Hiding Folders Under This PC

by Barry Dysert
(last updated June 13, 2016)

By default, the navigation pane of File Explorer contains a few standard top-level folders. "This PC" is one such folder. Personally, I navigate the file system via "Quick Access" entries or a special AutoHotKey script, so I'd rather not have "This PC" taking up space. As you can see in the following figure, there are six folders under "This PC": (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. This PC folders.

As you can see from the left side of the figure, I already have some of these folders under "Quick Access". So I'm going to hide the Desktop and Downloads folders so they don't appear under "This PC". This must be done in the Registry, so the first thing to do is to run the Registry Editor. Do this by pressing Windows+R, typing (without the quotes) "regedit", and pressing Enter.

To hide the Desktop folder, navigate in the Registry Editor to the following key. (This is a long name; you'll want to double-check you are in the right key.)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ FolderDescriptions\{B4BFCC3A-DB2C-424C-B029-7FE99A87C641}\PropertyBag

You should see a window that matches the following: (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Preparing to hide This PC's Desktop folder.

Right-click the PropertyBag node and create a New | String Value. Its name should be (without quotes) "ThisPCPolicy", and its value should be "Hide" (again, no quotes). Your Registry Editor window should now look like this: (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Hiding This PC's Desktop folder.

To hide the Downloads folder, go through the same steps to the following Registry key. (Again, this is a long name; you'll want to double-check you are in the right key.)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ FolderDescriptions\{7d83ee9b-2244-4e70-b1f5-5393042af1e4}\PropertyBag

Click on File | Exit to leave the Registry Editor. Now if you open This PC in File Explorer you won't see the Desktop or Downloads folders: (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4. File Explorer with Desktop and Downloads hidden.

 This tip (2633) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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