The navigation pane in Explorer can be configured to show all folders, using a GUI option which is overlooked by some users. The option "Show all folders" is shown when you right-click on an empty area in the navigation pane. This option is unchecked by default.
Unchecking this option hides the Desktop items listing and the user profile folder from the navigation pane, displaying only the Favorites, Libraries, Homegroup, Computer and Network headings.
This GUI setting is also available (and prominent) when you open the Folder Options applet.