How can I set Windows Explorer to show only the folders I want?
Working with Windows Explorer as an organizational tool can be tricky. People believe that the only way to change how folders are presented to the user is to change how they're actually organized on disk -- for instance, by moving all folders with relevant documents into the Documents folder. But this hasn't been true for some time now. With a little work, it's possible to organize how Windows Explorer presents folders without changing their physical locations.
The obvious way to do that is via shortcuts -- placing links to another folder within a commonly trafficked one. But Libraries may be more useful for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. When you add a folder to a library by right-clicking on the top-level folder in the library and selecting Properties, the added folder doesn't actually get moved anywhere. It just behaves in Explorer as if it were physically part of the library. It can be traversed via Explorer's tree view, and contents of the folder and its subfolders will appear when you run a search on the contents of the library.
Many experts don't realize another important fact: You don't have to use the existing libraries. You can make new ones, name them as you please and populate them with whatever folders you want -- just right-click on the top-level Libraries icon and select New. The optimizations for given libraries are limited to documents, music, pictures and video and can't be changed, so if you're in doubt, pick "Documents."
Do you have questions for our experts? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dig deeper on Microsoft Windows 8 operating system
Related Q&A from Serdar Yegulalp
This week, our expert answers the question of how to get DVD data off a disc, even if the user's PC doesn't have an optical drive.continue reading
This week, our expert answers a question on how to connect a phone or tablet to a USB drive with a micro-USB connector.continue reading
Open source and free suites such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice could save organizations money, but not effort in comparison with Microsoft Office.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.