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how windows 7 libraries workLibraries Windows 7 Libraries Explained - And Why You Want Them Windows 7 Libraries Explained - And Why You Want Them Read More , found in Windows 7 The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More and 8 DOWNLOAD Getting Started: Your Guide To Windows 8 DOWNLOAD Getting Started: Your Guide To Windows 8 Windows 8 is coming! Be prepared - download our guide to Microsoft's newest operating system today. Become familiar with Windows 8. Whether you've pre-ordered a Windows 8 device or are just wondering what's new, we've... Read More . are more than a list of suggested folders for saving documents, music, pictures, and video. Customizing your libraries isn’t just tweaking for the sake of tweaking – with libraries, you can streamline the way you organize your files and make yourself more productive. If you’ve ignored libraries so far and opted to organize your files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files Creating Order From Chaos: 9 Great Ideas For Managing Your Computer Files It's frustrating isn’t it when you can’t find that file? When you’ve searched every folder imaginable on your computer, and somehow it got lost….or worse, deleted. Now, there are excellent search tools for Windows that... Read More the traditional way, be sure to give libraries a try.

Libraries are collections of folders. The folders can be in multiple places – even across multiple hard drives and different cloud storage services – but the files are presented in a single list.

Add Folders To Libraries

Libraries can contain multiple folders. By default, each library contains a user-specific folder as well as a “public” folder, which is shared with all other users on the computer and contains sample music and video files. However, you can add additional folders to  the library by clicking the locations link at the top of the library window.

how windows 7 libraries work

Click the Add button to add additional folders to the library. The library will show content from all of the folders you add. For example, if you have several hard drives in your computer, each with a folder filled with video files, you can add them all to your Videos library and view all your videos in one place. If you store documents or pictures in a Dropbox, Google Drive A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service After more than 6 years of rumors and a long-ago cancellation because "files are so 1990", Google Drive is finally here. Coming with 5 GB of free storage space, a Dropbox-like desktop sync client, and... Read More , or other cloud storage folder The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More , you can add that folder and view all files of a similar type in one place.

windows 8 libraries

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Remove Folders From Libraries

You can also easily remove folders from a library. For example, if you don’t want to see the sample music and video files in your personal libraries, you can remove the Public Music or Public Video folders from your libraries.

windows 8 libraries

Rearrange Library Folders

From this window, you can also rearrange your library folders by right-clicking them and selecting Move Up or Move Down. Folders appear in the library in the order they’re listed, so place your most important folders near the top and the least important near the bottom.

windows 8 libraries

Change Default Save Locations

By default, libraries will save files to the traditional My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, and My Videos folders. If you’d rather save files to another location – like a Dropbox Top 10 Uses For Dropbox You May Not Have Thought Of Top 10 Uses For Dropbox You May Not Have Thought Of For many advanced computer users, Dropbox is the premiere cloud-based storage and sharing document service. It has replaced the Documents folder on my Mac, and is the primary way I sync files between my devices.... Read More folder or a folder on another cloud storage service – you can add that folder to your library, right-click it and select Set as default save location. When you save a file to the library, it will be put in the folder you specify. This makes it easy to save files to a cloud storage service without having to dig through any folders.

windows 8 libraries

Share Libraries

Libraries integrate nicely with the Windows Homegroup Microsoft Windows 7: The 7 Most Noticeable New Features Microsoft Windows 7: The 7 Most Noticeable New Features Read More feature, allowing you to easily share files on a local network. For example, if you have all your video files located in your Videos library, you can use the Share with menu and easily share your entire video library with all other computers on your Homegroup. This is particularly convenient if you have files stored in multiple locations on different hard drives, as it allows you to manage folder-sharing settings in one place.

windows 8 libraries

Create New Libraries

You aren’t just stuck with the default libraries. You can create a new library by right-clicking the Libraries heading in the sidebar, pointing to New, and selecting Library.

windows 8 libraries

A library can help you conceptually group files stored in multiple places, making it easy to see related files at a glance without just stuffing everything into a single folder.

windows 7 libraries

Libraries also make Windows Explorer’s search capabilities more useful. For example, if you have a lot of files in a library, you can open the library and enter a search into the search box at the top-right corner of the window. Windows will search through the files in the library, allowing you to quickly search several related folders.

windows 7 libraries

Disable Libraries

If you don’t like a particular library, you can right-click it and select Delete to get rid of it. However, the Libraries category will always stay present in your sidebar – unless you disable it manually.

We don’t recommend this – the libraries feature is useful and powerful. If you don’t want to use it, it only takes up a bit of space in Windows Explorer. While you could pin your most-used folders to the Favorites section of the sidebar instead, the Libraries feature provides a nice separation and provides an obvious place to save and look for files.

Still, we know there are some old-school Windows geeks out there who are happy with traditional folders and don’t want libraries. To disable libraries, you’ll have to tweak several registry Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Advertisements for registry cleaners are all over the Web. There’s an entire industry out there bent on convincing inexperienced computer users that their registry needs fixing, and that, for ten easy payments of $29.95, their... Read More settings. The easiest way to do so is by downloading this .REG file that will automatically disable libraries in windows 7. Double-click the .REG file, then log out and log back in (or restart your computer), and libraries will be gone. If you change your mind, you can run the included restore script to restore your libraries.

how windows 7 libraries work

Feel free to experiment with libraries. If you’ve made too many changes to your libraries, you can always right-click the Libraries header in the Windows Explorer sidebar and select Restore Default Libraries. (If you disabled them instead, you can run the restore script).

How do you make use of libraries in Windows? Leave a comment to let us know what works for you and share your favorite tips!

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