Remove Quick access and User Folders from File Explorer in Windows 10

Quick access, introduced in Windows 10, replaces the Favorites feature present in the earlier versions of Windows. It lets you pin your favorite folders, and it also lists frequently accessed folders.

In addition, the File Explorer in 10 by default displays the special user folders at the top, as well as in the navigation pane pinned under This PC. The shell folders namely 3D Objects, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos show up above the fold. These folder icons clutter the view, and push the disk drives category down below, which some users dislike.

This article tells you how to remove Quick access and also hide the special user folders from This PC view — both from the right pane as well as from the navigation pane.

Remove Quick access and User Folders (under “This PC” ) in Windows 10

Removing “Quick access” from Windows 10 File Explorer

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (v1607), there is a new registry edit to remove Quick access. To remove Quick access, follow these steps.

  1. Start the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and go to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  2. Create a DWORD 32-bit value named HubMode
  3. Set the HubMode value data to 1
    remove quick access in windows 10 v1607
  4. Close all folder windows and re-open explorer. Quick access section should be gone now. If it still appears, logoff and login back, or simply restart the Explorer shell.remove quick access in windows 10 v1607

REG File for the above edit: Download disable_quickaccess_hubmode.zip

With Quick access hidden in the navigation pane, you can still access the Quick access home view by creating a shortcut with the following target:

explorer shell:::{679F85CB-0220-4080-B29B-5540CC05AAB6}

Or you can run the following Shell command from the Run dialog (WinKey + R):

shell:::{679F85CB-0220-4080-B29B-5540CC05AAB6}

remove quick access in windows 10 v1607
Quick access home view showing recent files and frequent folders, but Quick access is gone in the left pane.

The above registry edit disables Quick access for all user accounts.


For Windows 10 v1511 and higher

This method works (but with a small side-effect mentioned below) in all versions of Windows 10, starting from build v1511 and higher. The trick is to reset the shell folder attributes using the SFGAO Flags documentation posted by Microsoft.

  1. Go to the following branch in the Registry Editor:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID
  2. Create a subkey named {679f85cb-0220-4080-b29b-5540cc05aab6}
  3. Under {679f85cb-0220-4080-b29b-5540cc05aab6}, create a subkey named ShellFolder
  4. Select ShellFolder. In the right-pane, create a DWORD 32-bit value named Attributes
  5. Double-click Attributes and set its value data as a0600000 (Hex).

This hides the Quick access section from File Explorer.

Registry File for the above edit: Download hide-quickaccess.zip

Minor Side-effect

Unfortunately, the above registry method of resetting “Attributes” to a0600000 is not without any side-effect. It breaks drag-drop functionality in the navigation pane. After applying the setting, nothing would happen if you drag a file or folder onto a file system location underneath This PC in the navigation pane.

After testing with different values, I’ve noticed that instead of a0600000, if you set it 88000 (0x00088000), you can hide Quick access and at the same time, preserve the drag-drop functionality in the navigation pane. The Quick access icon (the blue star) isn’t removed, though; it appears dimmed or ghosted and not as prominent as before.


Bring drives list to the top

The default layout of the items when you select This PC in File Explorer is that the special folders show up at the top. The Devices and drives section can be moved to the top by sorting the groups in Descending order.

remove quick access and shell folders



Right-click on a blank area in File Explorer, click “Group by”, and click Descending. You can do the same from the Ribbon as well.

Further, the Folders section can be minimized by clicking on the chevron if you don’t use it frequently. You can anyway access those shell folders via the navigation pane.

remove quick access and shell folders

But, if you want to remove the special folders section from This PC view, you need to edit the registry or automate the setting using the .reg files available at the end of each section below.

Removing user folders from This PC

  1. Start regedit.exe and go to the following branch:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  2. Create a subkey named HideMyComputerIcons
  3. Select HideMyComputerIcons. In the right-pane, create a DWORD (32 bit) value, with the {GUID} string as the value name. The {GUID} string for each shell folder is provided below.For each shell folder you want to hide, you need to create a new {GUID} value, of type REG_DWORD, and set it’s data to 1.
    {GUID} String Shell Folder Name
    {0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A} 3d objects
    {B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641} Desktop
    {D3162B92-9365-467A-956B-92703ACA08AF} Documents
    {088E3905-0323-4B02-9826-5D99428E115F} Downloads
    {3DFDF296-DBEC-4FB4-81D1-6A3438BCF4DE} Music
    {24AD3AD4-A569-4530-98E1-AB02F9417AA8} Pictures
    {F86FA3AB-70D2-4FC7-9C99-FCBF05467F3A} Videos
  4. Set the value data for all those GUIDs 1.Value data of 1 hides the shell folder; value data of 0 shows it under This PC. HideMyComputerIcons registry key works fine in every version of Windows, including Windows 10.remove quick access in windows 10

