How to enable the Libraries in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1

Even though Libraries exist in Windows 10, and Windows 8.1, just like they do in Windows 7, the Libraries section from File Explorer is not shown by default. For some reason, Microsoft decided to hide them, although they are a useful feature of Windows. If you want to get them back, and have them displayed in File Explorer, and Save As dialogues, read this tutorial:

NOTE: This guide covers Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. If you are using Windows 8.1, scroll down to the end of this article, and you will find the appropriate instructions for your operating system.

Windows 10: How to bring back the Libraries section in File Explorer

The first step is to open File Explorer. The fastest way to do it is by pressing the Windows + E keys on your keyboard. Then, click or tap the View tab to expand it, and press the Options button located on the right side of the ribbon.

The Folder Options window is now opened. Go to the View tab and scroll the Advanced settings list to the bottom.

Now you see the Navigation pane settings. Check the box that says “Show libraries,” and press OK.

Your setting is now applied.

Where is the Libraries section shown in File Explorer?

By default, File Explorer in Windows 10 does not show the Libraries section. It only displays Quick access, OneDrive, This PC, and Network, just like in the screenshot below.

After activating the setting shown earlier, the Libraries section becomes visible in File Explorer, between This PC and Network.

The rest of the data shown in the left column remains the same.

The Libraries section is now shown also in Save As dialogues, in all kinds of Windows apps that you can use to save files of all types.

Windows 8.1: How to bring back the Libraries section in File Explorer

The instructions for Windows 8.1 are slightly different and more straightforward. First, open File Explorer. One way to do it is by pressing Windows + E on your keyboard. Click or tap the View tab to expand it, and press the Options button.

The Folder Options window is shown. The change you need to make is found in the General tab. See the Navigation pane settings below, and check “Show libraries.” Then, press the OK button.

The Libraries section is now added to File Explorer, and to Save As dialogues.

Do you like the Windows libraries?

We love the Libraries feature of Windows, and we use it regularly to organize our files and folders. Before closing this tutorial, let us know whether you use it or not. Do Libraries make you more productive in organizing your work?