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

You can add custom folders to the Explorer navigation pane in pretty much all versions of Windows. This post has the instructions on adding a custom folder under This PC in the navigation pane in Windows 10/11 File Explorer.

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

Method 1: Add a Custom folder Manually

If you’re going to create/add a custom shell folder manually, an easy way to add a custom folder to the navigation pane is to mimic the settings of an existing/built-in shell folder like Music or Videos, and use them with a custom GUID. For example, here are the Videos shell folder’s registry settings that we’ll use with a different GUID (and a custom folder path).

  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 to generate a random GUID string. This site uses Microsoft’s GUIDGen.exe at the backend.
  3. In this example, the GUID is {d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35}. Copy the GUID to - microsoft guidgen.exe
  4. In Notepad, replace every occurrence of the following string:

    Replace the above GUID with the following:

  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):
  8. In Regedit, navigate to the following branches one by one:
  9. 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.)
  10. Then navigate to the DefaultIcon subkeys below:

  11. Set the icon value accordingly. I chose the shell32.dll,35 icon for the My Tools folder we’re adding. You can also use a custom .ico file if you want.
    shell folder icons - icon index
  12. Navigate to the Instance\InitPropertyBag subkeys below:
  13. Delete the TargetKnownFolder value, as we’re going to add a custom folder path.
  14. Create a string value (REG_SZ) named TargetFolderPath and set its value data, with the full folder path.

    That’s it! The My Tools folder should show up in the navigation pane and the Folders section in This PC view.

Method 2: Add a Custom folder Using Script

Here’s a VBScript I wrote that will output the registry file that will create and add a custom shell folder under This PC and/or Pin it to the Explorer navigation pane when run. The outputted .reg file can also be deployed to other computers if needed.

  1. Download the script add_custom_folder_this_pc.vbs below and save it to Desktop.
  2. Select the folder you want to add under This PC and/or Pin to Explorer Navigation pane.add or pin custom folder in file explorer using script

    The script will now output two registry files on your desktop. The 2nd file is the “Undo” registry file that needs to be run if you wish to reverse the setting (i.e., remove the custom folder from This PC/Explorer navigation pane)

    add or pin custom folder in file explorer using script

  3. Double-click the registry file (not the Undo registry file) to apply the settings to the registry.
  4. Close all folder windows and then open a folder.
  5. There you go! Your custom folder is now pinned to the navigation pane.add or pin custom folder in file explorer using script


    Before running the registry file, you can edit the file using Notepad and remove the lines containing “MyComputer\NameSpace” entries in the file and save it. This is to prevent the item from appearing in 3 locations in File Explorer. For more information, see Tip #3 below. This, however, is an optional step.

    add or pin custom folder in file explorer using script

    You can also change the InfoTip in the registry file. By default, it has the placeholder text that says “YOUR INFOTIP HERE

    add or pin custom folder in file explorer using script

    Per-User Registry File: The registry file adds the shell folder for the current user only (i.e., it writes to HKEY_CURRENT_USER instead of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE). If you want it per-system, then replace every instance of HKEY_CURRENT_USER with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and save the file.

(To unpin the custom shell folder, run the “undo” registry file. Rest assured, it won’t delete the actual folder.)

Bonus Tips

Tip #1: Add the custom folder under “Folders” or “Network Locations” section

If you’re adding a mapped drive or folder pointing to a 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:


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” 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:



Set the SortOrderIndex to a lower value.

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

Tip #3: Pin the folder to the Navigation pane separately (instead of under This PC) above or below OneDrive

To pin the custom folder to the navigation pane as a separate category, like OneDrive, Quick access, etc., you need to implement it under the Desktop namespace. This is similar to our Pin Recent Places registry edit.

