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How to Remove Quick Access in Windows 10

Windows 10 brought many new features upon its release, one of which is the Quick access section in your File Explorer. It replaced the classic “Favorites” pane. You can gain immediate access to your Desktop, Downloads folder, Documents, and shows up to four recently used folders

However, some people find the Quick access more harm than good, which leads to the question: how can you remove the Quick access section in the Windows 10 File Explorer? We’re here to answer.

How to remove quick access on windows 10

What is Quick access?

The Quick access section is found when you open the File Explorer. It’s the equivalent of Favorites, found in older versions of Windows. It gives you access to your frequently used folders and allows you to open recent files as well.

While Quick access was intended to help with your navigation and workflow, some Windows users look at it as an unwelcome change. If you’re also feeling that way, feel free to follow our methods below to either hide or entirely remove it from your File Explorer.

We highly advise setting up a System Restore Point to ensure no damage is done to your computer while removing Quick access. If you don’t know how to do that, we recommend watching Techddictive’s “Windows 10 - How to Create a System Restore Point” video.

Method 1: Disable Quick access page in the File Explorer

While this method doesn’t completely remove Quick access, it allows you to open the File Explorer without having to see the Quick access page upon launch. Simple as that — all you need is the File Explorer

  1. Open the File Explorer by either clicking on its icon in your taskbar or using the Windows + E keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click on the View menu from the top of the File Explorer window.
    File explorer
  3. Click on the small arrow under the Options button to expand the menu.
    change folder
  4. Click on “Change folder and search options.”
  5. Make sure you stay in the General tab. The first thing you need to do is change the “Open File Explorer to” setting to “This PC.” Now, you won’t see the Quick access menu when opening the File Explorer.
    This PC icon
  6. Click the OK button. After making this change, you should see the “This PC” tab whenever you open a File Explorer window.

Method 2: Turn off Quick access page using the Registry

The Registry allows you to make advanced changes to your system which may not be available via regular options. We’ll be using this to turn off the Quick access page, however, it’ll still be present on your navigation pane.

Warning: We recommend you back your Registry up or create a System Restore Point before performing any Registry modifications. One bad change can cause a plethora of issues on your device — it’s always the safest to back things up.

  1. Press the Ctrl + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Next, type in “Regedit” and click on the OK button. This is going to launch the Registry Editor, which is part of Windows 10 itself.
    registry editor
  2. You can navigate the Registry Editor from the left pane. Using the arrow buttons next to folder names, you can expand them. Using this, navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    registry editor
  3. When you reach the Advanced folder, you should see a list of entries on the left side of the window. Locate the “LaunchTo” entry in this list, then double click on it to open its properties.
    launch  to entry
  4. Change the data value to 0. Make sure not to make any other changes!
    How to chage dword values
  5. Click the OK button and close the Registry Editor.
  6. Restart your computer to finalize the changes.

Method 3: Remove Quick access from the navigation pane

As of right now, this method is the only way to completely remove the Quick access from your navigation pane. What you need to do is use the Registry again.

Warning: We recommend you back your Registry up or create a System Restore Point before performing any Registry modifications. One bad change can cause a plethora of issues on your device — it’s always the safest to back things up.

  1. Press the Ctrl + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Next, type in “Regedit” and click on the OK button. This is going to launch the Registry Editor, which is part of Windows 10 itself.
    registry editor
  2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    regedit key
  3. Right-click on an empty space in the right pane, then choose NewDWORD (32-bit) Value.
    dword value
  4. Name the new value “HubMode.”
  5. Double click on the new “HubMode” value to open its properties.
    hub mode
  6. Change the data value to 1. Make sure not to make any other changes!
    change value data
  7. Click the OK button and close the Registry Editor.
  8. Restart your computer to finalize the changes.

Method 4: Remove pinned folders from Quick access

You’re able to make the Quick access feature less noticeable by simply removing the pinned folders it contains. You can use this method in conjunction with previous methods for the easy and reversible removal of Quick access.

  1. Open the File Explorer by either clicking on its icon in your taskbar or using the Windows + E keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click on the arrow symbol next to Quick access to expand the section.
    quick access
  3. Locate the folder you want to unpin. You can unpin any folder, even the default ones such as “Desktop” or “Downloads.”
  4. Right-click on the folder you want to unpin, then choose the “Unpin from Quick access” option.
  5. Repeat this for any folders you want to remove from the Quick access section.

Method 5: Stop Windows 10 from showing frequently used folders

If your only issue with the Quick access section is the fact that it shows many of your recently used files and folders, you can easily fix it. All you have to do is simply turn off this feature from the File Explorer.

  1. Open the File Explorer by either clicking on its icon in your taskbar or using the Windows + E keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click on the View menu from the top of the File Explorer window.
    file explorer view
  3. Click on the small arrow under the Options button to expand the menu.
    file explorer
  4. Click on “Change folder and search options.”
    folder options
  5. Make sure you stay in the default General tab. Look under the Privacy section, and remove the checkmarks from both “Show recently used files in Quick access” and “Show frequently used folders in Quick access.”
    quick access folders
  6. Click the OK button. You shouldn’t see any of your recently used files or folders showing up in Quick access anymore.

We hope this article was able to help you remove or personalize the Quick access feature from Windows 10. Keep in mind that most of these methods can easily be reversed — simply follow our steps again and turn them back on whenever you want to use the Quick access feature.

Are you interested in learning more about Windows 10? You can browse our dedicated Help Center section for related articles

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