative and reserve the boot partition for true system files, the maximum required boot partition size would be totally predictable, and broken applications wouldn't have to be reinstalled after OS "upgrades". Data recovery would be simpler after the still too-frequent OS corruption, which would OS be reduced. And user modification of the core OS could be easily restricted in corporate settings. The only rationale that I can think of for this, is that they want to drive all personal computing back to a centralized glass room/terminal model. Microsoft seems to have gotten ahead of the curve for once, envisioning a time when user data was stored in an undisclosed location like a VP in hiding, following the security through obscurity model. Their only mistake on that path was not having a clever phrase like "cloud storage" to replace "unaccountable outsourcing". By the time that people catch on to the fact that the lack of default effective personal computer security is by design- making it economical for security organizations to simply access private data - smartphones ie dumb terminals would be either far less popular or forced to be far more autonomous and secure.

seanferd
seanferd

That you cannot assign yourself the permission? Then you probably are not a true Admin. Maybe you need to http://www.tomstricks.com/how-to-activate-hidden-windows-7-administrator-account/ ? (Further: http://www.google.com/search?q=activate+hidden+administr ) If you don't see the Attributes value, create it. Right-click on the ShellFolder key (or the View pane) → New DWORD value → name it Attributes → Double-click the Attributes value → fill the Data field with b090010d → click OK. And make positively certain that you are in the 031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5 key. (You can just copy the string and search it in the registry.)

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

Where CLSID came into the picture at all as I don't recall reading anything about it in this particular TR edition of the newsletter. Your mention of it begs the question where you (or myself) got sidetracked. So I re-read the article and again, failed to find any reference to CLSID. That said, I also run 64 Bit Windows 7 and will affirm that the steps illustrated in this article are indeed correct and do produce the desired objective. You might consider trying again and paying extremely close attention to detail as the cost incurred with a blunder in the registry editor can be catastrophic. If, after trying again, it stills fails to work, you might wish to check your system for malware.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

People want everything related to a subject to be together, especially in a work environment. The spreadsheet with the estimate calculations goes with the formal presentation and the document of the final contract; it doesn't go with the other, unrelated spreadsheets. Another problem in a workplace is that different users may not add the same network resources to their libraries. Anybody know if there's a way to mandate library inclusion via Group Policy?

procommtech8128
procommtech8128

"I am not sure if it is me. I looked at Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise and find all of them buggy with cosmetic changes, inconsistent behaviour and illogical error messages. IMHO M$ repaints, renames, repositions the same OS GUI just so they can collect money again." The best reply thus far. Good job

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

problems with Windows 7.

gechurch
gechurch

Yeah - libraries are designed to abstract away where the files are actually stored on the drive. Many users, particularly novice users, don't care what the folder structure is or where files are on the hard drives. They want things to be simple =? "If I'm looking for music, I want to click on a Music link and have all my music appear. I don't care which folders they are in". Obfuscation suggests that it is muddying the waters and making things unclear, so I don't that's an appropriate word. It's just hiding away the detail. When Apple do this sort of thing they get praised. Let's give credit where it's due here - it's a nice solution for many users. It also fits in with your setup (having all data on drive D:\). If you redirect My Documents/Videos/Music/Pictures to the D: drive (which is easy - right-click the folder and drag it to the D: drive - and which you should be doing anyway, otherwise you will really confuse your users) they will just work. Even if you don't do this, you can easily add the D: drive to your libraries. There is a single link when you open a library that lets you edit the locations. Add D:\Music (or whatever) here and you're done. I'm very surprised by the number of issues you are having with Windows 7. I'm sure it's not just you, but it's certainly not the common case. The desktop icon pictures sounds like a corrupted icon cache. I used to see this occassionally under XP, but personally haven't seen it at all under 7. Are you saying that the USB and DVD device drivers disappear, or was it a typo - were you saying the icons for these devices also go astray? The Outlook issue sounds like the sort of issue you get when you run a really old version (like 2000) under 7. I haven't run Outlook 2003 much under Win7, but I have installed 2007 and 2010 heaps and not seen that happen. The network access could be caused by a heap of things, but Vista and 7 have tightened things up in this regard. That shouldn't be affecting access to other machines though - sounds like the machine you are connecting to has the issue. All of the above sound like software issues. What is your process for setting the machines up? Do you have a ghost or sysprep image, or do you install each one from scratch? If it's the former I'd be recreating the image. I have found compatibility to be pretty good, but have been fortunate not to need to set up any poorly written or very old programs. If you find something doesn't work you can use XP Mode. This will run the app in a Windows XP virtual machine, but it integrates pretty well so you hardly notice it has happened. You can run every single app that worked under Windows XP this way - guaranteed! You need the Pro or Enterprise version to use XP Mode though.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

you can have Explorer open by default showing the drives by altering the Explorer shortcut instead of typing that command in? I hate the default view of showing the libraries. A quick google search for default Windows 7 Explorer view should take you to a page that describes how to do it.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and that inflicts the darn things on me. I guess they're useful if you never learned directory trees or file management, or if you have the categorized file types scattered across different networked systems. I did and I don't.

