Restoring the Built-in Windows Libraries

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 5, 2020)

Libraries are a great feature of Windows. They collect in one place files and folders that may be scattered among several disks and several folders. The libraries don't actually contain the files, so if you delete a library your files are still in place.

By default, Windows includes four built-in libraries:

  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Videos

These libraries are maintained by Windows in system files located at the following path. (Replace the username placeholder with the username of the person whose libraries you want to get rid of.)

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries

It is possible to delete these built-in libraries (how to do so is covered in another Tip). Don't worry though—if you later wish you had your built-in libraries back, just follow these steps:

  1. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. Right-click the "Libraries" node in the Navigation pane at the left side of the window. Windows displays a Context menu.
  3. Select the Restore Default Libraries option.

When they are restored, they even still contain the pointers to the files and folders that they had before the library was deleted.

 This tip (12746) applies to Windows 7 and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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