The registry keys to create are as follows:



Note: The above edit would also add the custom folder icon on your desktop. To hide the custom folder icon on the desktop, create a DWORD value named {d464e152-bde0-4a84-9160-bd183268ad35} and set it to 1, under the following registry key:


The custom folder now appears in 3 places

With the above registry changes done, the custom folder appears in three places:

  1. As a separate pinned item, vertically next to the Quick Access/OneDrive section.
  2. In the navigation pane under This PC, and
  3. In the right pane of This PC.

custom folder this pc and desktop namespaces

So, (optionally) to prevent the custom folder from appearing under the “This PC” tree (a.k.a. “My Computer” namespace) and in the right pane of This PC, delete these keys:



This eliminates the custom folder icon from locations #2 and #3 (see screenshot).

The result of the above registry edits is seen in the following image:

custom folder pinned to desktop namespace

The custom folder (“Tools”) is now pinned to the navigation pane. You can also expand the folder to access its subfolders, or keep it collapsed.

Tip #4: How to create a per-user special folder?

To create the special folder for your user account only, in Notepad, replace every instance of the following:

Note: You need to do this after completing step 4 above. Then, follow the rest of the instructions, till Step 14.


with the following registry root:


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 website for every folder you want to add to the navigation pane.

Editor’s Note: The registry file I made several years ago for Windows XP (Ref: My Pictures, My Music and My Videos namespace extensions for the Explorer folder pane) still works on Windows 10 and 11. 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 or 11, 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.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

60 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?

    • just add {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} as new key in: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace

  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.

    • Thank you! Found this a while ago and it works perfectly! Then couldn’t find it again when I switch job and has been desperate to find it again! So glad I finally did!

      It is important that you don’t drag and drop the shortcut to “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts”.

      Instead you have to right-click the actual folder you want to appear under “This PC”, choose “copy”, go to “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts”, right-click and choose “Paste Shortcut”. It’ll instantly appear. Has worked for me with three different PCs now

  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!

  7. I successfully added a custom folder under this pc using your blog.
    I’m hardly trying to achieve what happens with the default user shell folders like music, pictures and the others.
    That is, if I type win key + r and write down the path C:\Users\username\Pictures explorer opens with the pictures folder selected on the left navigation pane.
    This does not happen with the custom folder added under this pc, instead the c drive is selected on the navigation pane.
    I tried all the possible registry tweaks but with no success.
    Is it possible to make so that explorer recognizes the custom folder added under this pc and acts like it does with the default folders under this pc?

  8. Hi,
    I’ve successfully added a new Folder under the Win10 ‘This PC’ tree..

    But apparently the folder name still shown as ‘Videos’, no matter what i do to the (Default) value on main key. (i did also on the Wow6432Node)

    Is there any trick to do rename it ?

  9. Thanks for this tutorial.
    According to my test, the Default value where you enter “My Tools” has no impact, if you try to change it to “My Own Tools”, it doesn’t reflect in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer. It automatically takes the name of the folder you’re pointing to.

    • @Gilles: this is interesting. It works fine here, even on Windows 10 20H2. Can you send me the registry exports ?

  10. Mine doesn’t work I just got a folder in this pc with no name an I can’t open it I followed everything exactly and I even double checked. I’m on Windows 10 Pro.

  11. Sorry about saying the same thing twice. Your website does not load new replies when entered throgh a bookmark. Anyways thanks for the reply now it works perfectly.

  12. This really did help as I was able to make a custom folder. However, it ended up my my D drive, so with that being said, how do I save my custom folder under my C drive instead?

    • @Nicole: You can change the “TargetFolderPath” value data in the registry to make it link to the right folder/drive.

  13. The easier way is using winareo tweaker. Download and install de software, then go to section “File Explorer” -> “Customize This PC Folders” -> You can add and remove any folder you desire

  14. How to apply Different Folder Icon. It is very hard to find the suitable icon by changing the number 35 of shell32.dll,35. Can you give me the Icon and its Number in Shell32 for Windows 10.

    • Actually I want all Icon picture in shell32.dll with there number so in future also it becomes easy to find. Does there any file do you with all the number and with picture of icon.

