How To Show Libraries In Windows 8.1 Explorer Navigation Pane

First introduced with Windows 7, Libraries feature lets you easily organize files and folders scattered across your hard drive(s) or network. The beauty of this feature is that it lets you quickly create new libraries, edit existing ones, and add files and folders to libraries without the need of additional hard drive space.

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Unfortunately, it turns out that most of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users aren’t aware of this excellent feature or aren’t using this feature and hence, Microsoft has tweaked the navigation of Windows 8.1 Explorer to show only Favorites, Homegroup, SkyDrive, This PC (Computer), and Network. In simple words, Libraries feature doesn’t appear in Windows 8.1 Explorer navigation pane by default.

If you have upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 or Windows 8, and now missing Libraries feature, you’ll be glad to know that Microsoft hasn’t completely dropped the feature from Windows 8.1, and the feature is only hidden by default.

In other words, with default settings, Libraries feature doesn’t appear in the navigation pane and you have to configure File Explorer settings to enable and show this feature.

In order to show Libraries in the navigation pane of Windows 8.1 Explorer, you need to follow the instructions provided in one of the two below mentioned methods.

Method 1:

Step 1: Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer) in your Windows 8.1 PC.

Step 2: Right-click on the empty space of the navigation pane (left-pane) and then select Libraries to show Libraries in the navigation pane.

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Method 2:

Step 1: Open File Explorer either by clicking File Explorer icon on the taskbar or simultaneously pressing Windows logo and E keys.

Step 2: Expand the Ribbon either by clicking on the down arrow button at the upper-right of the window or using Ctrl + F1 hotkey.

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Step 3: Click View, click Navigation pane, and then click Show libraries option to show Libraries in the Explorer navigation pane. That’s it!

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And if you are getting Documents/Picture/Video/Music.library-ms is no longer working error while attempting to open a library, please follow the fix provided in our how to fix library-ms is no longer working error in Windows guide.

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