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Remove Quick access and User Folders from File Explorer in Windows 10/11

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, File Explorer in Windows 10/11 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 & User Folders (under “This PC” )

Removing “Quick access” from Windows 10/11 File Explorer

Starting from Windows 10 v1607, there is a new registry edit to remove Quick access. The registry edit also works on Windows 11 (all versions), including Version 21H2. 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
  4. Close all folder windows and re-open explorer. The Quick access section should be gone now. If it still appears, log off and log back in, or simply restart the Explorer shell.

REG File for the above edit: Download disable_quickaccess_hubmode.zip

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

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}

Old Method (For Windows 10 v1511 and up) to remove Quick access

This method works (but with a small side-effect mentioned below) in all versions of Windows 10, starting from version 1511 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).
  6. Exit the Registry Editor.
  7. Log off and log back into your user account.

This hides the Quick access section from File Explorer.

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.


Remove “Home” from Explorer in Windows 11

Since Windows 11 (Insider Preview) build 22593, Quick access in File Explorer is now called “Home”.

To hide “Home” for your user account, run this command:

reg add HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{f874310e-b6b7-47dc-bc84-b9e6b38f5903} /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /d 0 /t REG_DWORD /f

Optionally, you can change the start folder to This PC.

Note: Despite hiding the link in Explorer, Explorer defaults to Home (Quick access) view by default unless you change the Explorer default start folder. Alternately, you can access the “Home” view by running this command:

shell:::{f874310e-b6b7-47dc-bc84-b9e6b38f5903}

To revert back to the original setting, run this command:

reg delete HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{f874310e-b6b7-47dc-bc84-b9e6b38f5903} /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /f

No restart is needed.


Removing user folders from This PC

To remove the user folders from This PC namely, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, and 3D Objects follow these steps:

  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 11.

Registry file for the above: Download hide-7-folders.zip and extract the files to a folder. Double-click hide-7-folders.reg to run it. Changes are applied immediately. No restart required.

Removing 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.

Log off and log back in, 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.

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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