Get your libraries back in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 brought along a number of improvements to lift it above its predecessor. However, perhaps in some areas it didn’t go far enough, while in others it actually regressed.

One of those regressions was the removal of Libraries in the Explorer. Remember when you easily spotted Music, Pictures and Videos? Windows 8.1 doesn’t play that way, but it doesn’t mean these things are gone. Instead, they are just one of the features in the latest operating system that has been hidden away.

Fortunately, you can bring them back, and the process is fairly easy. Here are a few simple steps to follow, providing you’d like that easy library access back again.

To get started, fire up Explorer. Here you’ll note that “Computer” has been renamed to “This PC” — it’s still the same thing, just under a new moniker.

explorer-navigation-pane

Click the “View” tab and look for “Navigation Pane” over at the far left. Tap the little arrow to expand the drop-down menu, where you’ll find several options that can be enabled.

explorer-show-libraries

Click on “Show Libraries”, and anything else listed here that you may want easier access to. That’s all there is to it, and now you’ve got your Music. Videos and Pictures back in Explorer. It’s just one more baffling thing that Microsoft has chosen to hide away for some unknown reason.

 

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