How to Show or Hide Library Folders in Windows 11 Start Menu

Windows 11 Start menu lets you show or hide useful library folders like Downloads, Settings, etc., in the Start menu. Here is how to do it.

The Start menu in Windows 11 is a lot different yet somewhat similar to Windows 10. Mainly, the Windows 11 Start menu no longer has live tiles. Instead, it simply shows pinned apps along with an “All Apps” button that lists all the apps, just like Windows 10. The Start menu also has a Recommended section that shows recently opened files and applications in addition to the pinned apps.

Like Windows 10, the Start menu lets you add library folders like Downloads, Music, Videos, Pictures, File Explorer, etc., to the Start menu. In fact, you can even add the settings icon. This makes it easy to access your frequently used user library folders and the Settings app. All it takes is two clicks to open the library folder of your choice. For example, I often open the Downloads folder. Pinning it to the Start menu reduces the number of clicks it takes to open that folder. Though an extra click or keyboard shortcut is not a big deal, it will add up and improve your workflow over time.

So, let me guide you through the steps to show or hide library folders in the Windows 11 Start menu without further ado.

Jump to:

Show library folders in Windows 11 Start menu

To add or show library folders like Downloads, Pictures, Videos, or pin the Settings app, follow the below steps.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Go to “Personalization > Start.”
  4. Click on the “Folders” option.
  5. Turn on the library folders you want to show.
  6. Turn on the Settings option to show the Settings option.
  7. With that, the library folders will now appear in the Windows 11 Start menu.

Detailed Steps:

The Windows 11 Start menu can be customized from the Settings app. So, press the “Start key + I” shortcut or right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings” to open the Settings app.

After opening the Settings app, go to the “Personalization > Start menu” page. This is the page that shows all the customization options related to the Start menu.

Next, click on the “Folders” option on the right page.

Here, select all the folders you want to appear in the Start menu. I am enabling the “Downloads” and “Personal folder” options. If needed, you can select all the folders.

show library folders in Windows 11 start menu

To show the Settings app icon in the Start menu, go to the “Personalization > Start menu > Folders” page and turn on the Settings app option.

show settings icon in Windows 11 start menu

That is it. With that, the Settings icon and library folders will appear at the bottom of the Start menu, right next to your username. Each library folder has its own unique icon to help recognize them easily. Clicking on the icon will open the relevant folder in File Explorer.

library folders in Windows 11 start menu

Hide library folders in Windows 11 Start menu

To remove or hide the library folder from the Start menu in Windows 11, follow the below steps.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Go to “Personalization > Start.”
  4. Click on the “Folders” option.
  5. Turn off the library folders you want to hide.
  6. To remove all folders, turn off all folder options.
  7. With that, the library folders are removed from the Windows 11 Start menu.

Open the Settings app and go to the “Personalization > Start menu > Folders” page. Here, turn off the folder options you want to hide. To hide all folders, turn off all the folder options.

hide library folders in Windows 11 start menu

As soon as you do that, the library folders are hidden in the Start menu. i.e., you will no longer see the folder icons at the bottom of the Start menu.

no folders in Windows 11 start menu

Can I pin folders to the Start menu?

Yes, you can pin regular user library folders like Downloads, Videos, Pictures, File Explorer, etc., to the Start menu. All you have to do is go to the “Settings > Personalization > Start menu > Folders” page and select the folders you want to pin.

As of now, you cannot pin custom folders to the Start menu in Windows 11. In Windows 10, you can pin a folder as a live tile by creating a custom shortcut. However, since live tiles are no longer available in Windows 11, you cannot pin a custom folder.

That is all. It is that simple to show or hide library folders in Windows 11 Start menu.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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