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Windows 11 File Explorer

Windows 11 has a revamped File Explorer, with Home replacing Quick Access, tabs etc.

However, I found it somewhat overwhelming, I needed a clean and crisp structure.

File Explorer

In a first period of using Windows 11, I stuck to Show All folders, avoiding the three sections in the navigation pane. Downside was that it showed way too much folders under the root Desktop folder: Music, Pictures, Videos, Libraries, …

  • I switched off Show All folders
  • I removed all pinned items
  • in the File Explorer options, under General > Open File Explorer to, I chose This PC
This left me with a two section navigation pane opening This PC, but without direct links to 'Desktop', 'Documents' and 'Downloads'. Ultimately, I used !WinaeroTweaker to achieve this.

Ultimate Windows Tweaker (5.x for Win11)

  • Customization category > This PC tab
However, due to previous tweaks or interference with WinaeroTweaker, I couldn't get it done


  • File Explorer category > Customize This PC Folders subcategory
There you have two options to add folders:
  • Add custom folder
  • Add shell location
Add shell location didn't always work right: when you opened File Explorer, the added folder appeared in the right pane, but not in the navigation pane to the left. Only when you clicked the folder in the right pane, did it appear to the left.

Add custom folder seemed to be the best solution. I used this and used a display name containing middots for easy retrieval in the registry.

Group by (none)

Group by (none) is not possible for the custom folders.

I used WinSetView to achieve it!

This PC sometimes missing in File Explorer or Open/Save as dialog boxes

  • regedit
  • goto [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}]
  • delete dword "System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"

See: https://superuser.com/questions/1753696/on-windows-11-22h2-22621-which-registry-keys-controls-whether-a-user-folder-i/1775260#1775260
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