How to Add a Custom Folder under “This PC” in Explorer?

You can add custom folders to the the Explorer navigation pane, in pretty much all versions of Windows. This post has the instructions on how to add a custom folder under This PC in the navigation pane in Windows 10 File Explorer.

How to Add a Custom Folder under “This PC” in Explorer?

The easiest way to manually add a custom folder to the navigation pane is to mimic the settings of an existing or built-in shell folder like Music or Videos, and use them with a custom GUID. For example, here is the Videos shell folder’s registry setting that we’ll use with a different GUID and point to a custom folder.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}]
"DescriptionID"=dword:00000003
"Infotip"=hex(2):40,00,25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,\
6f,00,74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,\
00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,\
2d,00,31,00,32,00,36,00,39,00,30,00,00,00
"System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000001
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\DefaultIcon]
@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,69,00,6d,00,\
61,00,67,00,65,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,00,31,\
00,38,00,39,00,00,00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\InProcServer32]
@=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,\
65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,00,00
"ThreadingModel"="Both"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance]
"CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance\InitPropertyBag]
"Attributes"=dword:00000011
"TargetKnownFolder"="{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}"
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\ShellFolder]
"Attributes"=dword:f080004d
"FolderValueFlags"=dword:00000029
"SortOrderIndex"=dword:00000000
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}]

Note: If the REG file formatting breaks when copying to Notepad, view the above contents as a text file.

  1. Copy the contents above to Notepad, and save with .reg extension (e.g. mytools.reg). Don’t close the file yet.
  2. Go to GuidGen.com website that generates random GUID strings for you (uses Microsoft’s GUIDGen.exe at the backend.)
  3. Copy the GUID to Clipboard. In this example, the GUID is {d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}
  4. In Notepad, replace every occurrence of string {f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a} with {d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}
  5. Save the REG file, and close Notepad.
  6. Double-click the REG file to apply the settings to the registry.
  7. Start the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and navigate to the following branch:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}
  8. In the right-pane, change the value data for (Default) and InfoTip accordingly.

    (InfoTip text will be shown when you hover the mouse over the custom folder in File Explorer.)
  9. Then navigate to the DefaultIcon sub key, that is:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}\DefaultIcon

  10. Set the icon value accordingly. I chose the shell32.dll,35 icon for the My Tools folder we’re adding.
  11. Navigate to the Instance\InitPropertyBag subkey, that is:
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}\Instance\InitPropertyBag
  12. Delete the TargetKnownFolder value (as we’re adding a custom folder location).
  13. Create a string value (REG_SZ) named TargetFolderPath and set its value data, with the full folder path.

    You’re now done! The My Tools folder should show up in the navigation pane, as well as in the Folders section in This PC view.

Bonus Tips

Tip #1: Add the custom folder under “Folders (6)” and/or “Network Locations” section

If you’re adding a mapped drive or folder pointing to network location, you can make the item appear under the Network locations section in This PC view. To do so, modify the DescriptionID value (see screenshot #2 above) in this registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}

Set the DescriptionID to 9 (0x00000009)

  • Setting DescriptionID to 3 shows it under Folders category.
  • Setting DescriptionID to 9 shows it under Network locations category.

Tip #2: Move “My Tools” folder to the top of the This PC hierarchy

To move My Tools to the top of the This PC hierarchy, create a DWORD (32 bit) value named SortOrderIndex, in the following registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}

Set the SortOrderIndex to a low value.

For example, setting it to 0x00000030 moves the item up, like this:

That’s it! You can add as many custom folders under This PC (My Computer) in the Explorer navigation pane as you want. Make sure you generate a different GUID from the GuidGen.com website, for every folder you want to add to the navigation pane.

Note: The REG file I made several years ago for Windows XP (Ref my post My Pictures, My Music and My Videos namespace extensions for the Windows Explorer folder pane) still works in Windows 10. That uses a slightly different method, where Shdocvw.dll is referenced instead of Shell32.dll. And if you’re using the old method for Windows 10, you need to add the System.IsPinnedtoNameSpaceTree DWORD value, and change the Attributes data to f080004d, in those sample REG files. Both method work fine.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com 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.

11 thoughts on “How to Add a Custom Folder under “This PC” in Explorer?

  1. I see now why I ended up on this post. The “random posts” on the right hand side of the section page is really random, and does not necessarily pertain to the section or OS you’re browsing articles for

  2. Using the method I mentioned, adding Recycle Bin is very simple: (1) show the icon on the desktop if it’s not there already, (2) right click and Create Shortcut, (3) move the shortcut to the folder I specified

  3. You can also just drop the shortcut into “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts” and not mess with the registry at all. It will show up in exactly the same place in the nav pane.

  4. I like to put Google Drive under my PC like Microsoft’s OneDrive is listed. Will this work?

  5. Anon: You can try something like System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree (DWORD:0x00000001) for Recycle Bin GUID, and implement the GUID under My Computer namespace. No need to generate another shell object instance as above.

  6. What would be the appropriate values for adding the Recycle Bin under This PC? Is the folder’s GUID really the only thing that matters?

Comments are closed.