Restore the Libraries Feature to Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is now available for free download to anyone who already has Windows 8 installed, and while there are a lot of welcome changes, there are some things that are not necessarily changes for the better. One feature that appears to be notable by its absence is Libraries.

Libraries offered a handy way to pull together related documents — so all of your music can be accessed in one place regardless of the folders the files are stored in. The same goes for other types of file. At first glance it may look as though Libraries are not available in Windows 8.1, but in fact this is not the case.

Libraries are still there — they are just hidden. And the good news is that you can restore things to the way they used to be. Start by opening up File Explorer either from the Start screen, or by pressing the Windows key and E at the same time.

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Click the View tab and then click the Navigation Pane button in the ribbon. In the menu that appears, click the Show libraries option.

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Your libraries can now be accessed in the navigation pane just like before.

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If you want to be able to access your libraries from the Start screen, right click the Libraries icon and select the Pin to Start option.

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