Windows 10 Quick Tips – Enabling Libraries


George Peabody Library


I am not sure about this, but I think Libraries first appeared in Windows 7. In that version, Libraries were displayed by default when you opened Windows Explorer (now known as File Explorer). Not so any more. For some reason, Microsoft decided not to display Libraries by default, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still exist in Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Libraries are a very useful feature and this week’s Quick Tips article is going to show you how to bring them back to life.

Enabling Windows Libraries

  1. Use the Windows key + E shortcut to open File Explorer
  2. Click View
  3. In the Ribbon Menu that opens, click Options
  4. In the window that opens, click the View tab

That should bring you here:


Scroll to the bottom of the list, tick the check box labelled Show libraries, and click OK. Now, when you open File Explorer, a new entry called Libraries will appear in the Navigation Panel. Clicking on it should bring you to a window similar to this one:


Library Types

As you can see in the above image there are six default Libraries provided for you to use. The names are descriptive so it shouldn’t be necessary to cover them in detail. One oddity to take note of is that there are three redundant Libraries which all point to the same folder: CameraRoll, Pictures, and SavedPictures. Technically, this means you really only have four individual categories.

Managing Libraries

I won’t be going into detail here about how to use, add, or move Libraries, but be aware that all these things are possible. Libraries are a very useful and powerful organizational tool. You can, for example, have photos scattered all over your various drives, but can have them easily accessible from one convenient location. It is not uncommon these days for people to store literally tens of thousands of pictures, video clips, movies, and various other types of files/documents on their computer systems. Ultimately, the burden is on you to keep things organized, but Libraries make the job much easier.

A Tease

This post is somewhat of a tease, if you will. (I didn’t plan it that way. Honest.) It shows you how to make Libraries display by default in File Explorer for easy access to them. It does not, however, offer any examples of how to use them. If you would like to know more about the Windows Libraries feature, I will happily write a follow-up post on this subject which will hopefully give you some ideas about how to use Libraries and how to take full advantage of their many capabilities.

If you would like more information on this subject, please leave a comment below. The more comments we receive in favor of this, the more likely it is that the article will be written. I would be wasting both my time and yours if only a few are interested in this topic. I look forward to a resounding response!

As always, if you have any helpful suggestions, comments or questions, please share them with us,



About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

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