How to Show or Hide Libraries on Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users steps to show or hide the Libraries folder when using Windows 11. The libraries folder is hidden from view on Windows 11 by default. The libraries folder allows users to include files and folders stored on the local computer or at a remote storage location so users can browse and access them from a single place.

Instead of browsing a thousand locations for files and folder, you can aggregate content from multiple storage locations into a single folder, so you only have one place to look.

When you include a file or folder in the libraries folder, it does not physically move or change the storage location of the file or folder, it simply gives you quick access to the content from a unified location.

These folders are automatically added to the libraries folder: Camera RollDocumentsMusicPicturesSaved Pictures, and Videos. The libraries folder is located at %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries.

The new Windows 11 comes with many new features and new user desktop, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any Windows look and feel modern.

If you’re exited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts on it.

To get started with displaying or hiding the libraries folder in File Explorer, follow the steps below.

How to show the Libraries folder on Windows 11

If you previously used the libraries folder in other versions of Windows and you want to bring it back in Windows 11, follow the steps below.

Open File Explorer, then click on the ellipse (three dots) on the taskbar menu, select Options as highlighted below.

windows 11 libraries show folder

On Folder Options windows, click the View tab, then under Advanced settings, check the box next to “Show libraries” as highlighted below.

windows 11 show libraries folder in file

Now the Libraries folder should appear on the navigation menu in File Explorer as shown below.

windows 11 file explorer libraries folder

How to hide the Libraries folder on Windows 11

If you change your mind about displaying the Libraries folder in File Explorer, you can simply hide it from view. To do that, reverse the steps above by going to File Explorer, and clicking on the ellipse on the taskbar menu, then selecting Options.

One the View tab, under Advanced settings, uncheck the “Show libraries” as shown below.

windows 11 hide libraries folder file

That will hide the Libraries from view in File Explorer.

How to add files or folders to the Libraries on Windows 11

Now that the Libraries folder is enabled, you can add or remove files and folders from the Libraries.

To add a file or folder, right-click a folder you want to add to the Libraries and select “Show more options” shown on the context menu.

windows 11 include folders to libraries updated

On the more option context menu, click Include in library and select the folder to include into into or create new one.

windows 11 include in libraries folder

That should do it!


This post showed you how to show or hide the Libraries folder in File Explorer. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.


  1. I can see how that should work but on my Windows 11 installation Explorer takes no notice of this configuration setting do you have any more idea

  2. Thank you so much. Why on earth would this be hidden to start with? Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft has a dedicated team just to make things frustrating for us end-users!

  3. Okay, thanks, gentlemen. I thought it was just me. Pretty sure the teams make ‘improvements’ based on how MS works for them, in their industry and takes no care or thought to the thousands of other industries using the product.

  4. On windows 10 I had all my folders identified with a front photo of various scenes to identify different stages of my entries into photo competitions. In windows 11 the photos on the front of the folders have disappeared. HELP

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