Registry file for the above: Download hide-6folders.zip, unzip the contents and save them to a folder. Double-click hide-6folders.reg to run it. Changes are applied immediately, usually. In case it doesn’t, a logoff and login cycle would refresh the views. We’ve now gotten rid of the less-useful Folders (6) section!

RELATED: Remove 3D Objects Folder from This PC in Windows 10

Hiding OneDrive, Network and HomeGroup Icons

You can remove the other extra items in the navigation pane such as OneDrive, Network, and Homegroup by deleting the relevant {GUID} subkeys from the Namespace registry keys located at:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Desktop\NameSpace

Each subkey (“key”, not “value”) below the NameSpace key represents a shell folder. The ones we’re going to get rid of, are given below:

{GUID} String Shell Folder Name
{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6} OneDrive
{B4FB3F98-C1EA-428d-A78A-D1F5659CBA93} Homegroup
{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C} Network

In both the above two registry locations (one is system-wide, and the other is per-user), delete the three previously mentioned {GUID} keys under the Namespace key.

Logoff and login back, or do a clean restart of the Explorer Shell to see the changes.

REG File for the above edit: Download hide-pinned-shellfolders.zip, unzip the contents and save it to a folder. The zip file contains separate .reg files to hide or show OneDrive, Homegroup and Network items. Double-click the appropriate .reg file that you need.

The File Explorer, which appeared like this before:

remove quick access in windows 10

… should now look like this:

remove quick access in windows 10

Hope the above methods helped you remove Quick access and remove the shell folders namely 3d Objects, Documents, Downloads, Music etc from File Explorer “This PC” view in Windows 10.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in Windows — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP (2003-2012) who contributes to various Windows support forums.

12 thoughts on “Remove Quick access and User Folders from File Explorer in Windows 10”

  1. GREAT posts with some very valuable how to’s.

    Would love to know how to set the default folder so that when you right click on the ‘start’ button in W10, W8 or and select windows explorer, you can choose which folder it will focus on. I know in W10 you can choose a couple ob built-in choices, but to be able to actually ‘set’ the folder would be very helpful.

  2. @Larry: The WinX shortcuts are here: “%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2”. You can edit the target of “File Explorer.lnk” shortcut there. For adding new shortcuts, you need to use Hashlnk.exe though.

  3. The hack for disabling Quick Access and leaving it as a grayed-out icon is terrific—the icon that remains is unobtrusive. For me, Quick Access, which I never used, was a constant annoyance because every time I opened File Explorer and was about to click on a particular subfolder on a drive, the system would expand Quick Access and shove the folder I wanted to click on out of sight. This inspired regular cursing.

    • @RedGreenBlue: Thanks for the feedback. I’m still working on a fix that disables QA entirely without breaking drag-drop support, and if I figure it out, I shall update the post.

  4. Great suggestions and they work for the File Explorer. One problem i’m facing is that random (seemingly) applications after I have used them (Excel as an example) create a “Quick Access” pointer ON THE DESKTOP. No way to get rid of it except uninstall the app. cCleaner gets rid of it but it comes back after a few uses. A few other users have experienced the same thing with Chrome or some Adobe apps. There are a few answers on how to remove it..but how do I prevent it from happening in the first place? If you have any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. Great site by the way!!

  5. Others’ comments are shown here but I can’t find out how to get emails notifying me of future contributions to this post… which I am very interested in. I’m ready to search for an alternative to File Explorer.

  6. There are 2 ways to open File Explorer with your choice of folders – create a shortcut to:

    F:\some-directory
    C:\Windows\explorer.exe /root,F:\some-directory

  7. Thank you, this was very informative. I have a user who wants to be completely rid of Quick Access but other users on the same PC want it available. Is there a similar change that can be made in Current_User so only that one user doesn’t have it?

    • @Gerald: Thanks for writing. The HubMode registry value can’t be set on a per-user basis, unfortunately.

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