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External Drives Listed Twice (Duplicate) in File Explorer Navigation Pane

Disk drives (both fixed as well as removable drives) appear under the “This PC” category in File Explorer navigation pane. In addition, each removable drive will be pinned as a separate category, appearing after “This PC” and “Libraries” section — that is, the drives appear twice in the navigation pane. This double-listing can sometimes cause confusion to the users. To remove the duplicate or redundant disk drives from navigation pane, here is a quick registry fix.

Remove duplicate drive-letters in File Explorer

  1. Right-click Start, click Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Go to the following branch in the Registry Editor:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
  4. Create a subkey named NonEnum and select it.
  5. In the NonEnum key, create a new DWORD value named {F5FB2C77-0E2F-4A16-A381-3E560C68BC83}
  6. Set the data for {F5FB2C77-0E2F-4A16-A381-3E560C68BC83} to 1
  7. Exit the Registry Editor.
  8. Log off and login back in for the change to take effect.
    Note: To apply the setting for all users on the computer, make the modification under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE — in the registry path below:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum

Additional Step: For 32-bit apps running on 64-bit Windows

The Open/Save As dialog in 32-bit applications (e.g., Office/Word/Excel 32-bit) may still see duplicate external drives. For 32-bit applications running on Windows 64-bit, make changes in the following “WOW6432Node” registry key(s) in addition:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum

(and/or)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\NonEnum

That’s it! The duplicate drive letters for your external drive should no longer appear on File Explorer.

Registry File

To automate the above setting, download remove-duplicate-drives.zip, unzip and run the enclosed REG file. Log off and log back in after running the registry file.

More Information

{F5FB2C77-0E2F-4A16-A381-3E560C68BC83} is the control that enumerates removable drives and shows it in the navigation pane, next to Libraries. This is in addition to the listing shown by This PC. By preventing this control by using the NonEnum registry key, the enumeration of removable drives and their duplicate appearance is prevented.

The above registry edit has been tested to work in all versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11, including v21H2.

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