Don’t like quick access on the sidebar? Here the steps you should follow to remove quick access in the File Explorer sidebar in Windows.
File Explorer in Windows 10 has a neat little feature called Quick Access on its sidebar. As the name suggests, it gives you quick access to your recent folders. In addition to that, some user folders are permanently pinned under Quick Access. If needed, you can manually pin your favorite folders to the Quick Access section. For example, I disabled the recent files feature and pinned my most used folders under Quick Access.
Though the quick access feature is very useful in a lot of situations, it is also true that it occupies precious space on the sidebar and pushes down the drives and network list. This can especially be a real pain in the neck on devices with small screens, like laptops. If you are not using Quick Access or if don’t want Quick Access in File Explorer, you can remove it with a simple registry trick.
In this quick and simple guide, let me show you the steps to remove quick access from File Explorer in Windows 10. These steps will also work in Windows 7 and 8 too.
Remove quick access in File Explorer
To disable or remove quick access, there are three major steps you should do. First, set “This PC” as the default page in File Explorer. Second, take ownership of the registry key responsible for showing Quick Access in File Explorer. Third, modify the registry key responsible for showing the quick access option in the File Explorer. As you can see, this is a fairly involved process but follow the steps and you will be good. Before doing anything, I recommend, you create a system restore point. That way, you can go back if the results are not to your liking or if something goes wrong.
1. Set ‘This PC’ as default in File Explorer
Before removing quick access, it is important to set “This PC” as the default in File Explorer. Otherwise, the File Explorer might not open or it will throw errors.
1. Open the File Explorer. To do that, press the “Windows Key + E” shortcut or click on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.
2. Click on the “View” tab and then click on the “Options” button. This opens the File Explorer options.
3. Select “This PC” from the “Open File Explorer to” dropdown menu. Click on the “Ok” button to save changes.
With that, you set ‘This PC’ as the default. You can now proceed to the next step.
2. Get ownership of the registry key
The registry key we want to change is a system key. As such, you first need to take ownership of that key. Otherwise, you will not be able to edit. The good thing is, it is pretty easy to do. Just follow the steps.
1. Open the Registry Editor. You can do that by searching for “Registry Editor” in the Start menu or by executing the “regedit” run command.
2. Paste the below path in the registry editor’s address bar and press Enter. This will take you to the appropriate registry folder.
3. Right-click on the “ShellFolder” folder and select the “Permissions” option. This is the option that lets you change the folder permissions.
4. Click on the “Advanced” button appearing at the bottom of the window.
5. Click on the “Change” option in the Advanced Security Settings for ShellFolder window. This is the option that lets you change the ownership.
6. Type “administrators” in the blank field and click on the “Check names” button. This action will automatically add the “Administrators” user/group to the blank field.
7. Click on the “Ok” button to confirm the changes.
8. Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons to save changes in the Advanced Security Settings for ShellFolder window.
9. Select the “Administrators” user under Group or Usernames section. Next, select the “Full Control” checkbox under the “Allow” column in the Permissions for Administrators section. After that, click on the “Ok” button.
Don’t close the registry editor yet. We are going to need it in the next steps. With that, you took ownership of the ShellFolder folder in the registry. You can now proceed to the final major step.
3. Modify the registry to remove quick access
This is the final step. You need to modify the value data of the Attributes value and you are done with removing quick access in File Explorer.
1. In the registry editor, double-click on the “Attributes” value. This opens the value Edit window.
2. Paste “a0600000” in the value data field and click the “Ok” button.
3. Close the registry editor.
4. Finally, restart Windows 10. If don’t want to do that, restart Windows Explorer via the task manager.
That is it. With the above steps, you’ve successfully removed the quick access option from the File Explorer’s sidebar. In fact, if you open the File Explorer, you will no longer see the Quick Access option.
If you want to revert back, double-click on the Attributes value, paste “a0100000” value, click “Ok”, close the Registry Editor and restart the system.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.