      Anyway, I want to ask a question.
      In windows 10, This PC has many inbuild folders( eg Downloads) we can see two different icon, one with Yellow file and Downward arrow symbol. and another in the nav panel with only downward arrow symbol only But when I tried to set Two different folder icon one in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{6bb5b14c-464f-43a7-bbc8-4ae47d072ed7}\DefaultIcon
      and another in
      Only one is set two both.
      What is the reason? Does i did Wrong?

    • You can browse shell32.dll using icon picker dialog via shortcut properties. The index starts from 0.

      Alternately, use IconsExtract from

      Regarding the 2nd question, let me repro the problem and then post back.

    • Ramesh Thankyou for the effort.
      I finally got the icon number correctly. Now I get it, Starts form 0 And you have to just look the correct order it is displayed not the number it has. For example There is a icon number 144 But if we count until it, its number is 64 and you have to Start counting with 0 First.
      Thanks for the knowledge you have given to me
      Thanks a lot

  15. Thank you for the article, i’m trying to pin a custom location along with it’s sub-items
    How can new folders be added to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ ?
    I want to pin sub-items to my folder in the following way, for eg:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyCustomFolder\NameSpace\{Set of CLSIDs of sub-items}

    • @maximumus: To pin the item separately to the Nav pane, implement it in the Desktop namespace key here:


      Please see “Tip #3” in this (now updated) article.

  16. This is amazing. If we could only find a way to do this with a GPO that would be amazing. I mean without spending 2 hours making lots of reg entries to the GPO. Thank you for posting this though. I appreciate it.

  17. Hi, thanks for this post. I have followed the instructions and the folder is visible but when I click on it it comes up saying it is unavailable like it can’t find the location. I have designated my storage drive (D) in the registry. When I click on my actual D drive it shows all my folders from This PC but this new folder is not showing there along with the others. it is as if the new custom folder I made is just a shortcut only.

    Hope you have an idea of why this could be?
    Kind regards

  18. I compiled everything in one REG script!
    You can generate your own GUID if you want. Just replace @=, @= in DefaultIcon and TargetFolderPath to add the folder that you want. You can repeat this for any number of folders.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    @="C:\\ScienceDiscoverer\\AtomNewAgeBIG.ico,0" ; !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CUSTOM_CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}" ; Shell File System Folder
    "TargetFolderPath"="C:\\ScienceDiscoverer" ; !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CUSTOM_CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REPLACE TargetKnownFolder
    ; =============================================================WOW64=========================================
    @="ScienceDiscoverer" ; !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CUSTOM_CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    @="C:\\ScienceDiscoverer\\AtomNewAgeBIG.ico,0" ; !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CUSTOM_CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "CLSID"="{0E5AAE11-A475-4c5b-AB00-C66DE400274E}" ; Shell File System Folder ; Shell File System Folder
    "TargetFolderPath"="C:\\ScienceDiscoverer" ; !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CUSTOM_CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REPLACE TargetKnownFolder
    ; =========================================================END=WOW64=========================================
    ; =============================================================WOW64=========================================
    ; =========================================================END=WOW64=========================================

    To delete it, the scrip is much simpler:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    • @ScienceDiscoverer: Nice! BTW, the script mentioned in the article spits out the appropriate REG files automatically. The user only needs to select the folder in the Browse dialog. 👍

  19. Excellent tutorial as always, but I was having one problem. To delete the folder from the ‘navigation pane under This PC’ and from the ‘right pane of This PC’ I should delete some keys. But I couldn’t find those in that directory.


    I deleted this one and they disappeared from those 2 panels, in case someone else has the same problem

    • @Curious: Yeah. The registry keys are mentioned in Line 69 and 71 of the REG file (the 2nd is for 32-bit apps).

      Now, you have the custom script that will automate things for you. It will create two registry files so that you can add and remove the shell folder quickly.

  20. for some reason, I used this script before and it worked, now if I use it it will not create the folders with the reg files after opening the GUI and selecting the folder.


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