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 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 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.

    That’s it! The My Tools folder should show up in the navigation pane and 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 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:

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” 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 lower 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.


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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 Winhelponline.com in 2005.

41 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?

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • @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?

    Reply
  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 ?

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • @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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
    • @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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Classes\CLSID\{6bb5b14c-464f-43a7-bbc8-4ae47d072ed7}\DefaultIcon
      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 Nirsoft.net.

      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}

    Reply

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