Fix Libraries are Hidden and Showing Up Empty in Windows 7

When you open Windows Explorer in your Windows 7 computer, the libraries folder may be completely empty. Also, nothing may happen when you right-click "Libraries" link in the navigation pane, and choose Restore default libraries.

This can happen if the library files are hidden inadvertently by the user. To restore/unhide the libraries, you need to remove the "hidden" attribute from each of the .library-ms files, located at the following directory:


To do so, open a Command Prompt window (cmd.exe) and type the following command:

attrib -h "%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\*.library-ms"

Press {ENTER}, logoff and login back to your user account. The libraries should now display correctly.

Note: If you had accidentally deleted one of the four default libraries (Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos), you can restore it back by right-clicking Libraries (in the navigation pane) and then clicking Restore default libraries.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.