seanferd
seanferd

Dll hell was not the point. Not every app that installs something into the system directory causes dll hell. The point is that applications (MS applications included) should not be installing anything into the OS system directories regardless as to whether or not they cause a conflict.

gechurch
gechurch

I don't see how you can state that "installed application dlls should never go into the OS system folders" and then state that "SxS assmeblies and dll has nothing to do with it". They are not just related; they are one and the same issue. Applications installing DLLs into the OS folders is what caused DLL hell. And SxS assemblies were the answer. I wouldalso point out that in hindsight, allowing applications to install DLLs in OS folders was a poor choice. If you look at it in context of when the decision was made though (about 25 years ago, disk space was scarce, RAM even more so, programmers were trusted to know what they were doing) and the decision wasn't "dumb" back then. I agreee with what you and Palmetto said about libraries, particularly about the difficulty to turn them off.

seanferd
seanferd

It wasn't stated as being related, excepting it is another dumb MS decision. SxS assemblies and dll hell has nothing to do with it. The point was that installed application dlls should never go into the OS system folders. Dumb system design, dumb application design fostered by such. As to Libraries and other UI design choices, the real problems are stupid defaults, and the inability to easily customize the UI. If Libraries (the sad remnants of WinFS) were better designed, less people would dislike them. I would use Libraries, subject to much customization. People have similar issues with the lack of the "Classic" options for appearance and function. I wouldn't even ask that the "Classic View" be brought back if one was able to really customize UI features. You'd think that would be a huge selling point for Windows.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't dispute the value of the feature to some users. What I dislike is having to jump through Registry hoops to turn it off. Why not a simple right-click 'I don't want to use Libraries' option? I dislike how folders added to 'Favorites' don't display as trees, mandating navigation up the tree to go down another branch instead of going directly to an adjacent one. I'll stick with the drive letters under 'Computer'; they expand nicely, thank you very much. I dislike the clutter of a 'Username' directory under 'Desktop'. Everything I can control is set to store on another drive, but MS hides too many settings and 'gotchas' in here to delete it. Like libraries, there's no way to remove it from Explorer (or whatever MS is calling this file management utility; notice there's no title on the window.) I absolutely HATE the automatic recreation of the Music and Video libraries after I delete them, two libraries I know I will NEVER use (and I don't use the word 'never' lightly).

gechurch
gechurch

I can't see what your problem is with this. It's a very basic feature - all it does is combine the view of the current users music (or whatever) folder with the shared one. That's it! Saving to a library still saves to your documents (or music or whatever) folder. All libraries do is make it easier for users to find files. Yes, it's aimed at basic users. That doesn't mean Microsoft is "dumbing down" users though - they are making life easier for users that don't *want* to have to remember which folder they stored things in. I worked in a tech shop for a few years and saw a lot of "nan and pop" users and can tell you this is solving avery real problem. As you can see in these forums, a lot of IT people don't personally like the feature - it's not aimed at them. And that's fine. You can turn it off (I have). No one's forcing you to use it. Most of your rant is not actually about libraries though. Where system and application files go is completely unrelated. Like above, by default the OS files and users files are on the same partition (hardly "mixed in" as you stated) but there's nothing stopping you from changing that. In fact, the concept of "floating" folders like Documents/Music/Photos etc makes this really simple. Right-drag one of the folders to the partition where you want those files to go. That's it - you're done! Users data is off the system partition. If you prefer, you can also add folders from a second partition to your libraries, and can even make it save there by default. So the feature you are compaining about actually makes it easier to do what you are advocating! I disagree that the boot partition size would be totally predictable. The OS changes over time (due to updates), and these can be big (check out the difference between RTM Windows XP and XP SP3). A when a 1TB hard drive costs abuot $50, I don't see how this is a big deal anyway. Your statements about separating OS dllsand application ones are also a fair bit outdated. Starting with XP (2002) Microsoft began using side-by-side assemblies; their solution to DLL hell. With Vista/7 these are in complete use. What they do is use folder redirection to move any attempts by applications to install system dlls. They go to a folder of their own, but the app believes it is actually reading from/writing to C:\windows\system32 or wherever. So there is now a separation between apps and system. If you want to move apps to a different drive, use junction points to redirect Program Files and the sxs (side-by-side assemblies) folder to a different partition. I wouln't say this is easy to do, but it shouldn't be hard for someone in IT. Especially IT departments in corporations.

joedob
joedob

Thank you. I could not say it better. Time to ring alarm bells!

snodger
snodger

How do I get this stuff? I just ask my students. I was surprised that Greg did not deal with removing Favorites as well as Homegroup in his instructions for removing Libraries. The general procedure is identical for all three. In the case of Favorites, navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder and change the Attributes data from a0900100 to a9400100.

Willie11
Willie11

I activated the built in Administrator Account then logged into that account. Tried to set the permissions using that account and it failed there as well.

seanferd
seanferd

It's the registry branch involved here.