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.

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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance]
"CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance\InitPropertyBag]
"Attributes"=dword:00000011
"TargetKnownFolder"="{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\ShellFolder]
"Attributes"=dword:f080004d
"FolderValueFlags"=dword:00000029
"SortOrderIndex"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance]
"CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}\Instance\InitPropertyBag]
"Attributes"=dword:00000011
"TargetKnownFolder"="{35286a68-3c57-41a1-bbb1-0eae73d76c95}"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\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}]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\{f86fa3ab-70d2-4fc7-9c99-fcbf05467f3a}]

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

  1. Copy the above contents to Notepad, and save with .reg extension (e.g. mytools.reg). Don’t close the file yet.
  2. Generate a unique ID (GUID) string by running the command New-Guid in PowerShell. Alternately, you can visit 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 the 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 branches one by one:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{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 subkeys below:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}\DefaultIcon
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{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 subkeys below:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}\Instance\InitPropertyBag
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}\Instance\InitPropertyBag
  12. Delete the TargetKnownFolder value, as we’re going to add a custom folder path.
  13. Create a string value (REG_SZ) named TargetFolderPath and set its value data, with the full folder path.

    Thats it! 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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\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 methods work fine.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. This worked for 1 folder, giving me a total of 8 folders (7 default ones plus my custom one). However, when I tried to add a 9th, the folder does not show in This PC.

  6. For some weird reason, navigating to subfolders in one of these links is damn slow. I don’t know why. Going to the linked folder the default way is fast as always.

    • @Jonas: For 32-bit apps to see the custom folder, the setting has to be duplicated under HKCR\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node key. The article has now been updated!

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