Libraries were introduced with Windows 7; these libraries are special folders with special views. They are “special” because each library is an aggregate of many different folders. The default libraries include pictures, videos, music, and documents. The data in these folders is a mix of personal files and publicly shared files on the computer/network.
In this guide, we share the top 10 tips for getting the most out of Windows 7 Libraries. If we missed a tip that you feel should be included, let us know in the comments. Here’s a preview of the 10 tips:
- Add a New Library
- Customize Library Icons
- Delete a Library
- Share or Collaborate Using Libraries
- Change a Library’s Default Save Location
- Change the display order with a Library
- Backup Files and folders using Library
- Remove folders from a Library
- Open Explorer Into My Computer Instead Of Libraries
- Enable or Disable Libraries
1. Add a New Library
If you want more than just the default offering of libraries and want to add a new one like “TV Shows”, you can do this by adding new libraries: add a new library.
2. Customize Library Icons
Bored of the default library icons? You can change them to any icon you’d like to use (looking for icons) customize Library Icons.
If you like the look of the one’s below, you can get them here: rsvr85’s new library icons.
3. Delete a Library
If you’ve added a new library and no longer want to use it or if you want to delete a default library, right click the library and click Delete. You’ll have to add the library and add the associated folders again so be careful with this one.
4. Share or Collaborate Using Libraries
The use of Libraries go further than your personal computer. Every computer that connects to the same HomeGroup as you can share your Libraries. Instead of using several shared network resources or folders, you can get away with sharing ONE: share or collaborate using Libraries.
5. Change a Library’s Default Save Location
If you want to store your files in a specific location and not “My Documents”, you can change a Library’s Default Save Location. This will save you time if you store files in an obscure folder that you’d have to click through to every time you save a file.
6. Change the display order with a Library
Libraries display your folders in the order they’re added. You can of course override this behavior: change the display order.
7. Backup Files and folders using Library
Creating backups of your files is a lot easier when you use Libraries. Remembering where certain files are stored can be a pain but now they’re all in one place ready for backup creation: backup Files and folders using Library.
8. Remove folders from a Library
Libraries can get messy quickly if you have too many folders associated with each one. If you’d like to do some clean up and organization, learn how to remove folders from a Library.
9. Open Explorer Into My Computer Instead Of Libraries
When you click the Explorer icon in the Windows 7 task bar, you go straight the the library view. (You may remember that Winkey+E also took you to the libraries view in Windows 7 Beta.) If you’d like to go to Computer instead of your libraries, learn how to open Explorer Into My Computer Instead Of Libraries.
10. Enable or Disable Libraries
If you just can’t get used to the Libraries feature or if you don’t want to use it, you can disable the feature using a registry hack that removes all they keys that enable libraries (you can also enable the feature at any time with a reverse hack): how to enable or disable the Libraries feature in Windows 7.
What Did We Miss?
If we missed a tip that you feel should be included, let us know in the comments.
Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.
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