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How to remove Favorites and Frequent Folders in the Windows 10 File Explorer - fixedByVonnie

How to remove Favorites and Frequent Folders in the Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows 10 is upon us and there are a few things that I like and others that I hate.

I’ve been playing with Windows 10 for several weeks now and have developed a penchant for the remixed start menu and diaphanous command prompt.  I’ve also grown to like Virtual Desktops but there are a few other things about Windows 10 that annoy me.

Today I want to talk about one of those annoyances.

By default, when you click File Explorer, you’ll see a new option at the top of the left navigation pane called Home.

Unfortunately, there’s little about Home that makes me want to live there.

It’s just a mashup off all my favorites, frequent folders and recent files.

In fact, if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that Favorites is already displayed in the left pane under the yellow star – so why is it also on the Home Screen?

Can someone say redundant twice?  It seems like a waste to me.

Let’s make Home more useful by yanking those frivolously icons and replacing them with your local drives.  

Windows 10 File Explorer has a Home section now

We’re going to make it resemble what we see under This PC.

Unfortunately there’s no easy point and click solution to this.  We need to crack open the registry and rename the registry keys that correspond to Recent Files, Recent Folders, and Favorites.

Getting the reticent registry to talk

As the Administrator, press the Windows logo Key on your keyboard and type regedit in the search box.  Incidentally, now is probably a good time to backup the registry.

Now click through the tree in the left pane until you get DelegateFolders.

Here’s the full path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HomeFolder\NameSpace\DelegateFolders

You’ll see three cryptic keys in registry which relates to your recent files, folders and favorites folders.

  • Recent Files {3936E9E4-D92C-4EEE-A85A-BC16D5EA0819}
  • Recent Folders {4564b25e-30cd-4787-82ba-39e73a750b14}
  • Favorites {d34a6ca6-62c2-4c34-8a7c-14709c1ad938}

Click each one, press F2 and then add fbv (for fixedByVonnie) to the beginning of the string.  So for example, Recent files changes from:

{3936E9E4-D92C-4EEE-A85A-BC16D5EA0819}

to

fbv{3936E9E4-D92C-4EEE-A85A-BC16D5EA0819}

Hahaha I had to plug my site in the screenshot somehow!

Removing recent files from the home screen

Now if you return to File Explorer and press F5 to refresh the view, you should notice that everything is empty!

Blank Home Screen in Windows 10

That’s not what we want, so let’s add a new registry key to get some useful stuff in here!

In the registry, right click DelegateFolders and mouse over to New and choose Key.

Adding a new key to the registry

Paste in the following key name:

{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}

and double click the (Default) string in the right pane and set the value to “This PC

Adding the This PC registry key to show local drives in Windows 10

Now when you refresh the File Explorer view you’ll have your drives sitting in the Home screen.

DIsplaying Windows 10 drives in the home screen

If you want Windows to honor your privacy and stop recording your recent files, just right click the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen, choose Properties and in the Start Menu tab uncheck Store and display recently opened items in the Start menu and the taskbar.

Tell Windows 10 to stop displaying recently opened items on the taskbar

The Bottom Line

Hopefully Microsoft will include native support for File Explorer customizations like this one in a future Windows 10 update. Making users dive into the registry to make changes for simple personalization is both cumbersome and dangerous.

I think the problem with File Explorer is that with each iteration of Windows, Microsoft seems to keep adding clutter to the screen.

File Explorer has become a confused mess of icons and settings that baffles both tech tyros and seasoned technicians alike.

What ever happened to the Windows Explorer of the halcyon Windows XP days?  Sure maybe my quixotic vision of a clutter free Windows Explorer isn’t realistic but in the very least Microsoft should make it easier for users to hide the things they don’t want to view in File Explorer.

What do you think about the evolution of File Explorer in Windows?  Is it becoming more cluttered?  Am I the only one who thinks this?

Please share in the comments!

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  • Derrick Mrozinski

    Thanks! Is there any way to point this to Favorites?